In honor of Veterans Day, retired Air Force 2-Star General Kathy Thomas, Vietnam Veteran and the first female general officer in the Air Force Space Command spoke to students at the CERTS Programs, Kolob Canyon and Moonridge Academy.
General Thomas shared with the students her stories of serving throughout the world, aiding in diplomacy missions, mobilizing troops following the 9/11 attacks, and – in her opinion, most importantly – helping change the rules and removing the obstacles for women in the armed forces. General Thomas shared funny stories about having to wear skirts in negative 75 degree weather on base in Minot, North Dakota, and how she helped convince the Air Force of the folly of that gender-based rule. She shared touching stories of supporting struggling troops, and how leadership is not in the speeches you make, or the ribbons on your lapel, but in the moments of service and true connection you give to others. The students were enthralled with how many places she has been to, and served in the world, as well as how many Presidents of the United States she had personally met.
General Thomas focused on the 3 Core Values of the Air Force:
1) Excellence in Everything You Do
2) Service to Others
3) Integrity, Always Be Honest
She shared how these values will lead to a successful, happy life, regardless of being in the military or not. The students showed great interest in what General Thomas had to share. Many asked for her autograph after she spoke. General Thomas now spends her retirement in Southern Utah, mentoring teens and young adults pursuing higher education and/or military service. We are grateful to have had General Thomas share her life service with us.