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Ladies' Social features self-defense, women in history

April Dobson, 460th Operations Group, left, and Erika Campbell, U.S. Army spouse, right, listen to Jenell Brooks, Team Buckley spouse, as she explains the appropriate and safe way to test a stun gun during the Ladies’ Empowerment Social and Book Club event Feb. 27, 2013, at the Leadership Development Center, Buckley Air Force Base, Colo. Approximately 40 women attended the social, which was part one of a two-part series about self defense.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Kali L. Gradishar/Released)

April Dobson, 460th Operations Group, left, and Erika Campbell, U.S. Army spouse, right, listen to Jenell Brooks, Team Buckley spouse, as she explains the appropriate and safe way to test a stun gun during the Ladies’ Empowerment Social and Book Club event Feb. 27, 2013, at the Leadership Development Center, Buckley Air Force Base, Colo. Approximately 40 women attended the social, which was part one of a two-part series about self defense. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Kali L. Gradishar/Released)

April Dobson, 460th Operations Group,  tests a stun gun during the Ladies’ Empowerment Social and Book Club event Feb. 27, 2013, at the Leadership Development Center, Buckley Air Force Base, Colo. Approximately 40 women attended the social, which was part one of a two-part series about self defense.  Attendees were able to view and handle self-defense products such as stun guns, pepper spray and various travel security items. Many women held and operated a stun gun for the first time. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Kali L. Gradishar/Released)

April Dobson, 460th Operations Group, tests a stun gun during the Ladies’ Empowerment Social and Book Club event Feb. 27, 2013, at the Leadership Development Center, Buckley Air Force Base, Colo. Approximately 40 women attended the social, which was part one of a two-part series about self defense. Attendees were able to view and handle self-defense products such as stun guns, pepper spray and various travel security items. Many women held and operated a stun gun for the first time. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Kali L. Gradishar/Released)

Col. Tracey Hayes, 460th Space Wing vice commander, tests a stun gun during the Ladies’ Empowerment Social and Book Club event Feb. 27, 2013, at the Leadership Development Center, Buckley Air Force Base, Colo. Approximately 40 women attended the social, which was part one of a two-part series about self defense.  Attendees were able to view and handle self-defense products such as stun guns, pepper spray and various travel security items. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Kali L. Gradishar/Released)

Col. Tracey Hayes, 460th Space Wing vice commander, tests a stun gun during the Ladies’ Empowerment Social and Book Club event Feb. 27, 2013, at the Leadership Development Center, Buckley Air Force Base, Colo. Approximately 40 women attended the social, which was part one of a two-part series about self defense. Attendees were able to view and handle self-defense products such as stun guns, pepper spray and various travel security items. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Kali L. Gradishar/Released)

Col. DeAnna Burt, 460th Operations Group commander, discusses women in history during the Ladies’ Empowerment Social and Book Club event Feb. 27, 2013, at the Leadership Development Center, Buckley Air Force Base, Colo. Burt also highlighted women who made Air Force history. Approximately 40 women attended the event. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Kali L. Gradishar/Released)

Col. DeAnna Burt, 460th Operations Group commander, discusses women in history during the Ladies’ Empowerment Social and Book Club event Feb. 27, 2013, at the Leadership Development Center, Buckley Air Force Base, Colo. Burt also highlighted women who made Air Force history. Approximately 40 women attended the event. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Kali L. Gradishar/Released)

BUCKLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- Approximately 60 women gathered Feb. 27 in the Leadership Development Center for the second Ladies' Empowerment Social and Book Club event and part one of a two-part presentation about self defense.

Part one of the self-defense series kicked off with Jenell Brooks, a Team Buckley spouse, highlighting self-defense products.

Brooks presented non-lethal and "practical products to have that make your life safer," she said to the women in attendance. "What does safety mean to you and what does it look like?"

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one out of two American women and one out of five men have reported to be the victim of sexual violence.

Products such as stun guns and pepper spray are an "added layer of protection to protect yourself from what can happen," said Brooks, adding that carrying a non-lethal weapon can increase awareness and increase confidence.

Attendees were able to view and handle items such as flashlights with blinkers and sirens, stun guns, pepper spray, and various travel security items. Numerous women operated a stun gun in the air for the first time to get a sense of how it feels to use one.

During the book club discussion, Col. DeAnna Burt, 460th Operations Group commander, focused on four brave women in history from the book "Lives of Extraordinary Women: Rulers, Rebels (and What the Neighbors Thought)" by Kathleen Krull.

Women highlighted included the infamous Cleopatra and Joan of Arc, as well as the lesser known Nzingha, Queen of what is known today as Angola, and the former Chinese dynasty ruler Tzu-His.

Burt then revealed the accomplishments of women in military history such as Nancy Harkness Love, former Women's Auxiliary Ferrying Squadron commander; Sally Ride, the first female astronaut; Col. Jeannie Leavitt, the first female fighter pilot; and Gen. Janet Wolfenbarger, the first female four-star general.

The thing all of these women had in common is they were brave and fearless, and they placed an importance on continuously seeking knowledge, said Burt. Being successful is sometimes about "being different and not being afraid to be different."

The monthly socials are geared toward building camaraderie in the Team Buckley community and focused on increasing awareness for sexual assault prevention.

Part two in the self-defense series will showcase self-defense techniques instructed by a female 460th Security Forces Squadron member. Part two will occur in April at the Buckley Fitness Center. The date and time has yet to be determined but will be posted on the Buckley website and Facebook page. Space will be limited for this event, so it is important to sign up as soon as details are made available.
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