Post celebrates Women's Equality Day
August 26, 2013
FORT JACKSON, S.C. -- Fort Jackson celebrated Women's Equality Day a little early this year. Usually observed Aug. 26, Soldiers and post employees gathered at the Officers' Club Tuesday not only recognize to women's right to vote, which went into effect Aug. 26, 1920, but to promote awareness and equal opportunities for women.
The guest speaker for the event was Jennifer Miller, a counselor and 10-year Army veteran.
A native of Irmo, Miller served in the Reserves and on active duty as a mechanic. Her final assignment was Iraqi Freedom between 2002 and 2004, where she was injured during an attack on a convoy.
Upon returning home, a battle buddy killed himself when faced with the prospect of another deployment overseas. Today, she owns a private counseling practice and educates people on Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
"PTSD is not a military disease," she told Tuesday's audience. "It comes from trauma. It just so happens that a lot of our service members and families deal with a lot of trauma. So I decided I wanted to educate people."
The discrimination she experienced when first entering the Army was passive, she said. When given the choice of becoming a mechanic or a cook, she was encouraged to work in the kitchen. It was advice she chose to ignore.
"Be careful what you indirectly teach," she said. "Discrimination of any type can be taught without being talked about. I encourage you to be an example. Treat each other, and treat your subordinates, equally across the board, no matter what their job is, no matter what their gender is. It doesn't matter. They're human beings."
The Army's regular equal opportunity observances have a meaning beyond the individual event themes, said Brig. Gen Peggy Combs, Fort Jackson commanding general.
"These events remind us of what we're all about," Combs said. "Jennifer, thank you for sharing your story of strength, and thank you for never leaving a fallen comrade -- and not even today."