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Importance of women in the military

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Jamie Priest
  • 90th Medical Operations Squadron
When I think about the importance of women in the military, many thoughts come to mind but I keep reverting back to being thankful for my freedom. Women have played a key role in the military dating all the way back to the Civil War when Dr. Mary Walker was a contract surgeon and became the first and only woman to receive the Medal of Honor.

Someone who means a lot to me is Sgt. Esther Blake, the first woman to enlist in the Air Force as soon as it was authorized July 8, 1948. She led the way for me to chase my dreams. Fifty-three years later, I enlisted in the Air Force.

I look at all the things women in the military have accomplished and I am proud to be serving today. I have had many wonderful influences throughout my enlistment and have seen many women make an impact on the U.S. military's mission.

I have been blessed with a wonderful military family. My father, 1st Sgt. Jeffery Priest, retired from the United States Army and has served with many women throughout his career while having the opportunity to help our wounded warriors and their families.

My brother, Tech. Sgt. Justin Priest, is currently serving our nation as a part of 377th Weapon Systems Security Squadron at Kirtland Air Force Base, N.M. He has played a vital role in molding me into the Airman I am today.

My sister, Capt. Jordan Gammons, is currently serving as a nurse in the United States Army and has had many opportunities to excel because she is a part of the military. She was able to participate in a mission led by The Joint Prisoner of War/Missing in Action Accounting Command, where she was coined by Maj. Gen. Stephen Tom, commander of JPAC, when she helped save the life of a Cambodian baby.

Not all women in the military find themselves saving children in Cambodia, or fill the role that Molly Pitcher served during the American Revolution. We now have the opportunity to serve on the front lines of combat with our fellow brothers in arms. This is a great opportunity, and women in the military have to show they are capable of protecting our country.

I am very passionate about being able to serve my country and am very proud to be standing next to the men and women here in the 90th Missile Wing in support of nuclear deterrence. If you have not heard of the women I mentioned above please make sure to research them, they have certainly helped change the roles of women in the military. No role is too little; everyone serves a purpose, and we all have a common goal of freedom in mind.