By TYLER MASK
Lone Star News Group
MINERAL WELLS – Last week was a crowning moment in nine Texas women’s careers, as Texas Gov. Rick Perry inducted them into the Texas Women’s Hall of Fame. This honor is for women who have made significant contributions in public service, business, education, philanthropy and military services.
One of these women was Mineral Wells’ very own Col. Kimberly D. Olson (Ret.) for her outstanding services in the military.
“I am humbled,” Olson said regarding her induction.
To get in, you have to be nominated. The 2012 military inductee, Maj. General Mary Saunders, had seen all Olson had done to continue fighting for the troops post retirement, sparking her desire to nominate her.
“I knew of [her] in the Air Force, but I didn’t ‘know’ know her,” Olson said. “Since that point, we had become acquainted and she had watched my work with the nonprofit world, especially around women vets, and she called me up and said, ‘I am going to nominate you for this.’ Of course, even being a retired general, you don’t say no to them. You still [say], ‘Yes, ma’am, what do you need?’ And so that’s how it came to be.”
Olson spent 25 years serving the United States Air Force and played a pivotal role in the first generation of female military pilots, accumulating nearly 4,000 hours of flying time, covering a whole gamut of flights in various situations and aircraft models.
Through her outstanding service, Olson climbed to the rank of colonel, eventually serving in the Pentagon on the Joint Staff, Office of the Secretary of Defense and the Air Staff, deploying to several combat zones, including Iraq.
In 2005, she retired, only to enter the field of public education, complementing her education prior to her military tenure. In a short two years, she found herself in the director’s chair for human resources for Dallas ISD. That year, she was also was elected to the Weatherford ISD Board of Trustees.