Women’s History Month begins

  • Published
  • By Kevin Gaddie
  • Team Eglin Public Affairs

EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- Women’s History Month kicked off here with an opening ceremony Feb. 29.  This year’s theme is “Women Who Advocate for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion.”

“Women’s History Month highlights the success of women from across the generations, from all fields and all backgrounds,” said Senior Airman Molly Arroyo, project officer.  “Women’s influence has been paramount to the growth of our society, culture and country.”

Lt. Col. Amanda Pelkowski, 1st Special Operations Force Support Squadron commander at Hurlburt Field, was the guest speaker. 

“Women’s History Month is all about telling women’s stories,” she said.  “They should be told and documented in short stories, songs and books.  We military women raised our hands to protect and serve our country.  We are a part of history.”

Pelkowski shared stories of women who influenced her throughout her career.  In one story, as a new second lieutenant on her first day reporting to her first duty station, she was tasked with accompanying a master sergeant to a local jail to retrieve an Airman.

“She briefed me to not make eye contact with the people who were behind bars and to not react to the catcalls,” Pelkowski recalled.  “I was absolutely terrified.  She then told me ‘you’re braver than you think.  Let’s go.’”

She encouraged the audience to make written records of their experiences.

“You never know where life will take you,” she said.  You never know what stories you will live to tell.  When you experience something valuable, you should write it down, if nothing else.  Talk about it, tell stories and tell other people’s stories.”

Ernestine Carswell, a 96th Security Forces Squadron military and family life counselor, ended the ceremony with closing remarks.

“The smallest to the largest contributions of women to our country and abroad, have made them some of the safest, strongest and most productive places we will ever want to be,” she said.  “Women’s History Month should energize all of us to keep going, because there is so much more to do.”

This month’s events at Eglin include Zumba, Yoga and women’s self-defense classes, and a networking event. For more information, call 883-9596.