Women and men: different, but equal

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RAMSTEIN AIR BASE, Germany — Recently, while reading daily news and scrolling through social media news feeds, I could not avoid the headlines, posts and comments about the very recent developments concerning women’s issues. Major events are being recorded, both positive and negative, which may be read in news articles and school textbooks for years to come.

In light of the difficulties, men and women around the world are continuing to raise awareness for the fight to respect women as equals. From commemoration events to peaceful demonstrations, people are thinking of creative ways to help empower a demographic, which has been marginalized for thousands of years.

However, there is a specific group of women I would like to focus upon.

I am talking about more than 200,000 women who serve in the military. Women who wear the same uniform, swear the same oath, fight for the same country and march in the same boots as men.

Very early in my Air Force career I read a biography of Staff Sgt. Esther Blake, the first woman in the Air Force.

According to Air Force history, Blake enlisted “in the first minute of the first hour of the first day” when the Air Force opened regular duty to women in 1948. Before joining the newly independent Air Force, she served in the Women’s Army Corps to support the U.S. troops during World War II.

She was quoted as saying she joined the WAC to “free a Soldier from clerical work to fight, thus speeding the end of the war.”

While her reason might raise some eyebrows in the 21st century, her desire to serve her country and help win the war is undeniable.

Today, women who wish to enlist in the Air Force are no longer limited to clerical work. Women can serve as pilots, security forces, civil engineers,