When you enlist in the military, you know you are entering a field where it is predominantly filled with males. And when you enlist in the Air Force as a female, you know the number of you is going to be far and few between.
Yet this did not stop Dana Dillon from remaining passionate about fighting in the US Armed Forces, and the country is thankful for her service.
Dillon is an Air Force veteran who worked as an aerospace ground equipment mechanic and, according to AMVETS, she enjoyed the position she had in the Air Force. She got to test out ground equipment and make sure they were safe to use, playing a quiet but vital part in US military operations.
On top of this, Dana served on the disaster support team and was the base photographer, showing off her wide range of skills as well as her military knowledge. She was appreciated for all the hard work she put in during her time with the Air Force, as she truly made a difference.
“The ratio of men to women was 80 to one, with Dana serving as the only women service member in her unit,” according to AMVETS. “She continually went above and beyond the duties and responsibilities assigned to her and her fellow male service members. Her first Sergeant at the time did her no favors, quoted by Dana as believing that women should be nurses or secretaries, and not performing the duties at which Dana excelled.”
While she was demeaned at times for being a woman in the Air Force, Dillon did not let that stop her from excelling at her job. She took everything with a grain of salt and kept her head down when the situation warranted it.
Her legacy is not built on just being the only female in her unit either, as she was someone who has always gone above and beyond the call of duty. Dillon spent her spare time becoming a cub scout leader, taking them on trips and tours. She even let them tour the USS Independence.
Even now, being retired from the military for over 15 years, Dillon is still making an impact on the military community as well. She is the AMVETS District I Commander, and AMVETS is appreciative of everything she has done for them since joining the organization.
“Dana joined AMVETS in 2007. Upon joining AMVETS, the local post took the time to engage her with the organization and made her feel welcome. When she moved to Connecticut in 2010, there was not a local post. So she started one immediately and began serving many roles on the post, state and National levels, including Post Commander, State Commander, Department National Executive Committee (NEC) Member and District 1 Secretary. She currently serves as the AMVETS National District One Commander.”
Not bad for someone who should have supposedly been a nurse or secretary.
All this is to say that Dillon is one heck of a military veteran who has served her country proud. Even years after retiring, she has felt the job was not done. She does everything she can to continue serving from a military standpoint, and that’s exactly what she does with AMVETS.
“Dana has served and continues to serve on several National committees, including the Women Veterans, Suicide Awareness and the Veteran Affairs Voluntary Service (VAVS) & VA Hospital, Medical Services, and Rehabilitation Benefits Committees.”
She even helped the AMVETS Connecticut department three-peat as the “Department of the Year” from 2012 to 2014. That goes to show how much of an impact she truly makes wherever she goes. She is a leader who stands firm on what she believes in, and she gets things done.
She also has a heart for veterans and veteran issues, and she does what she can to help out in those regards as well. She is even a “staunch” advocate for victims of military sex trauma, which is something that does not seem to be talked about enough. It is a real issue that needs to be solved, and she is doing her part.
At the end of the day, Dillon is just an ordinary woman with a dream and with drive. She believes the military can be a wonderful way of life, and she wants to lead others to believe this as well. She is an Air Force woman through and through, and her impact in the military community goes far beyond her years of service.
Thank you for your service and all you do in the military community, Dana!