By Spc. Jeffrey Ledesma, 1st Cavalry Division Public AffairsMarch 19, 2008
FORT HOOD, Texas - With Soldiers, family and friends in attendance, the 1st Cavalry Division paid tribute to women's history at Houze Theater March 13.
"Today gives people a chance to sit back and reflect on where [women] were in the beginning, where we are now, [and] how far we have gone," said Spc. Jonte Scott of Sacramento, Calif. "It shows that we can be anything - we can be in the military, do our jobs, [and] be a mother."
The division's Better Opportunities for Single Soldiers representative said that she thinks it's essential to take part in events like this because people cannot make progress without knowing the history that got them where they are today.
A frequent equal opportunity volunteer Sherina Russell said with the presidential race gracing the television screens, the women's suffrage movement is a perfect example of how history is affecting the progress being made today.
One pioneer in the race for the woman's right to vote was Susan B. Anthony, who in 1848 began a 70 year struggle to secure the right for women to have to a voice in politics.
During the celebration, Saegert Ranch Elementary students highlighted that struggle with a playful skit.
As the curtain pulled back, the woman's rights activist played by Brittany Colon is arrested for disguising herself as a man in order to vote, then put on trial where she is found guilty only to continue her fight for women's rights in a demonstration scene.
"Women's rights! We should have the right to vote," the girls demanded on stage, echoing the message of the 19th century's women's rights movement.
Colon, a fourth grader with the school's drama team who rehearsed for about three weeks, said that she loved playing the part of the prominent civil right's leader and with what she has learned from this experience she feels she can do anything.
"I think it gives them something to strive for, really gives them inspiration, they see women doing things that I didn't see when I was younger, my mom didn't see when she was younger. It gives them more hope that they can do anything," Scott said.
The drama team teacher Jsanean Mark said that it's inspirational to see the younger generation get interested and desire involvement in our history.
"I am elated I am not going to lie, they had me glowing and almost to tears today they have done so well. I'm very proud of them, the work they've done, [and] the amount of time that they put into this. I am like a proud mom," the Honolulu native said.
Soldiers and dependents, dressed up in intricate costumes, put on a dramatization featuring a woman who walks into a coffee shop and finds herself surrounded by influential woman throughout history as they discuss the role of woman and how each and every single one is important.
The messages were received loud and clear by a mother and her two daughters.
An equal opportunity volunteer Sherina Russell said she feels very strongly about women's history. So strongly, she added, "I even went and got my kids out of school because they are young woman growing up and I want to make sure I set a good example for them."
The wife of a recently deployed mechanic with the 2nd "Sabre" Squadron, 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment Pfc. Joshua Russell, said she hopes her children walk away from this with knowledge and understanding that in the past women were bound by so many limitations, but today they are free to do whatever they want to be.
Sherina, who volunteers to keep her mind of off her husbands deployment, said that she's happy that one day her daughters might be stewardess, models, or teachers.
She said that the main reason she wanted her children, who sat up front, to attend this function was to listen to the guest speaker and true role model the Honorable Dr. Claudia L. Brown.
"She accomplished a lot and they can too," said Sherina.
Brown, who has a daughter-in-law who is a Soldier, started off by sharing a few of her "sheroes," from Maya Angelou to Eleanor Roosevelt.
"They believed they could be and do anything they set out to do. They have a passion, a passion to set things right," Brown said. "They had talent...they had courage to press on against incredible odds...
"They accomplished what others thought were impossible."
"I think [reflecting on the past] is one of the most important things anyone can do, it doesn't matter if you're young or old, our history is what defines us," Mark said.
Because of the examples set by these strong women Brown challenged each woman to do the same and make her mark in history.