Pentagon Channel Offers Special Coverage During Women's History Month

By David Mays
Special to American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 27, 2007 - More than 100 years before the Marine Corps actively recruited women, Lucy Brewster secretly signed up, served on "Old Ironsides," and fought in some of the bloodiest battles of the War of 1812. That's just one of many fascinating but little-known facts about women in the military the Pentagon Channel will offer its audience during March's Women's History Month.

"Our mission is to let people know not only that the Pentagon Channel recognizes these observances, but to make a tie to the military community," said Air Force Master Sgt. Rusty Barfield. "We go to great lengths to capture the personalities and important facts surrounding the monthly observances."

The Pentagon Channel will offer 15-second video "factoids" showcasing military accomplishments of women during "Around the Services," the network's signature half-hour newscast, within programming spot breaks on the channel around the clock as well as via podcast and video on demand. Extensive reports focusing on specific women military veterans will air each Friday in March during "Around the Services."

Viewers will meet former Women's Air Force Service Pilots, known as WASPs, the first women aviators who flew military supply missions during World War II. They will also be introduced to Lois Bouton, a World War II Coast Guard reservist who at the age of 87 still writes letters of support to more than 300 Coast Guard units every day. Retired Air Force Col. Eileen Collins, the first woman to command a NASA shuttle mission, also will be featured during the month of special reports.

The Defense Department typically hosts special programs in conjunction with national months of observance, such as an upcoming ceremony at the Women in the Military Service for America Memorial, at Arlington National Cemetery. The Pentagon Channel will cover this and other events and feature them as part of their special series of reports throughout the month.

A final story in the Women's History Month series will feature troops who serve today. "The last Friday of the observances, we focus on everyday servicemembers and get their perspectives on what the observance means to them," Barfield said. "The Pentagon Channel is committed to showcasing the diversity of the U.S. military and exceptional servicemembers who distinguish themselves and excel no matter their race, gender or national heritage.

(David Mays works for the Pentagon Channel.)

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