This June, the NVMM recognizes the 75th anniversary of the Women’s Armed Services Integration Act that was signed by President Truman on June 12, 1948 and granted women the right to serve as regular, permanent members of the U.S. Armed Forces. Although the Act officially allowed women to serve as permanent members of the Armed Forces, women have served in the military since our nation’s founding. One word that comes to mind to describe all women who served both before and after the Act is courageous.

To further connect with this historic moment and the women who serve our country, we are reading two books that share the importance of courage both in and out of military service.

For adult readers, we recommend “Flying in the Face of Fear: A Fighter Pilot’s Lessons on Leading with Courage” by retired Air Force Colonel, Kim Campbell. Campbell served in the U.S. Air Force for more than 24 years as a fighter pilot and senior military leader. During her career, she flew more than 100 combat missions and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for Heroism after successfully recovering her battle-damaged airplane from an intense close air support mission.

“It can all be daunting and stressful, but what matters is what we do when we are scared. It’s about our actions in the face of fear. It’s about having the courage to respond even when we’re scared.” – Kim “KC” Campbell.

Campbell’s book provides the unique insight into the life of a female in the U.S. Armed Forces. Her experience in a male-dominated field is presented in the book to provide methods for all leaders to overcome difficulties in their work environments and lead with courage.

For younger readers, we recommend “Courage Hats” by Kate Hoefler. This book is a story about the fear that comes with the unknown, the courage that comes from within and how the bonds of friendship created through common experiences can help one’s courage reveal itself. Just like in Campbell’s book, Hoefler emphasizes the actions we can take in the face of our fears.  

Extend Your Learning:

Ask questions about this story.

  • What experiences have you had where you faced your fears?
  • Who do you look to in your life when you need courage?
  • Have you ever been in a situation where you felt like an outsider? How did you overcome that feeling and move forward?
  • What are some ways that you lead with courage?

Check out Kim’s Website to learn more about her experiences.

Watch Kim’s discussion with Ward Carroll from October 20, 2022 as she discusses her career path and her near-death experience over Baghdad.

Listen to Kim’s Keynote Speech about her book.

Learn more about stories of women serving in the U.S. military.

What you’ll need:

  • Brown paper bag
  • Scissors
  • Markers
  • Tape (if you’re adding ears)
  • An idea!

Who in your life shows courage? Is there a certain animal that you think shows courage? Is there a branch of the military that comes to mind when you think of courage (maybe a Veteran in your family)?

Once you’ve made your hat, share an image on Instagram and tag us @nationalvmm!

If you are one of our central Ohio neighbors, check out the book at your local branch of the Columbus Metropolitan Library or search to find the book in a library near you!

TUES-SUN 10 A.M. - 5 P.M.
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$1 Admission on Jan. 16 in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

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