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Voices of the 131st: Airmen reflect on Black History Month

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Whitney Erhart
  • 131st Bomb Wing Public Affairs Office

ST. LOUIS, MO -- During Black History Month, Airmen of the 131st Bomb Wing at Jefferson Barracks Air National Guard Base share their perspectives on the significance of this observance and a little about themselves.

Service members from various roles and ranks came together to emphasize the importance of acknowledging and celebrating the contributions of African Americans throughout history.

“Black History Month is a celebration to honor our ancestors and their hidden contributions and is a time of reflection on the work still to be done,” said Senior Airman Kathleen R. Langley, a services journeyman with the 131st Force Support Squadron. “During this observance I often reflect on why I’m so proud to be Black.”

Langley said she comes from a military family and serves because she wanted a chance to make a positive impact just like others who serve.

Similarly, Staff Sgt. Devon Collins, a cyber transport specialist with the 239th Combat Communications Squadron, shared what the observance means to him.

“It means remembering how we got to where we are now and never forgetting the people who made that change,” said Collins.

Collins mentioned that he enjoys the culture the Air Force provides and the constantly growing environment, a sentiment shared by Master Sgt. Syretta Kirk, a medical logistics specialist with the 131st Medical Group.

“I decided to join to be a part of something bigger than me,” said Kirk. “At the time I had no idea what that meant, but now 23 years later, I can say it meant resilience, integrity, courage, strength and excellence.”

The observance of Black History Month is something she holds near to her heart.

“It’s a celebration of the achievement of African Americans who overcame and accomplished so much, despite the long history of racism and oppression,” she said. “This observance shines a light on culture and contributions.”

In sharing their reflections on this observance, these Airmen have highlighted the importance of Black History Month. Their perspectives underscore the celebration as a commemoration of the achievements, resilience and contributions of African Americans throughout history and serve as a reminder of the rich tapestry of diversity that strengthens our military community.