Today’s #VeteranOfTheDay is Air Force Veteran Janet Sue Williamson-Kovatch. Janet served from 1972 to 1992.
In the 1970s, Janet was finishing up her schooling at Ohio State University when one of her professors mentioned to her that she should think about enlisting in the Air Force. When Janet went home for break, she noticed a post card advertising for joining the Air Force. She then sent the post card back and heard back from a recruiter. She passed the written and physical exams, and received a letter telling her she was selected for officer training. After her training she was assigned to 62nd Mission Support Squadron and sent to Fairchild Air Force base in Spokane, Wash., where she observed other instructors teaching classes and took a survival course. She was then sent overseas to Sembach Air Force Base in Germany. She was one of few women in the military at that time, so when she arrived they did not really know what to do with her. Eventually they found her a headquarters command job where she dealt with any disciplinary issues that came up. She then came back to the United States after a few years and moved around to various Air Force bases, where she taught classes and helped train recruiters.
In 1991, Janet was at McCord Air Force Base when a volcano erupted in the Philippines. Because of this, all American military personnel had to be evacuated and sent back to the United States. 13,000 people were sent to Janet’s base where she and her squadron were responsible for making sure they received warm clothes and were provided with all other essentials. For her work doing this she received a certificate from the secretary of the Air Force. Janet met her husband, Tommy Kovatch, while on a trip to Japan. Tommy was an Air Force pilot and they had a son while they were both still in the service. Janet retired in 1992, after 20 years of service. More of her story can be found at http://memory.loc.gov/diglib/vhp/story/loc.natlib.afc2001001.38465/.
Thank you for your service, Janet!
Nominate a Veteran for #VeteranOfTheDay
Do you want to light up the face of a special Veteran? Have you been wondering how to tell your Veteran they are special to you? You’re in luck! VA’s #VeteranOfTheDay social media feature is an opportunity to highlight your Veteran and his/her service.
It’s easy to nominate a Veteran. All it takes is an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with as much information as you can put together, along with some good photos. Visit our blog post about nominating to learn how to create the best submission.
Veterans History Project
This #VeteranOfTheDay profile was created with interviews submitted to the Veterans History Project. The project collects, preserves, and makes accessible the personal accounts of American war Veterans so that future generations may hear directly from Veterans and better understand the realities of war. Find out more at http://www.loc.gov/vets/.
Graphic By Lilian Vo: Lilian Vo is an undergraduate senior at George Mason University studying Global Affairs and Intelligence Analysis.