CONTINGENCY OPERATING BASE ADDER, Iraq - A crowd of approximately 200 Coalition Forces filled the base's Memorial Hall here, as Lt. Col. Monica Bradshaw prepared to speak during the Black History Observance Feb. 27.

"I've gone to several black history month observances," said the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division intelligence officer. "But I was always in the crowd receiving."

This time, she took a breath before beginning her speech about being a 'citizen in action' and the accomplishment of an African American reaching the highest political office in the United States.

"I was just extremely proud to be asked especially after following the election of President Barack Obama," said the native of Utica, Miss. "And I was proud to say what my heritage means to me."

For Bradshaw, heritage is what motivates her to become the best leader she can be.

During her speech, one of the Soldiers she leads, Staff Sgt. Leeza Scott, was sitting in the audience a few rows back listening intently to every word during the program.

"I've learned a lot working for her," said the signal intelligence non-commissioned officer, a native of Dillon, SC. "I've learned a lot about myself, I push myself every day to be the best; because that's what she expects."

As Bradshaw finished her speech and walked to her chair, every person in the audience was out of their seat, giving her a standing ovation.

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16