Travis women receive Congressman Garamendi’s 2022 Women of the Year awards

  • Published
  • By Hun Chustine Minoda
  • 60th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs

Woodland, Calif. – Congressman John Garamendi, congressional representative of California’s 3rd District, recognized 58 outstanding and dedicated women, six of whom are from Travis Air Force Base, California, Oct. 13, 2022.


Congressman John Garamendi’s 2022 Women of the Year awards are an effort to honor outstanding women in California’s Third Congressional District. According to the award criteria, each of the women recognized were nominated by their peers for their superb leadership and their impact on the surrounding community.


“Many women before you have fought for the independence and right you have today and I thank you for continuing their legacy,” said Congressman Garamendi.


Patricia Garamendi, Congressman Garamendi’s wife and a community advocate, highlighted the importance of including Travis AFB nominees as part of the recognition program.


“Today is an important day to the congressman because it gives him a chance to recognize and acknowledge the incredible talents he sees every time he visits Travis Air Force Base,” said Mrs. Garamendi. “It’s his way of thanking them for their service.”


The honorees were recognized and awarded with a Congressional Commendation that will be preserved in the Congressional Record. Travis AFB award recipients included:

  • Christina Forrest - Solano Eye specialist, veteran, military spouse and a voting rights advocate
  • Chief Master Sgt. Jennifer Wampler - 60th Medical Group senior enlisted leader
  • Jessica Moser - Vertex Aerospace material coordinator, lead key spouse for the 660th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, and a Department of Defense Fisher Distinguished Civilian Humanitarian Award nominee
  • Lt. Col. Parawee Euavijitearoon, - 60th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron commander
  • Maj. Rachel Russo M.D. - 60th Medical Group and University of California Davis Medical Center trauma surgeon
  • Tonya Racasner – 60th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs deputy chief


Mrs. Garamendi mentioned during her speech the importance of recognizing and highlighting the good work these women do throughout the community. She emphasized that all of the awardees play an integral role within the community, without an expectation of recognition. 


“They’re not doing their work because they know they will be written up in the Congressional Record; they do their work because they believe in their mission and they reach for more, they constantly reach for more.” she said.


As a member of the 60th AMW, Tonya Racasner has more than 30 years of civil service. She is a leader within the PA team, advising leadership and Airmen across the base on communication initiatives and community engagements. Racasner shared words of wisdom with regards to her accomplishments. 


“Believe in yourself, do not let anyone deter you or distract you from your goals… Surround yourself with positive people,” shared Racasner. “Get a support system. No one in this life can succeed by themselves; there will be people along the way who can help you.”


As a commander in a traditionally male dominated industry, Lt. Col. Parawee Euavijitearoon also imparted the biggest factor that has helped lead her to this success.


"Grit is the only way I know how to survive and it's the biggest factor in my success,” shared Euavijitearoon. "I've had to persevere through many adversities and challenges in my life. Growing up in a 3rd world country, with a single mom, and having to acculturate into several new countries as a child and in the military.”


For future groundbreakers in the workforce, Euavijitearoon shared the importance of knowing your goals and where you want to be in various stages of professional and personal life.  


 “We only have one shot at living this life, make it worthwhile. Never stop in the quest for self-improvement. If knowledge is power, then it should be shared,” she continued.


According to Garamendi, he believes there is more work that can be done to continue to ensure women equality within the workplace. He highlighted, each one of honorees will be a vital part of the work to get closer to a solution. 


He concluded his message by saying, “I am inspired by each and every one of you here today and firmly believe that when women succeed, America succeeds.”