Today’s #VeteranOfTheDay is Air Force Veteran Mary Beth Aiello, who provided security at Ground Zero following the 9/11 attacks.
Mary Beth Aiello was born in Providence, Rhode Island. In 1997, when she was 20 years old, Aiello joined the New York Air National Guard.
Aiello went to basic training in San Antonio, Texas, and then went to tech school for information management and knowledge operations.
Aiello worked in multiple roles. As an airman first class, she worked for her first sergeant. She later pursued a short opportunity at Tyndall Air Force Base in Florida, working in public affairs. After returning, she worked full time for the maintenance command as an administrative assistant. She also continued to pursue night school. Six months later in 2002, she moved up to the mission support group. She worked there for a year and a half before returning to her studies full time and completing her degree.
Aiello also served during the aftermath of Sept. 11th. A month later, volunteers were needed to help with security measures. Aiello volunteered and went to Fort Hamilton, New York, to prepare for service. She spent two weeks in the city performing perimeter security at Ground Zero to prevent civilian interference. She also watched for threats at Penn Station and Grand Central Station.
In 2005, as a technical sergeant, Aiello helped create the student flight program to address the retention problems the New York National Guard was facing. She left the National Guard in 2017 as a master sergeant, earning the promotion after receiving a job in the equal opportunity office. Her time with in service taught her how to be a good leader by giving her opportunities to grow to this skill set. After leaving the service, Aiello continued to pursue her education at The Citadel, a military college in Charleston, South Carolina. She went on to work as an administrative specialist at the Naval Information Warfare Center.
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Veterans History Project
This #VeteranOfTheDay profile was created with interviews submitted to the Veterans History Project. The project collects, preserves, and makes accessible the personal accounts of American war Veterans so that future generations may hear directly from Veterans and better understand the realities of war. Find out more at http://www.loc.gov/vets/.
Writer: Kimberly Kassis
Editor: Julia Pack and Kristen Whitehurst
Fact checker: Shiv Lamba and Alexys Santiago
Graphic artist: Grace Yang