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Baumer joined in 1998 to ski on the Vermont Guard's biathlon team and pay for college. This month's observance, she says, shows "that the Army is getting better and better at its commitment to diversity and inclusion."
Bazile joined the Guard in 2017 and just graduated from college. Women's History Month, she says, "means so much because it shows that women all over the nation come together and show that we are powerful, strong, independent and reliable to our nation."
Beaman, who joined in 2014 at the age of 35, says "Women's History Month is an incredible way of highlighting those historically significant milestones: Women being able to serve in the military, women being able to vote, and (very significant to me with the branch I am going into) women allowed into combat arms."
Brown has served eight years and says Women's History Month "is a moment to reflect and appreciate how far women have come from cleaning and cooking at home to actually being allowed to be a part of something bigger."
Buchholz has served almost 32 years and is responsible for all transportation operations at the 119th Wing. She calls Women's History Month "an amazing opportunity to highlight women in the military. Things have come a long way since I first enlisted. There were not very many women in the unit and far fewer in supervisory and/or high ranking positions."
Colon has served since 2016. She says Women's History Month demonstrates "that women can really do anything we set our minds to with the right support!"
Colton, who has deployed five times during her 26-year military career, praised "the courage and sacrifice of many women before me" who changed the course of history. "I am grateful to be able to achieve the highest enlisted rank and set the example for those who follow me."
Crowther, a combat medic, has served six years. "This observance is amazing to me to see where women started in the military to see where we are now is truly amazing. I am so grateful for the women that came before me."
Damon served 17 years in the Marine Corps Reserves before joining the Guard. "When women's unique needs, contributions and responsibilities go unrecognized, unheard or are marginalized, over half of the world gets ignored."
De Jesús has served in the military for 19 years and says of this observance: "You take pride of what you do for your Soldiers, your family, and your community. It is a rewarding feeling."
Dishon, a 16-year veteran, says this observance allows her to look back and see how far women have come. "Whether it be Pvt. Cathay Williams, who served under a male pseudonym, William Cathay, in 1866, or Esther McGowin Blake, who was the first woman to serve in the U.S. Air Force. Women have made great accomplishments over the last 150 years with the United States military and it is exciting to think about how much further we can go."
Donnell's parents, brother and sister all have served in the military. This observance "recognizes the incredible diversity and strength of our Air National Guard. Although I have rarely been the 'first' to achieve a specific crew qualification or leadership position, I recognize that many women (and men) have paved the way for my success."
Dortch and her sister followed her grandfather and father into the military. This observance "means a lot to me to see how far women have come in the military. I am thankful I get the opportunity to serve and for the women that paved the way for the rest of us."
Dubik loves talking with high school students interested in joining the Guard. "I think it's great to see the diversity and experiences of women serving in the military. While the percentage of women serving is rapidly growing from when I first enlisted in 2009, it's still primarily a male dominated career path. We've come a long way and there's nowhere to go but up!"
Etheredge, a Guard member for almost seven years, says this observance "is a time to recognize women that take pride in doing the same job of a man, or a job that was once only occupied by only men. It's also a time to recognize the outstanding achievements that women do as well as the other roles we naturally take on in life."
Ewell, a paramedic in civilian life, sees women's history as "one of sacrifice and honor. Thinking about the women who came before us in service might feel like a history lesson, but to me, their lives and dedication to being women in the military carry large significance."
Fernández, a culinary specialist, has served 14 years. She says being a woman in the military is a lot easier than in the past. "Being part of history in which women are recognized for their hard work in an environment built mainly for men is a great accomplishment."
Goodwin joined the military in 2002 and the Guard in 2010. "While we operate as one unit, I am thankful for the women before me who paved the way to make 'oneness' possible."
Guerrero, who piloted the final military flight for the Women Aviation Service Pilots (WASPS) over Sweetwater, Texas, says: "The military women I know are some of the most exemplary and inspiring women I have ever met. ... Military women deserve to be celebrated."
Haag, an Apache helicopter pilot, says "When I joined in 1996, I was denied entry into a military occupational specialty (MOS) that I wanted because I was a female. This chapped my hide. Twenty-five years later, my daughter can now join any MOS she desires if she earns it."
Hernandez is a water treatment specialist who joined the Guard in 2014. Women's History Month, she says, "is a good opportunity to highlight who we really are and what we do in the military as empowered women."
Hoff, a nine-year veteran of the Guard, says this month "means recognizing, respecting, and honoring women who have made a positive impact. I think it is important to understand the strides we've made and remember we haven't always been able to do what we do today."
Kari is the first woman in her family to join the military. "I hope that I can serve as a role model to future women both in and outside of my family that it is possible to achieve anything you dream of, and that your gender doesn't limit what you can achieve."
Lee-Lam joined in 2014 and her daughter is active-duty Air Force. "I am extremely honored to be a part of this observance. This will empower me even more to keep driving forward."
Lomonaco, who has served since 2011, says "there's a lot more work to be done and a lot more trails to explore, but we are here and we are setting up goals and crushing it. With much gratitude to all the women who paved the way for us and all the men who supported us."
Luna, the first woman in her family to serve, joined eight years ago. She says this observance "means being the voice for other women. Many doors have been opened for us but there are still many barriers to break. We as women can do anything we put our mind to. Being scared or nervous only means that you care, so always push yourself to do more."
MacGregor followed her father into the National Guard 10 years ago. "I believe that when women are supported and support one another, we can do anything."
Martin, a 16-year veteran, says this observance underscores "how extraordinarily far women have gone, and continue to go, in the military. It wasn't that long ago where it was simply unheard of for a woman to join the armed forces, to wear the same uniform as men and fight alongside them."
Mays, who joined the military in 1983, says this observance "is a reminder that inclusiveness is the superpower that will build trust and understanding. ... There is no limit to what we can do and be if we apply this to any one/group who is missing from the table of today's challenges."
McClure says she has seen substantial progress for women at the wing since she joined in 2007. "While there is still work to do in creating true equity among our Airmen, we've certainly come a long way. I'm excited to see what the future holds for the women just starting out, or those looking to join."
McGee was a young girl when she decided she wanted to be in the military after seeing a photo of her uncle who died in the Vietnam War. This month, she says, "is a wonderful time to teach younger generations, especially young girls, the struggles women as a whole have gone through to get to where we are today."
Olmos, a cannon crewmember who joined in 2017, says this observance "means a time to highlight a few of the very many strong and successful women that are out there now. It's also a time to remember those women who were trailblazers and made a huge difference in the world."
Ong is a combat medic who joined the military in 2004. "This month of observance provides a moment of reflection and appreciation for all the opportunities for jobs and missions that women were not able to perform in the past."
Passamoni joined in 2002 after someone told her she'd never make it past basic training. She says Women's History Month shows "that women's voices matter. They bring so much to the team and can offer a diversity of thought that is often lacking."
Quinton is a cannon crewmember who joined in 2019. "What this month means to me is everything – because I finally saw in my life that there are men who don't think we can do it, and a lot of guys still think, 'Why are females here,” or, “You can't do this.” No, I can do the same as you, maybe even better, you just have to let me do it."
Raftery, who joined the Guard in 1995, says this observance "signifies to me that we have had an active part in the country's history, by helping to shape the nation during times of conflict and crisis. ... Women today are only limited by the amount of effort they are willing to commit to in order to achieve their goals."
Randolph has served almost 28 years "in an organization where most of my leaders are females in what is viewed as a predominately male institution. Women are being recognized for their ability to lead in the military."
Rebholz-Hatten has served more than 22 years. She says this observance "should be something that is 'honored' or valued EVERY day of the year. Women play a critical role in every aspect of the military, from fixing the aircraft, to flying the aircraft, to leading and performing logistics, financial, force support, security, and medical duties, to name a few."
Roberts, a 23-year veteran of the Air Force and Army, met her husband while both served at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. "I'm proud to be counted among the sorority of women who have served and contributed to our country's national defense."
Rojas, a dentist who is setting up COVID-19 vaccination centers in Puerto Rico, says this observance "highlights the importance of women in history and their continuous struggle to overcome discrimination and inequality throughout the years."
Sanders joined the Guard in 2015. "This observance means that there are significant events in history that can be attributed to women which are being recognized no matter how long ago it happened."
Skelton, who has served more than 18 years, says Women's History Month is very meaningful. "I love that women in service are recognized and honored by our military leaders."
Sly followed her mother into the National Guard in 1997 and her two sisters also joined the Guard. "I think it's great to highlight the females that are serving in the military and bringing awareness to other females having a desire to join!"
Sowell has served almost 22 years and says Women's History Month "reminds not only women but all the importance of and many monumental contributions women have made to shape the present we have today and the future to come."
Stenquist, a 13-year veteran, followed her father and grandfather into the military and has two children in the Marine Corps. "Observing my heritage helps me recognize my personal accomplishments and the accomplishments of my family and culture."
During her 15 years of service, Thatcher has seen the end of Don't Ask, Don't Tell and the combat exclusion of women, even oscillations in AR 670-1. "Women's History Month is an opportunity to think about what changes and what stays the same and why – and who will take up the mantle of progress."
Travis joined in 2014 and loves being an inspiration for younger girls. This observance is "just a great way to let people know that everybody serves in the military, that women are welcome and encouraged to join."
Tual, a security forces craftsman who joined in 2001, says this month provides the chance to reflect on women's contributions and "allows us to share their stories, show young girls how they impacted where woman stand now and inspire them to build their path for the future."
Ulloa-Smotherman, an Air National Guard recruiter with almost seven years of service, says this observance is "a chance for us to admire and celebrate all of the women who came before us and what they accomplished and sacrificed. It's a time to remind ourselves we need to continue to contribute and empower all women for future generations to come."
Voelker calls Women's History Month "so important because women were not allowed to create history for a long, long time. I think it is our turn to loudly and proudly lead the way in the future by lifting one another up; walking side by side with men, not behind them."
Washington, who joined in 2013, considers this observance a way "to honor and shine a light on the servicemembers past and present making a difference.'
Wood, the first woman in her family to serve, says "this observance means being a part of something bigger than myself. Although I am still young I feel that there are so many opportunities in the military that I am determined to get."