Introductory by Mrs. Joseph. K. Taussig, Jr.
Special Award of Merit by The Military Wives Association to Erma Hubbard
by Mrs. Watkins, wife of the Deputy Chief of Naval Operations Date:
about 1964 or 1965
National Military Wives Association is honoring Erma Hubbard. Her
tremendous contribution to the welfare of the service family has, after
22 years, gained recognition and appreciation. It is our privilege to be
able to honor her and to make known for the benefit of all the services
what one woman has achieved to better the lot of the service family and
thus better the quality of the services themselves.
1942 Harry Hubbard, the skipper of the destroyer “Meredith” was killed
in action. His widow who was left with a 15 year-old daughter received
$50 a month as a pension. The widow of the Reserve Officer who was
killed in action at the same time received over $400 a month. Erma was
forced to grow her own vegetables and chop wood from pruned branches
from Fort Meade for survival. But she was determined not to take away
from the Reserve Officer’s widow but to equalize the status of the widow
of a regular officer. To this end she wrote over 10,000 letters,
testified many times before congress, walked the halls at congress,
formed an organization called the Military Survivors Inc—and finally in
1958 some 16 years later succeeded in having a bill passed that brought
the D.I.C. (Dependent’s Indemnity Compensation Act) into being. Which so
many of you receive today. Our only regret is that it must be applied
for and only 30% of widows who are eligible have applied for it. When
the bill passed over 90,000 widows received compensation for the first
time and today more than 250,000 widows receive compensation because of
the work that Erma did almost single handedly.
honored guest is Theresa Newman who was for years the Treasurer for
Military Survivors and my own husband Joe Taussig who used to alternate
with Admiral Jalbert as chairman of Mrs. Hubbard’s board. Jean Goldberg
is also an honored guest today for the loving support she gave her
mother then and continuing through the years.
I would like
you to know my dear friend Erma Hubbard and to thank her for myself for
her tremendous contribution to the services and to her country.