Buckley Celebrates Women's History Month
By Janet Watkins, 460th Space Wing Public Affairs
/ Published March 23, 2011
BUCKLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Colo- -- On March 19, Buckley gathered to celebrate Women's History Month at a luncheon held at the Leadership Development Center - at least all the cool people were there. There were others who chose to pursue their security forces duties or their mission to track missile launches or wait on customers at the ID card section of the Force Support Squadron. Here's what they missed...
It may surprise you to know that women have played a part in history right from the beginning. Women are not considered a minority, because they make up almost half of the world's population. Here's an interesting fact: Every human has a mother, and chances are that she was a female of the woman-persuasion. Now that we've established that women have played a part in history, we can understand why an entire base decided to focus on some of the more interesting females that have actually been documented in historical roles.
1st Lt. Kala Westfall, a clinical nurse with the 460th Medical Group, took on the responsibility of showcasing women of history for Women's History Month activities. Earlier this month, volunteers had read to the children at the two Child Development Centers, exposing our future leaders to the leaders of yesterday. Today, Lieutenant Westfall's task was to remind those who currently serve, and those who support those who serve, of the significant roles women have historically played.
The luncheon was ingeniously planned and carried out. On each table was a framed portrait of women like Harriet Tubman, Margaret Bourke-White, and Rosa Parks. On the huge rolling video screens at the front of the room were pictures taken of famous, history-making women, alternating with interesting quotes from the very same. After introducing the host for the event, 460th Space Wing commander, Col Clint Crosier, Lieutenant Westfall invited participants to partake in lunch. The luncheon menu was thoughtfully planned with vegetarian options along with the chicken or beef, and the food was delicious.
Then in walked Eleanor Roosevelt, wife of President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Actually, Susan Marie Frontczak, self-proclaimed "Storysmith," whose motto is, "Give me a place to stand, and I will take you somewhere else," walked in. But, she walked in as Eleanor Roosevelt, dressed and sounding just like Eleanor Roosevelt, and never leaving character, so for our purposes she shall be referred to as Eleanor Roosevelt.
The slice of time from Mrs. Roosevelt's life reflected a speech she was giving to a gathering of women. It was December 1942; a year from the infamous bombing of Pearl Harbor, and America was fully engulfed in World War II. Mrs. Roosevelt had just returned from a visit to England, where she had, at the request of the President and her four sons who were serving in the war effort, spent time with the common soldier, the normal Joe. She had noticed that they all had red noses and sores on their feet. They had been issued cotton socks for service in England's cold December weather. Mrs. Roosevelt related that she had asked General Eisenhower if the soldiers could be issued wool socks. Lo' and behold, a million pairs of wool socks were found stored in a warehouse and issued to the men.
Mrs. Roosevelt related how she had received a letter from an Englishwoman, who was thanking the women of America for vegetable seeds that had been sent. She further told that she had gotten to witness, first-hand, the harvest from those seeds, and she thanked the women present and the women of American for their service and hard work and generosity.
Mrs. Roosevelt shared her pride of American women who had answered their nation's call and went to work in factories manufacturing planes and jeeps and ships...but then related how America's soldiers were bombarded with Japanese radio messages telling them they would have no jobs when they returned home. Presciently, Mrs. Roosevelt predicted that some women may want to go back to their housekeeping duties, and some women may decide that they like working, but that all people that wanted to work would be able to have a job.
As we were able to view Ms. Frontczak relay Eleanor Roosevelt's calm, practical, generous and kind being, we understood how this very strong woman played an indispensible role as partner to her husband, the war-time President Roosevelt. And, we were reminded of how very strong the generations that fought and survived World War II, and the Depression that preceded it, were.
Women's History Month is observed for the entire month of March. Take a moment and reflect on the fact that you actually know some women. Today's women are tomorrow's history. Congress made it official in 1987.