Screen Shot 2024-03-30 at 5.54.13 PM

RI Veterans: Special edition honoring Women’s History Month – John A. Cianci

On this last day of Women History month, RINEWSTODAY would like to recognize a few more women for their accomplishments. Did you know the Medal of Honor is the highest and most prestigious military decoration?

Awarded by the President, in the name of Congress, the Medal of Honor commemorates those who have shaped our nation’s history and continue to inspire its future with their acts of valor, humanity, patriotism, and sacrifice. 

Did you know out of 41 million who have served since the Civil War, only 3,517 service members who are Medal Of Honor Recipients, and only 1 female, Dr. Mary Walker, EVER received the award for service above and beyond the call of duty?

Did you know Walker’s MOH was rescinded in 1917 because she was not eligible for the award as a civilian?

Did you know Walker returned to the Medal Of Honor Roll in 1977?

More on Walker’s life from the the National Medal of Honor Museum,  

Accredited to: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Awarded posthumously: No

Presentation date & details: Nov. 11, 1865

Medal issued in 1865. Walker’s Medal of Honor was rescinded following the 1916-17 review of Army Medal of Honor Awards as she was a civilian at the time of her valor. She had her honor restored to the Medal of Honor roll in 1977.

BORN: November 26, 1832, Oswego County, NY

DIED: February 21, 1919, Oswego County, NY

BURIED: The Rural Cemetery (MH), Oswego, NY

LOCATION OF MEDAL: Pentagon Women’s Corridor, Arlington, VA; RICHARDSON-BATES HOUSE MUSEUM (original medal), Oswego, NY

A few more Rhode Island Women Warrior’s To Recognize

Mary Goff in her own words:

“A recruiter came to our school of nursing our second year to tell us about joining the Army Nurse Corp.  We would receive a hundred dollars out senior year and as payback serve two years after we graduated.

 Four of us joined and after graduation and six weeks of basic training at Fort Sam, Houston.

In February 1968 (nothing during those six weeks prepared us for our future as nurses in the Corp). After a short stateside assignment I was relocated to Japan for a twenty month tour at the 249th General Hospital caring for our nations servicemen wounded in Japan.

Mary was one of the Vietnam Veterans guest of the New England Patriots Foundation on March 28, 2024. The Italian American War Veterans of US recruited her for the event to ensure she received the honor and recognition she deserved while serving and caring for thousands of Vietnam Veterans in her duties as a nurse. Welcome home, Mary, so honored RINEWSTODAY was able to share the experience with you at the pinning ceremony at Gillette Staduim. 

Picture retrieved from New England Patriot Foundation website of Mary receiving her pin at the event:

Courtesy: Patriots

My next assignment was in administrative working positions at Womack Army Hospital at Ft Bragg, where I received an Army Commendation  Medal. Kagnew Station in Asmara Ethiopia, and NATO headquarters in Belgium. I relocated in 1975 with my husband where I spent the remainder of a fifty year nursing career working in long term care/sub-acute rehab, and raising  a family.

My twenty months in Japan are the most treasured time of my nursing career, physically and emotionally exhausting but a time I’m very proud to have done. I was honored to participate in the all female Honor Flight from RI ( and the second in the nation). I participate in various veterans events and now accept invitations to speak about experts and a woman who served.


To read all columns in this series go to:  

John A. Cianci is a Veteran Service Officer. Retired, U.S. Army MSgt., Persian Gulf War and Iraq War combat theater.

Cianci, a combat disabled Veteran, served in Desert Shield/Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom. His awards include Bronze Star, Combat Action Badge, Good Conduct, and others.

Cianci belongs to numerous veterans organizations – Italian American War Veterans, American Legion, Veterans of Foreign War, and many more organizations. He is an active volunteer assisting veterans to navigate federal and state benefits they have earned. He is Department of Rhode Island Department Commander Italian American War Veterans and Veteran Service Officer.

He is a graduate of Roger Williams University (BS Finance), UCONN business school* (Entrepreneur Bootcamp for Veterans), Solar Energy International Residential, Commercial and Battery Based Photovoltaic Systems certificate programs, numerous certificates from the Department of Defense renewable energy programs, including graduate of the Solar Ready Vets Program.

Leave a Comment