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Veteran reflects back on being part first women's Air Force Band

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Posted at 11:42 AM, Mar 10, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-10 14:53:58-05

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — In honor of Women's History Month, we take a look back at an Air Force veteran who paved the way for other women interested in music.

"Horses were my thing as a kid and then i got to twelve i discovered the trumpet and then that was it," said Carolyn Whaley.

Whaley joined the Air Force in1959 when she was 18. She became part of the first Women’s Air Force Band.

"Back then there were some other Army bands but we were the only women's Air Force band at that time," Carolyn said. "We were in existence from 1951 to 1961."

Whaley didn't realize being part of the band would become a big part of history.

"I just thought it was fun. I didn’t realize we were setting a precedent for people to come along now and be in the military and do things," said Whaley.

One moment she holds close to her heart, is the Kennedy inauguration parade.

"What was so great about the Kennedy center is the flag of all the nations in the capitol," Whaley said. "It was just an awesome place to to be."

She continued to perform after the military and is now the bugler for burials at the Southern Nevada Veterans Memorial Cemetery.

While her happiness comes in the form of a melody she says she's grateful the military gave her the chance to carry that tune.

If you know a veteran we should feature email us at veteransvoice@ktnv.com.