Women’s History Month at Keesler: Breaking Barriers
By 2nd Lt. Anh T. Bui, 81st Training Wing Public Affairs
/ Published March 20, 2019
KEESLER AIR FORCE BASE, Miss. --
Every March at Keesler Air Force Base, women are recognized for their contributions and impact to the military and society as part of Women’s History Month. The theme for this year’s Women’s History Month is “Visionary Women: Champions of Peace and Nonviolence.”
According to the Air Force’s Personnel Center, women make up 20.3 percent of the active duty Air Force. Even though women account for a small fraction of the Air Force, their impact on the mission is massive.
“Sometimes people can assume that you can’t handle something because you happen to be a woman and I’m definitely one of those people that say we can do anything,” said Tech. Sgt. Ashley Nelson, 81st Communications Squadron Client Systems NCO in charge. “Anybody can do anything. If you put in the work and you do your piece, if it’s meant for you, it’s going to happen.”
Nelson is a member of the committee who helped organized the month’s events. This year’s events included a health expo, fitness relay and Zumba, a luncheon, and a questions and answers panel.
During the luncheon, the stories of the women, past and present, whom broke barriers in the Air Force were recognized and honored. Throughout the room vintage uniforms were on display representing the women in history who wore them.
Even though Women’s History Month is only a month long, the impact the women of Keesler have on the mission lasts a lifetime.
“We are wives, daughters, mothers, sisters, friends and commandants,” said Master Sgt. Sharita Crishon, 81st Medical Support Squadron first sergeant and luncheon guest speaker. “Everywhere you look, we are breaking new ground, overcoming gender barriers and taking on roles integral to our nation’s defense. We are warriors in every sense of the word. Our physical and mental capabilities clearly demonstrate we are capable of competing with our brothers in arms when trained and challenged by good leaders with high standards and expectations for our performance.”