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McChord celebrates women

MCCHORD AIR FORCE BASE, Wash. -- March is Women's History Month, and McChord is celebrating through a number of on-base activities. 

Some of the festivities planned include free movies at the base theatre and a luncheon featuring former astronaut Dr. Bonnie Dunbar. 

One of the organizers of the month's events, 2nd Lt. Sarah Lindsay, 62nd Medical Support Squadron, said she is particularly looking forward to the luncheon at 11:30 a.m. March 23 featuring Dr. Dunbar, who has spent more than 50 days in outer space. 

She said she hopes other Airmen share her enthusiasm about the event. 

"Being in the military, we are in a unique environment," she said. "It's important to remember the Women's Airforce Service Pilots and the fighter pilots [among others]. They've made a big impact on the military and society." 

Lieutenant Lindsay said the fact that we celebrate Women's History Month shows that the country's attitude as a whole towards women is changing. 

The fact that attitudes are changing is a very good thing, said Master Sgt. Patti Cummings, 62nd MDSS, reflecting on her life. 

"I have experienced [gender] discrimination in my life, and I'm not that old," she said. 

"Thankfully there have been women who have stepped up to the challenge and proved that gender is not, and should not be, a major factor." 

The selflessness of these women is just one reason why it's important to celebrate Women's History Month, said Sergeant Cummings. The month serves as a reminder not only of the rights that women have earned, but also celebrates the tremendous asset they have become at home, in politics and even overseas with our military force, she said. 

"We must take a look at where we were to know how far we've come. We need to thank every woman who has paved the roads before us, but more importantly, now, we need to pave the road today for our daughters tomorrow." 

For more information about women's history, visit the National Women's History Project Web site at http:// www.nwhp.org.

A timeline of women's history
-- 1848 --The first women's rights convention is held in Seneca Falls, N.Y.
-- 1920 -- The 19th Amendment to the Constitution, granting women the right to vote is signed into law.
-- 1948 -- Due to the Armed Forces Integration Act, women were authorized to comprise 2 percent of the military work force.
--1976 -- Service academies were opened to women.
-- 1996 -- The Supreme Court ruled that the all-male Virginia Military School had to admit women in order to continue to receive public funding.