Genma Speaks

Entrepreneur/ Writer/ Radio-Host

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Fly Girl Vernice Armour and Operation Stand Down Nashville on Living Your Best Life with Genma Holmes

Join Living Your Best Life as we celebrate "HERstroy...Women In the Military". Hear from military women, active and veterans, who are daughters, wives, mothers, grandmothers, sisters, aunts, and friends. Women from the Marines, Army, Air Force, and Navy will share personal stories and highlights from their military careers. All have roles that made them the "first" in many endeavors throughout their lives and in the military. We will hear about their many acts of courage and sacrifice that embody servant leadership that will empower, inspire, and motivate listeners.

On Saturday, September 8, 2012, we hear from Vernice Armour, Fly Girl. Vernice Armour is a former Captain in the United States Marine Corps who was the first African-American female naval aviator in the Marine Corps and America's first African American female combat pilot in the United States military. She flew the AH-1W SuperCobra attack helicopter in the 2003 invasion of Iraq and eventually served two tours in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Listen as she shares about her life before and after combat duty. She will share about being the first of many firsts, from flying a helicopter in Iraq to riding a motorcycle on the police force in Nashville. Flygirl will share how important it is to not let anyone else's "no" determine your destiny in life.

Vernice Armour will be the keynote speaker for the 2nd Annual Heroes Breakfast on September 17, 2012 for Operation Stand Down, Inc at 8am at Loews Vanderbilt Hotel. For ticket information click here.

This show is part of an ongoing series, HERStory, that profile women in the military. Tune in 760AM in the Middle Tennessee Region, streaming live online at UStream.TV and on military bases on Saturdays from 9:00-10am CST.

More about Vernice Armour

Vernice was born in Chicago, IL in 1973, and moved to Memphis, TN after her parents divorced when she was 3 years of age. By the age of four, she knew she wanted to be a police officer that rode a horse downtown. Her first little pony was given to her on the Christmas following her fourth birthday, and her dream quickly started to have a foundation in reality. In 1991, she graduated from John Overton High School for Creative and Performing Arts, where she was very active in the music program, class Vice President, and a member of Mu Alpha Theta (the mathematics honor society) and The National Honor Society.

Vernice marched in the military boot steps of both her dads; Clarence Jackson, a former Marine, who married Vernice’s mother Authurine, and her father, Gaston C. Armour Jr. of Chicago, a retired major in the U.S. Army Reserves. In 1993, the future combat pilot enlisted in the Army Reserves and in the fall semester joined the Army ROTC program while enrolled at Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU). During an Army ROTC career day, the seed of becoming a pilot was planted when Vernice saw the image of a young black female in an Army flight suit. “Now why didn’t I think of that!” was her first thought! In June of 1996, after a brief stint as a Nashville Sheriff’s Department Correction Officer, Vernice took additional time off from college to accept an invitation to the Nashville Police Academy and graduated as a police officer in December 1996. She graduated from MTSU in December of 1997 with her B.S. in Physical Education: Emphasis in Exercise Science. In 1998, with the aviation seed in full bloom, Vernice was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the Marine Corps on December 12, 1998 and on her way to flight school.

When Vernice finally earned her wings in July 2001, the ambitious pilot ranked No. 1 out her class of 12 and of the last 200 to graduate. She made the Naval Air Station’s prestigious Commodore’s List, received the Academic Achievement Award and was her classes top graduate and went on to make history as the Marine Corps’ first African-American female pilot.

After flight school, Vernice was stationed at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton near San Diego, CA, piloting the AH-1W Super Cobra attack helicopter. During Operation Iraqi Freedom, she was recognized as America’s first African-American female combat pilot. Vernice flew above the deserts of Iraq in her missile-equipped attack helicopter, engaging the enemy and scouting the roads from her cockpit, making sure they were safe for her fellow Marines and soldiers on the ground. She has completed 2 combat tours of duty in the Gulf.

Vernice now travels extensively in order to create a global movement based on the Breakthrough Mentality mindset. In order for us to change the current conditions we are going to need to think and execute differently. We are going to need leaders to step up and lead.Our society and global community needs people to take personal responsibility and accountability. We win or lose together. One Mission, One Goal, One Team™.

More About Operation Stand Down Nashville

Operation Stand Down Nashville, Inc (OSDN)
is the primary nonprofit resource for veterans in Middle Tennessee providing life changing social services including transitional housing, or referrals, employment readiness training and placement assistance, and coordination of the activities of other agencies in the delivery of such services. They are the only VA approved and supported Veteran Service Center in Tennessee. Their clients are honorably discharged veterans with an emphasis on veterans who are homeless. OSDN's ultimate goal is to give veterans in need the tools to rejoin their community as productive, responsible citizens.

The homeless count, conducted by the city of Nashville in January 2009, found 2,157 homeless people in Davidson County. The count did not include homeless in the surrounding counties who also come to OSDN for services. With approximately 30% of the homeless being veterans, at least 647 veterans are homeless in Nashville/Davidson County, with more in the surrounding counties, on any particular night. Our unique partnership with the VA Medical Center and the VA Regional Office allows us to provide more direct, personal social services than any other agency in this area.

No veteran should be homeless. No veteran who wants to work should be jobless. No veteran should feel hopeless. Thanks to the caring support of our many government and community partners, OSDN has and will continue to successfully aid veterans in restoring their lives. While it is a source of pride that OSDN programs meet and exceed all the funding standards, true success comes when a veteran in need moves on to a renewed life within the community. That is why OSDN exists. You can help them with their efforts by donating here.


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