LAWTON, Okla. (TNN) - For the first time ever the Lawton VFW Post 5263 has women on its board... Three of them!
Barbie Warren Taylor, Erica Wilson-Traxler, and Sheri Kellner have been members of VFW Post 5263 for less than 10 years combined, however, they have already made history for the post. They are the first women to be on their organizations’ board.
“I’m a student at Cameron and when I tell people I’m a member of the VFW, now I get to say, ‘I’m the Jr Vice of the VFW,’ and they’re like, ‘really?’ And even the men, the men they’re like, ‘really?’ And I’m like, 'oh yeah. We have three females,” said Barbie Warren Taylor, the first female Jr Vice of VFW Post 5263.
The three women were inducted into their new positions on June 22nd and will serve their term for a year, however, they can still be re-elected and appointed for many years to come.
They said the Lawton VFW has come a long way.
“There are gentlemen and ladies in the auxiliary," said Erica Wilson-Traxler, the first female Commander of VFW Post 5263. "It used to be men in the VFW, and then women were able to be in the VFW, and now here we are, 73 years later, and we have three women on our board and it’s fantastic. It’s the 21st century and we need to be moving forward, and this post definitely supports moving forward.”
The VFW leaders said they hope this will inspire more women to join.
“People are very interested to hear about a female commander, even in the state of Oklahoma. So, it’s good. It’s nice to show them that women can do this, too, and we can do this with a whole bunch of people that have our backs," said Wilson-Traxler. "Hopefully this will encourage more women to join and run for positions and do great things in the organization.”
“If you’re interested, come down to the VFW Post 5263 and come and see us and come and join and like we were saying, women and men are both now welcome in the VFW and hopefully there’s more word to get out there so they can come," said Sheri Kellner, the first female Chaplain of VFW Post 5263. "They’re always welcome here.”
Wilson-Traxler said with their new positions, the women hope to expand their membership to younger generations, to help VFW Post 5263 live on for many years to come.