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Women's History Month: Senior Master Sgt. Deborah Gardner

STRATTON AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, N.Y. -- Senior Master Sgt. Deborah Gardner gives out information to a Transportation Management Office customer March 9, 2014. Gardner has been filling the additional duty of ticketing for 109th Airlift Wing travelers. Her primary position is with vehicle management and analysis with the 109th Logistics Readiness Squadron's Vehicle Maitenance Flight. (Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Catharine Schmidt/Released)

STRATTON AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, N.Y. -- Senior Master Sgt. Deborah Gardner gives out information to a Transportation Management Office customer March 9, 2014. Gardner has been filling the additional duty of ticketing for 109th Airlift Wing travelers. Her primary position is with vehicle management and analysis with the 109th Logistics Readiness Squadron's Vehicle Maitenance Flight. (Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Catharine Schmidt/Released)

STRATTON AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, N.Y. -- Senior Master Sgt. Deborah Gardner entered the military 28 years ago. She started off in the U.S. Marine Corps for 14 of those years and then transferred to the Air National Guard. She has been with the 109th Airlift Wing for 14 years. Gardner said patriotism and service to country were what drove her to join the military.

Gardner is currently assigned to the vehicle management and analysis position with the 109th Logistics Readiness Squadron's Vehicle Maintenance Flight. In this position her duties include scheduling and analysis of vehicle maintenance and managing the vehicle fleet.

She has also taken on additional duties with the Transportation Management Office. "During a critical personnel shortfall, I was assigned the additional duty of ticketing for deployers primarily traveling to and from Antarctica," she said.

Along with her full time duties with the 109th, Gardner is also a volunteer firefighter and captain at the Alplaus Fire Department. She has been in the Fire Service for nine years -- the last three of those years with Alplaus.

"Being in the Fire Service has allowed me the opportunity to take many leadership courses and given me leadership experiences that I can use both in the Fire Service and at the 109th," she said.

Gardner said her nearly 30 years in the military has allowed her to see how far women in the armed forces have come.

"Historically women were highlighted because they had a lesser presence than their male counterparts," she said. "As society and culture have changed throughout the years, military roles seem to be less about gender. Women seem to be more weaved into the military fabric and are found in all areas, including leadership positions, instead of still working their way up the ranks."