'It's Not Easy Being Green' conference hopping success
October 30, 2009
- "It's Not Easy Being Green" Spouse's Conference was held Oct. 15-16.
- "It's Not Easy Being Green" is designed to celebrates spouses' lives in the military.
FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas -- The first "It's Not Easy Being Green" Spouse's Conference was held with about 22 people in attendance seven years ago. This year's conference, Oct. 15-16 at Dodd Field Chapel, was a hoppin' good time had by more than 60 attendees.
"It's Not Easy Being Green" is designed to celebrates spouses' lives in the military, while also helping them to strengthen community ties, form new friendships and develop skills essential to military life.
As the conference got underway Brig. Gen. Joseph Caravalho Jr., commander, South Regional Medical Command and Brooke Army Medical Center said during his opening remarks, "I'm excited with this agenda.
It is the military spouse who allows us to have a successful Army. Without you we can't do our mission. 'We guys' don't appreciate the sacrifice you have made in support of the success of the Family unit."
Following Caravalho's remarks, Judith Markelz, chairman of the conference, introduced the first day's keynote speaker.
"We have here among us an incredible supporter of the military," Markelz said, presenting Barbara Gentry, senior vice president, community affairs at USAA.
"I feel good when I praise or recognize something good in someone else," Gentry said. "I feel good whether I'm learning something new, getting a compliment, accomplishing a goal, or the two most important things: helping others and giving love. Everyone has something to offer."
Day two opened with a welcome by Col. Mary Garr, commander, U.S. Army Garrison.
"As spouses you are the glue that holds things together," she said.
Markelz introduced the keynote speaker for the second day as the "most incredibly optimistic, motivational woman I have ever met."
Col. Thirsa Martinez, deputy commander for Allied Health, Department of Pharmacy, BAMC, spoke with enthusiasm and optimism about her Army career and assignments.
"God puts me with just the right people every time, whether it is in Honduras vaccinating donkeys or here at Fort Sam Houston working in a medical field. Because I feel that each of us is called to give, God knows the rest."
Col. "T," as Martinez prefers to be called, moved among the group, arms waving in animation, laughing and encouragingly reminding the group, "take responsibility for your own lives, make a difference. At the end of the day nothing is promised to us, so we might as well do it right."
Following each morning's session, the ladies attended classes, including digital scrapbooking, several cooking classes, jewelry making, hand stamping, container gardening, yoga, salsa dancing and sign painting.
Door prizes, all with a frog theme, were given throughout each day.
At the end of the conference Markelz said, "I say every year 'this is the last conference,' but you are all so excited to be here. And what a tremendous success the conference has been."