Captain Tara Robertson stood proudly on the Target Center court Sunday night, receiving an extra long standing ovation from the crowd after being recognized as the recipient of the Lynxs Inspiring Women award for August.
Robertson, who has conducted 280 missions and is a Combat Action Badge recipient after touring in Afghanistan, reciprocated her gratitude toward the fans on Military Night. Standing with Lynx Director of Business Operations Carley Knox, Robertson received a Lynx team autographed ball while sharing in a special moment of appreciation from her country men and women in the stands.
Its really special, especially to represent women in combat in the military and to have everybody give such great support to us since we came home, since we continue to serve, she said. The support is overwhelming. I cant really put it into wordsits really hard to do. But it means a lot to us to have all that support from people.
Robertson recently returned from deployment in Afghanistan where she served as a liaison to advance women initiatives, agricultural development and government relations. She was the lone women and the lone Minnesotan that was part of a roughly 45-soldier initiative helping to improve the relationship between the Afghan people and their government. Their goal was the get them in touch with the resources they have while also learning to trust and work with their government, their military and their police force.
That was part of the reason Robertson was nominated for the Inspiring Women award. Maj. Kris Aug, the Minnesota National Guard's deputy director of public affairs, said when Robertson was the only female in her combat outpost she was able to hold her own and gain respect from her fellow soldiers because of her strength and determination.
Along the way, she not only represented her country with honor but also hoped to represent women who are now continuing to enjoy enhanced roles. During her eight years in the military, Robertson said she has seen a noticeable transition in how women are perceived in uniform and the types of roles to which they are appointed.
She said it is not the same front line oriented military operation once associated with the two World Wars and the Korean War.
The front line is very blurred, and a lot of women are in combat and serving that role, Robertson said. Now people are starting to understand that, and we perform our duties as well as our male counterpart and were afforded the same type of jobs our male counterparts have. Weve been able to do it all along, but now its official. Its a nice feeling.
Robertson decided to enlist in the National Guard while in college at St. Cloud State. She went back and forth on it in high school, but after going to college for a couple years she felt like the timing and the situation was right for her to join.
As it turns out, shes become an officer and proud member of the United States Military who showcased leadership both in her title and in the path she continues to pave for young women who hope to enlist some day as well.
I guess the rest is history, Robertson said.
On Sunday, she felt the appreciation and the respect from the civilians whom she continues to protect with her service. She said she felt incredibly grateful for that reception.
I enjoy coming here and doing this service for my country and for my fellow people here, Robertson said. Its fantastic.
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