Wounded Warrior to speak during Women’s History Month event

  • Published
  • By Lauren Russell
  • 66th Air Base Group Public Affairs

HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass. – Base officials will host a virtual Women’s History Month event with featured speaker Master Sgt. Deondra Parks, Air Force Wounded Warrior ambassador, March 30 at 12 p.m. 

In 2010, Parks was cross training from Security Forces to become an aerospace medical technician when she and her wingmen became the targets of a hate crime shooting outside Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas.  

In the years since the incident, Parks seeks to inspire others by telling her story, her emphasis on empathetic leadership, and serving with post-traumatic stress disorder.

She said her story fits perfectly into the WHM 2022 theme of “Providing Healing, Promoting Hope.”

“We don’t always get a chance to hear from the person we see the news story about,” said Parks, who currently serves as the 757th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron first sergeant at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada. “Everyone has a story, we just have to be able to listen and hear it.”

Parks said women’s history can be defined differently to some, but to her, women’s history is ongoing.

“Every day I wake up Black, female, and a [member of the LGBTQ+ community], and it wasn’t that long ago those characters weren’t even allowed in uniform,” she said. “By choosing to be a pioneer instead of a victim, that’s creating history.”

Sharon DuBois, Aerial Networks Division contracting officer representative and coordinator for the event at Hanscom, believes Parks’s story will resonate with attendees on multiple levels.

“Sergeant Parks is one of one, but her story is so relevant to tying so many women together throughout history,” said DuBois. 

Parks said she hopes to inspire attendees to expand the scope of WHM to beyond just the accomplishments of the “firsts.”

“Gone are the days of just acknowledging those who did it first,” she said. “We are redefining history by going forward together.”

Personnel can view the event via Teams.