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COLUMN: Honoring women's contribution and dedication to the Air Force

By: Rachell Stovall
September 6, 2017 Updated: September 6, 2017 at 11:55 am
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Last month, the office of the Governor of Colorado declared a "Women in the Air Force Day." The City Council of Colorado Springs also released a written proclamation to be publicly shared at a special event in COS commemorating women in the armed services .

So why are governing authorities in our state telling us to recognize the significant and commendable accomplishments of Women in the Air Force?

For those who do not know their history are doomed to repeat it.

In 2017, we all take the presence of women in the military branches for granted. We have forgotten that women have not always been allowed to serve in the military. Up until 1948 women could serve during war time, but were not allowed to be full time members of the military. When the battles were over, women who had risked their lives were summarily dismissed from military service, whether they wished to leave or not. This just wasn't fair.

The "Women in the Air Force Day" is designed to honor - The Women In the Air Force Association. This national association was founded in 1948 as a part of the Armed Services Integration Act. The new act allowed women to serve as permanent, regular members of our newly formed United State Air Force and other branches of military. The WAF Association was a trailblazing new initiative providing networking opportunities and career advancement strategies during the beginning years of the Air Force.

We define, feminism as the advocacy of women's rights based upon the equality of the sexes. I believe that The WAFS showed us the correct way to advocate for women's rights. The advocacy of women in the Air Force was done through networking, career advancement strategizing and honoring existing military support systems.

These ways of advocating feminism work.

Some of what I see today passing for feminism is downright embarrassing. Ladies do we really need to demonstrate wearing pussy hats, walking around topless or carrying vulgar signs in the street? I'm really not sure that "acting a fool" proves our equality to men. Especially the topless part. And I don't know about you, but I need a bra.

The Women in the Air Force Association gather themselves and the community in a spirit of goodwill. All have their clothes on. They tell their stories to multiple generations of our community spotlighting all aspects of the history of women in the Air Force. WAFs also advocated for respect of our government . This is key for young people to see today. The Women in the Air Force Association show how far equality advocacy can go when delivered with respect and belief in the goodness of our country.

Thank you for your sacrifices Women in the Air Force. Thank you for your leadership. And thank you for your service.

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Rachel Stovall is a longtime community advocate and organizer. Also a fundraising, media and marketing consultant, Rachel is most known for singing with her dance band Phat Daddy and the Phat Horn Doctors.

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