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Remembering the First Female US Veteran

Women play an important role in the US Military
Women play an important role in the US Military
Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images

With thoughts of Veterans on our minds and the 4th of July approaching, as a nation we salute all those who served their country past and present. There’s one veteran you may not have heard of. Her name was Molly Rinker, aka, Mom Rinker. She was a patriot who helped American revolutionaries during the war for independence.

Legend has it that during the Revolutionary War’s Battle of Germantown, Molly would clandestinely scout out British troop positions and then send the information down the giant rocks and hills in balls of yarn to American troops. In fact, in Philadelphia’s Fairmount Park there’s a ridge on the east side of the park named Mom Rinker’s Rock in her honor.

This area of Fairmount Park along the Wissahickon Creek is what Edgar Allan Poe once referred to as a “remarkable loveliness” yet many events of the Revolutionary War occurred here. Poe also once spotted an elk on Molly Rinker’s rock and he made reference to it in his poem Morning on the Wissahickon.

Information regarding the real Molly “Mom” Rinker is difficult to find. It is known that she also owned a pub in Philadelphia and was lauded by Washington and Adams.

One historical record quoted the American general John Armstrong as saying, “Molly Rinker scaled these impossible cliffs like a ghost in the mist and found out the hideabouts of those red-coated scoundrels. I remain convinced that without this brave woman surely we of 300 men strong were doomed that day”.

Today women proudly serve and lead in all branches of the US Military. But trailblazer Molly Rinker was instrumental in helping the greatest nation on earth get its start.

Let's not turn our backs on all of the veterans who's tremendous and unselfish sacrifices gave us freedom.