As we approach Veteran’s Day on Thursday, November 11, 2021, I would first like to lead by saying, thank you for your service to all who have served! Veterans Day is an occasion to acknowledge with respect and appreciation those who have served in the United States Armed Forces. But for generations, African Americans returning home from service were more likely to face discrimination, disrespect, violence, and even death. The NAACP has been in the forefront of fighting for military justice. Our mission is to seek to establish a working relationship with those agencies in government (national, state, and local) responsible for the affairs of members of the various Armed Services and Veterans to ensure military benefits are administered fairly and justly to members of the military minority community.
This year, our Veteran community has made strides in recognizing our military service members of color. As World War II got underway in 1941, discrimination and segregation kept African Americans out of the United States armed services. But through the efforts of civil rights activists and historic Black colleges and universities, President Franklin D. Roosevelt formed the first Black military aviator group in the U.S. Army Air Corps also known as the Tuskegee Airmen later that year. Recently, Palm Springs Air Museum paid homage and unveiled statues dedicated to the Tuskegee Airmen on Memorial Day 2021. In October 2021, our NAACP Los Angeles Branch’s Armed Services and Veterans Affairs Committee held a special red-carpet event to salute the Women of the 6888th Central Postal Directory Battalion. The Women of the 6888th Central Postal Directory Battalion viewed World War II as the war of liberation and pride as they served their country in the most egregious conditions, accomplished their mission assigned, and showed what African American Women could do when given the chance.
As we continue to acknowledge and recognize our military Veteran community, we must continue the fight until military justice fully prevails. Happy Veteran’s Day to you all – thank you so much for your service and sacrifice!
Chair: CA/HI NAACP State Conference Armed Service and Veterans Affairs Committee
Salute to our Veterans Affairs Chair
It gives us great pleasure to introduce our State Veteran Affairs Chair, Ms. Antwanisha Williamson. Ms. Williamson served in the Navy from 2001 to 2011. As training petty officer (TPO), she was the backbone for all divisional personnel qualification programs. She ensured training of personnel to operate and maintain their equipment and related systems. This is the prime factor affecting the operational readiness and performance of the command. Significant importance to readiness are operator and maintenance personnel, in rate and Navy enlisted classification code (NEC) training, watch station qualification, and maintaining watch station proficiency. She administered training within the division by planning, developing, and coordinating the division training program to include general military training (GMT), individual watch station qualification, and operator and team proficiency in subsystems. She developed and facilitated annual, monthly, and weekly training schedules to help implement daily training.
On Sunday (10.24.21), Ms. Williamson went from being appointed (early 2021) to the newly elected Executive Board member of the CA-HI NAACP State Conference serving as Chair of the Armed Services and Veterans Affairs Committee
On (10.27.21 she had the privilege and honor to attend the California State (Cal-Vet) Women Veterans Reception as a 2021 Woman Trailblazer award recipient for my work in the Veteran community and dissertation research ideation/creation of Military Feminism Theory! I am truly grateful, humbled, and honored to be nominated and selected for this prestigious state recognition! She said, looking at everyone in attendance made her extremely proud; I had my family and friends, cohort colleagues, members who I serve with through the NAACP, and even my illustrious Soror’s from Alpha Kappa Alpha Inc. cheering.