Camp Shelby hosts Women's History Month observance

Camp Shelby hosts Women's History Month observance

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - A professor from the University of Southern Mississippi and a Hattiesburg veteran and civil rights pioneer addressed soldiers at Camp Shelby Thursday during an observance of National Women's History Month.

Heather Stur, an associate professor of history at Southern Miss and retired Air Force Lt. Col. Raylawni Branch spoke to troops from the 177th Armored Brigade during the event at the Mississippi Armed Forces Museum.

Stur has written the book, "Beyond Combat: Women and Gender in the Vietnam War Era."

She's also director of USM's Vietnam Summer Studies Program.

Branch, a Hattiesburg native, was one of the first African-American students to attend USM.

She was also an instructor of nursing at both Pearl River Community College and Southern Miss.

"Anytime that I can speak with actual military personnel about military history it's a great honor and I only hope that what I was able to share with them was helpful in some way," said Stur.

"I wanted (attendees) to know that we really are all the same, whether you are one corps or another corps, or one gender or another gender, we have a job to do and we should do it with love for ourselves and love of others," said Branch.

In 1981, Congress established National Women's History Week.

In 1987, it was expanded to one month.