November 11 is Veterans Day. In honor of the significance of this date, we wanted to share some veterans’ and active duty service members’ stories with you.
Air Force Veteran Erica Hidalgo — bringing awareness to diversity within the military
“Hi my name is Erica Hidalgo, Master Sargeant Retired, USAF and I’m a veteran.
“I originally thought of this idea of having this video on diversity. This stems back about a year. I was integral to San Angelo’s Veterans Day parade and during the parade I was celebrating with a friend wearing my retired hat. While gentlemen around me were having their hands shaken and were being congratulated and thanked for being a veteran, I noticed that I was not.
“I think that it was because I was a female and there was a level of cognitive dissonance that people were experiencing because it just did not seem that I could possibly be a veteran due to the fact that I was a female. And so it was a little saddening for me and I realized that if this was happening to me, if people could not see past my exterior to understand that in fact I was a veteran that it must be happening to other people as well.
“If there were one thing that I hope people would take away from this video is that really anybody can do anything. There’s not one archetype of anything. Boundaries have been broken and they continue to be broken, people are moving forward, pushing forward so fast and so beautifully that I hope people’s minds are open to the fact that anyone can do anything.”
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