Hohenfels recognizes 'phenomenal women'
April 21, 2010
HOHENFELS, Germany - Sgt. Monica White said she begins most of her days at 4:30 a.m. when she spends a few minutes getting herself ready before waking her nine-month-old twin boys, feeding them, dressing them and getting them in the car for the drive to the Child Development Center.
After dropping them off she goes to physical training and then to work at the Joint Multinational Readiness Center Viper team. Then she works, does errands at lunch, picks the boys up at five, heads home for dinner and baths and bed and soon it's time to start it all over again the next day.
After her two-year-old wakes up each morning, Lisa Simmons, who is expecting her second child in July, said she makes breakfast, picks up the house, gets herself and her daughter ready and drives to post for meetings and errands associated with her many volunteer positions: family readiness group leader, Girl Scouts overseas committee chair, Hohenfels Community and Spouses Club scholarship chair and Army Community Service lead volunteer.
Both women were recognized at the Hohenfels Women's History Month Luncheon, March 30 at the Warrior Sports Cafe, after being nominated by community members as examples of phenomenal women. White, Simmons and the twelve other women recognized at the luncheon represent numerous careers and volunteer activities covering a broad range of organizations on post.
Despite the differences among them and the other phenomenal women-some of the nominees were single, some married; some had children, some did not; some were working moms, some stay-at-home moms-both Simmons and White said they have one basic thing in common: they care, about their family, friends and community, and they work hard to take care of it all.
"As women we're all just trying to take care of everyone, whether it is our co-workers, neighbors, children or husband," said White, "and if we can help someone we're the ones to try to fit it into our schedule after we've already said yes."
"It's not just what we do but how we do it-we care when we do it. We don't log volunteer hours just to log volunteer hours, we don't go to work just to pick up the paycheck. We do it because we care about what we're doing, to make a positive impact," said Simmons.
While they both admit they are passionate about what they do, each also expressed disbelief that they had been nominated, as if what they do is not enough. White said she was surprised to be nominated because she doesn't hold multiple volunteer positions; Simmons said she was surprised to be nominated because she doesn't feel she does very much. They each said the expectations for women can sometimes be overwhelming.
"We have to do it all sometimes. We take care of everything. I think sometime long ago someone decided that we could handle it and now we just do, we live up to it," said White. "If God didn't think I could handle it he wouldn't have put it on me."
"Especially for military women, I definitely think a lot is expected," said Simmons. "I like to hear women sometimes say no; it's good for people to know we don't have to do anything, we do it because we want to."
Those high expectations lead to an understanding between women, Simmons said.
"We all have an understanding of the need for time management, the need for me time, for prioritizing, delegating and the importance of family," said Simmons.
"What makes women phenomenal is all their accomplishments, even the day to day things," said White. "Every day is an accomplishment just by making it while trying to juggle all your goals and what you have to do on a daily basis. That's what makes women phenomenal," said White.
Other phenomenal women honored at the luncheon were Command Sgt. Major Brenda Kadet, Sonja Vass, Vinciana Carlson, Colleen Caputo, Lori Starnes, Anna Maynard, Deborah Barrows, Nickayla Myers-Garner, Angel Palmer, Alexandra Laboy, Violette Grant and Hildegard Gesell-Keil.