By Randy Murray, Fort Stewart Public AffairsApril 2, 2010
FORT STEWART, Ga. - Soldiers, Army Civilians and local leaders gathered in Club Stewart's main ballroom to celebrate Women's History Month, March 29. This year's observance was themed "Writing Women Back into History," and featured Maj. Gen. Gina S. Farrisee, director of Military Personnel Management, Army G-1, as the featured speaker.
"I had the opportunity to be successful because of people who came before me," Maj. Gen. Farrisee explained. "Without them, I probably wouldn't be standing here today."
She said it was important to celebrate women's history and remember the contributions women have made throughout this country's history.
In addition to Maj. Gen. Farrisee's remarks, the observance included three special presentations.
Supported by a big screen behind them that displayed prints, paintings, photographs or portraits of women, several ladies presented brief summaries of the lives of historic women in a presentation called "Who Am I'"
Some of the women mentioned included Col. Oveta Culp Hobby, the first director of the Women's Army Auxiliary Corps; Sally Ride, the first American woman to become an astronaut; and Capt. Linda Bray, the first woman to lead Soldiers in combat.
A second presentation included even more historic pictures on the big screen as Sgt. Kristina Doolittle, who had begun the ceremony by singing the national anthem, sang a moving song about heroes.
A third presentation included a dramatic reading of essays on historic women, essays that were written and read by 1st Presbyterian School's 5th graders, Brantley McCorkle and Andrew Cook.
Major General Farrisee's remarks also focused on the achievements of historic women in a variety of fields, including the women's suffrage movement, military service, sports and politics.
She said that currently 14 percent of active duty Soldiers are women, who now serve in nearly every military occupation specialty.
Despite all the great women of history mentioned and honored during the observance, when asked what woman she looked up to most, Maj. Gen. Farrisee said her hero is her mother.
"She's one of the strongest, most courageous people I know," Maj. Gen. Farrisee said then added, "but I look up to all women who have taken risks."
Following her remarks, Maj. Gen. Farrisee was presented a Sgt. Rocky statue by Col. Louis Lartique, 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team commander, and Command Sgt. Maj. Jerry Ashmen, 3rd Infantry Division command sergeant major-rear.
The ceremony concluded with everyone in attendance singing the Marne and Army songs.