Harrisburg, PA – Governor Tom Wolf and First Lady Frances Wolf today joined the Pennsylvania Commission for Women to host the second annual event to honor Pennsylvania’s female veterans in celebration of Women’s History Month. During the event, held at the Governor’s Residence in Harrisburg, 28 women from across the commonwealth representing every branch of the armed services were recognized for their brave service and selfless contributions to Pennsylvania and to the nation.
“Frances and I are humbled and privileged to join these 28 remarkable women today, who have made countless sacrifices so the rest of us can enjoy the freedoms we often take for granted,” said Governor Wolf. “These women and the thousands of others who have served and are currently serving in the military have broken boundaries and stereotypes while setting a new standard for what leadership looks like in the armed services, and in our society.”
“On behalf of the PA Commission for Women, and all Pennsylvania women, I am proud to stand with the Governor and First Lady to honor and thank these courageous individuals for their service,” said Commission Chair Randi Teplitz. “These women, along with the 71,000 other Pennsylvania women currently serving in the military, have persevered through many challenges and overcome many barriers they have faced simply because they are women. They deserve recognition for their service every day – especially during Women’s History Month.”
The women who were honored today include the following:
Marilyn Elizabeth Arzon from Lewisberry was honored for her over 23 years of service as a U.S. Air Force officer. Now retired, she was deployed 15 times, including in Afghanistan and Kuwait. She earned 13 medals and 10 ribbons throughout her career.
Christine Black from Scranton was recognized for her nine years of service in the U.S. Army. She served three deployments with the Army National Guard before leaving to attend law school.
Pauline “Polly” Bozdech-Veater from Pittsburgh was recognized for her 30 years of service in the U.S. Naval Reserves. She was the first female to command the Navy Reserve Center in McKeesport, the first female to command a Joint Transportation Reserve Unit and one of the first female U.S. Transportation Command Liaison Officers to Joint Commands.
Mayor C. Kim Bracey graduated with honors from the Air Force Officer’s Academy and served for over a decade, earning the National Defense Service Medal and the Air Force Good Conduct Medal. She is the first African-American mayor of York.
Rochelle “Chellie” L. Cameron from Philadelphia was recognized for her seven years of service as an active duty officer in the United States Air Force and one year as an Air Force civilian employee. Chellie is currently the chief executive officer of the Philadelphia International Airport and the Northeast Philadelphia Airport, serving over 31.4 million passengers annually.
Joanne Carroll from Lancaster served over 20 years in the U.S. Air Force including in South East Asia. She is currently president of Trans CentralPA, which provides advocacy and support to transgender individuals and their families.
Carol L. Conway from Sharon Hill, PA was honored for her eight years of service in the United States Army.
Alison Delaney from Abington in southeast PA served in the U.S. Coast Guard since 2006. Alison is currently a Machinery Technician First Class and is currently working toward the rank of E-7.
Michaela Diallo from Pittsburgh was honored for her service in the PA Air National Guard. She is the team lead at the PAServe, a program for veterans to help ease the civilian military divide.
Cindy Dwyer from Boiling Springs was honored for her 31 years of service in the U.S. Army. Cindy is currently the military contract program manager overseeing Soldier and Family Support Services for the National Guard Bureau.
Carol Eggert from Philadelphia completed her military career in 2014 as the Assistant Adjutant General for the PA National Guard and the Deputy Commandant for the Army War College. Carol’s service included a 15-month combat tour in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom as Chief of the Women’s Initiatives Division and Senior Liaison to the U.S. Embassy, Baghdad. She received numerous awards including the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star, and Purple Heart. She is currently Vice President for Military and Veteran Affairs at Comcast NBCUniversal.
Lindsay M. Eichinger from Harrisburg was nominated for her service by Widener University, where she is currently attending law School. She is a United States Navy veteran and served as a Hebrew linguist.
Karen Esaias from Johnstown was recognized for her 27 years of service in the United States Air Force where she retired as a Colonel. Karen was the first female selected to serve as Vice Commander of the entire Air Force Office of Special Investigations.
Pamela M. Iovino from Pittsburgh was honored for her service as a U.S. Navy Captain and former Assistant Secretary for Congressional and Legislative Affairs for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. She is currently Allegheny County’s Chief Veterans Affairs Officer.
Tina Marie Jones from McKees Rocks was honored for her seven years of service in the U.S. Air Force. Tina specialized in Traffic Management and her primary duty assignments included locations in Korea, Germany, and Illinois.
Norma Kenley-Barber from Harrisburg was recognized for her years of service in the U.S. Army. Norma’s civic spirit extends beyond her military service, proven by her commitment to volunteering and serving others in Harrisburg where she resides.
Deborah J. Krall from Youngswood was recognized for her 33 years of service, including 30 years in the Chaplain Office, in the U.S. Air National Guard. Deb was considered the most traveled Chaplain Assistant as she achieved the rank of Master Sergeant.
Melissa Meyers from Honesdale, PA was honored for her service in the U.S. Marine Corps where she was promoted to the rank of Sergeant in 2009. Melissa was an All-Source Analyst during her five years on active duty and served three tours to Iraq.
Tracey Welsh Pedersen from McKees Rocks was recognized for her eight years of service in the U.S. Army Reserve. Tracey was a Specialist in Ordinance Corps.
Diane Price from Reading was honored for her six years of service in the U.S. Army and the U.S. Army Reserves. She then served as the Post Commander for the Women of Berks County.
Denise Sheperson from Lewisberry will graduate from Penn State Harrisburg in two months with a degree in Electrical Engineering. Denise served in the U.S. Marine Corps in the Communications and Electronics Maintenance platoon, often as the only woman in the battery traveling on many field operations and in Bahrain.
Angela D. Stateler from Harrisburg was honored for her service in the PA Air National Guard since 1989. In 2001, she was commissioned Lieutenant Colonel and currently is the Commander of a Special Operations Force Support Squadron at the Harrisburg International Airport.
Regina I. Stoltzfus from Lancaster is the 9th Command Chief Master Sergeant of the PA Air National Guard. She now works as the Property Program Manager for the US Food and Drug Administration and is pursuing her Master’s Degree in Emergency Management at Millersville University.
Helen Szura from Wyoming, PA served in the U.S. Navy for four years during the Korean War conflict and received the Korean War ribbon. She also received the Good Conduct medal upon her Honorable Discharge.
Dianna Thompson-Mitchell from York, PA was honored for her service in the U.S. Navy as a Radioman Second Class. Dianna served in duty stations in Diego Garcia and in Bermuda.
Anna C. Weinfurter was recognized for her service as Pharmacist Mate First Class – Women Accepted for Voluntary Emergency Service (WAVES) in the U.S. Navy during World War II. She was assigned to Treasure Island Naval hospital in San Francisco until her honorable Discharge in October 1945.
Christina S. Wilhelm from Spartansburg completed two tours of duty in Iraq. Christina performed her active duty as a Civil Affairs Officer and retired after 24 years of honorable military service as a U.S. Army Major.
Jessica Wright from Shermans Dale was honroed for her 35-year military career, including as the Adjutant General of PA and commander of the PA National Guard under then-Governor Ed Rendell. Jessica retired from the U.S. Army in 2010 as a Major General. She was the first female aviator to qualify in both the CH-47 and CH-54. She commanded the 28th Combat Aviation Brigade, 28th Infantry Division from June 1997 to November 1998. She was the first female maneuver brigade commander in the U.S. Army.
The Pennsylvania Commission for Women, which was created by Executive Order and consists of volunteer members, is responsible for advising the Governor on policies and legislation that impact women; supporting economic and civic opportunities for women; encouraging mentoring programs for girls and young women; identifying programs and opportunities for the benefit and advancement of women; and serving as a resource center for Pennsylvania women and girls. To learn more about Pennsylvania Commission for Women, visit the Commission’s website here or follow on the Commission on Facebook here.