David M. White
Public Affairs Office
Eisenhower Army Medical Center

Today, Aug. 26, marks the 99th anniversary of the adoption of the 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution, prohibiting the states and the federal government from denying the right to vote to citizens of the United States on the basis of sex.

Striving to be out front, Eisenhower Army Medical Center held its commemoration Friday, Aug. 23, with EAMC Commander Col. Carlene A.S Blanding as the guest speaker. Blanding, the first female commander at EAMC, noted the struggle for equality is ongoing.

"We need to partner -- men and women, black and white -- to get to that equality," Blanding said. "If you want change, you've got to be that change and engage in making that change."

She emphasized that soldiers and civilians, women and men, black and white, must be the standard bearers.

"America sets the standards for the globe." Blanding said. "What we do here impacts women across the world. Globally women are still repressed; they are still oppressed; they are still in bondage. They don't even have the right to vote."

While Friday's service of remembrance was a time of reflection on where this country has come in 99 years, it's essential to see the challenges that face us yet today.

"I ask each of you," the commanding officer said, "to reflect on the country we live in and analyze the impact we have in our respective areas of work, life and service.

"How are we changing it for our daughters and sons? How are we currently impacting where we sit in the space we occupy?" she asked.

"It is our responsibility, as men and women, raising the next generation of boys and girls to show them why we celebrate and then teach them the work yet to be done.

"It is up to us in the military," Blanding said, "to ensure we are teaching, coaching, mentoring the next generation of female leaders because it is through them that we will eventually, and I believe we will, reach equality.

"What will you do to make a difference?"

--- 30 ---