Sometimes, being a hero is just a matter of doing what you know to be right despite everyone telling you that you're not allowed. That's what makes Mary Edwards Walker one of a kind. Heroes come in all shapes and sizes, from Audie Murphy to the subject of today's story. The only female to ever receive the Medal of Honor. Mary Edwards Walker was a doctor for the Union Army during the United States Civil War.Despite not being approved by the Army examining board Dr. Walker went to the front lines in Virginia where she served honorably until captured by Confederate forces. Bravely crossing enemy lines to treat civilian wounded she was arrested and accused of being a spy for the Union. She was returned to the Union during a prisoner exchange.Here is the thing about Dr. Walker that many don't know. Along with other less notable generals, General Sherman recommended her for the Medal of Honor. A small part of her citation reads that she
"faithfully served as contract surgeon in the service of the United States, and has devoted herself with much patriotic zeal to the sick and wounded soldiers, both in the field and hospitals, to the detriment of her own health, and has also endured hardships as a prisoner of war four months in a Southern prison while acting as contract surgeon"
What. A. Woman.Her medal was rescinded in 1917 as part of the new Pension Act for Medal of Honor recipients. The United States demanded that she return her medal. She did not. Mary Edwards Walker wore her medal till the day she died. In 1977, the award was posthumously reinstated by President Carter. As one of only six people to have their awards reinstated, she is still the only women to have received the Medal of Honor and in a non-combat role as well.We could all learn a thing or two about how to live from Mary Edwards Walker.
Read the Full Citation Here