LAS VEGAS (FOX5) – Communities across the nation are taking time to celebrate female veterans in recognition of National Vet Girls Rock Day.
Veteran Bobi Oates, who now lives in Las Vegas, started as an aircraft maintenance worker in Texas.
"I did crash recovery and heavy maintenance changing wings, flaps, canopies, landing gear and things like that,” said Oates while flipping through her scrapbook.
Oates’ photos reveal a lot of her success in the military, but they don’t detail the hardships of being a female in the military.
“When I joined in 1976 the percentage of women in the military was 5 percent,” said Oates. “You had to kind of prove yourself that you belonged there.”
Oates retired from the Air Force in 1999 as a Senior Master Sergeant. She was recognized as the state’s Woman Veteran of the Month and recognized nationally for her work by former Nevada Senator Dean Heller. She now advocates for her fellow veterans who she said often get overlooked.
"It's to educate the general public because a lot of the general public [don’t] see women as veterans."
While women in the military have gone up by 15 percent, Oates said there’s still work to be done. She hopes other women will continue to push the boundaries in the military.
Bobbi says, "You've got to be patient to put up with what's going on around you, you've got to keep pressing on and you have to have the fortitude to stand up and say yes, I can do this."
Females who have served our country and are in search of resources can contact the VA’s Women’s Health Center: 702-791-9176.