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SAFB celebrates equal voting rights for women

Wichita Falls_Hundreds of airmen celebrated Women's Equality Day at a luncheon at Sheppard Air Force Base in Wichita Falls on Wednesday.  Guest speaker Colonel Marcia Walker, a graduate of Oklahoma State University, emphasized the importance of women voters, and said the best possible way for women to make their voices heard is to make it to the polls every election.

Airmen attending the luncheon said that they joined the military knowing they would be battling for their country's rights.  One battle that has already been won is the right of women to vote - and these female airmen don't take it for granted. 

Shepard Air Force Base First Lieutenant Courtney Killian said that if it weren't for the women who fought for equality 88 years ago, she may have been forced onto a different path.  "Being in the military I'm so thankful that I'm able to serve," she said.  "A lot of us have that calling, and feel led to do something bigger, and above and beyond ourselves."

Although women were granted the right to vote in 1920, Technical Sergeant Angela Bosma says the fight shouldn't end there.  "I think it's extremely important that young girls see their mothers, and their grandmothers, and their mentors out voting, to make sure we retain the rights that so many women before us fought so hard for," she said. 

Despite the fact that the 19th Amendment to the Constitution granted women the right to vote, some areas of progress have stalled ,while great strides have been made in others.  Guest Speaker Colonel Marcia Walker and her female friends have witnessed it first-hand.  "I have friends that are Lieutenant Generals and Major Generals," she said.  "Years ago, when we all came in the Air Force, we would never have guessed that would be possible."

Killian says that she hopes more and more women realize the power a ballot wields.  "It's so amazing that we can do anything," she said.  "When you grow up and people tell you shoot for the stars, dream big, do whatever you want to do -  we can do that here."

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