Fairfield native becomes 1940s-era pinup to support military fundraising effort

Jessica Bowling is Miss December in the 2020 Pinups for Vets calendar featuring female veterans dressed as 1940s-era pinup models. Bowling is a former member of an explosive ordinance disposal unit that was deployed to Afghanistan for a year in 2011 and 2012. All models volunteered to be int he calendar, as did the photographer (Shane Karns Photography) and air and makeup artist (Ana Vergara).

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Jessica Bowling is Miss December in the 2020 Pinups for Vets calendar featuring female veterans dressed as 1940s-era pinup models. Bowling is a former member of an explosive ordinance disposal unit that was deployed to Afghanistan for a year in 2011 and 2012. All models volunteered to be int he calendar, as did the photographer (Shane Karns Photography) and air and makeup artist (Ana Vergara).

The Fairfield native who’s dressed as a 1940s-era pin-up model in a calendar featuring female veterans was a member of an Army unit known as the “Army’s bomb squad.”

Jessica Bowling was deployed for a year starting in April 2011 to Afghanistan with the 760th EOD (Explosive Ordnance Disposal) unit in support of the 10th Mountain Division. She supplied logistics for the unit that led counter-IED missions and said she was in charge of $32 million in equipment.

“We were scattered throughout the entire country of Afghanistan,” Bowling said. “I was very busy. I didn’t really sleep a whole lot on that deployment.”

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But she said it was important to support those “who were risking their lives every day to make Afghanistan a better place for the people,” said Bowling, now of Chicago. “It was very fulfilling knowing that we were having a direct impact on the locals to improve their quality of life.”

The work of Bowling’s unit was recognized by Gen. David Petraeus, who oversaw operations in Afghanistan.

The 2005 Fairfield graduate left the Army in 2017 and works for a Chicago-area veteran's homeless shelter. She learned of the Pin-ups for Vets calendar, which has been around for 14 years, through Instagram.

Bowling, 32, said she wanted to be a part of the fundraiser because “it showcases what female veterans have done, not only in the military, but outside their military experience.”

She is Miss December in the 2020 Pin-ups for Vets calendar featuring women veterans dressed as 1940s-era pin-up girls. The calendar supports veteran hospitals and honors the country's female veterans.

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The calendar is a fundraiser that has donated $60,000 to veterans hospitals, said Pin-Ups for Vets founder Gina Elise, whose grandfather was a veteran. She said the calendar is “starting a conversation” about women in the military.

“People see the images, and they want to know the stories behind the ladies. The stories of our lady veterans need to be told,” she said. “These ladies are changing the narrative of what it means to be a veteran.”

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SUPPORTING VETERANS

• Visit www.pinupsforvets.com to purchase for $15 a 2020 calendar, featuring Fairfield graduate and Army veteran Jessica Bowling. Proceeds support VA Hospitals.


SUPPORTING VETERANS

• Visit www.pinupsforvets.com to purchase for $15 a 2020 calendar, featuring Fairfield graduate and Army veteran Jessica Bowling. Proceeds support VA Hospitals.

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