YONGSAN GARRISON, Republic of Korea - In my own special way, I'd like to pay tribute to the women who have made a big difference in my life.

First, my mom, mother of nine children, who inspired her children by her ability to juggle numerous "projects" while raising us, still finding time to read, write and love.

She is clearly the most amazing woman I know. Her family-based values were so awe-inspiring, and there is no one in the world I respect more. Thank you mom!

My wife, Beth Anne, who gave up a career as a television reporter to play the bride of a Soldier over a decade ago, is selfless. Mother to our lovely daughter, active in every community we have ever lived in as a volunteer, a board member, an advisor.

She represents the strength and character I most admire in women. Were it not for her, I would not be in the position I am today. She is my hero. Thank you, Beth Anne!

My six sisters, mentors who coached and taught me while growing up. They demonstrated compassion, commitment, bravery and calculated risk. Thank you for making such a difference in my life!

There are many more, and we all hold dear those women who have made significant contributions in our own lives.

Last week, 18th Medical Command sponsored a women's recognition program in honor of Women's History Month. It was titled "Woman's Art: Woman's Vision - Creative Expressions within the Military Community," and I witnessed superb performances by some of our community's best talent.

Col. Leana Fox, Deputy Commander for Nursing at the hospital and keynote speaker, reminded us of the sacrifices women have made. She discussed the roles women have played, where they came from and how they got where they are today. She reminded us that were it not for women, the world would not be what it is today.

This recognition ceremony enabled me to reflect on the great accomplishments women have made to our nation, particularly in the past several decades. It also reminded us that our United States Army simply could not perform its mission without its women Soldiers, who comprise approximately 15 percent of the force.

I was honored to be a part of this ceremony. My tribute to women is to remind them that I would not be the person I am today without their influence on my life. It is clear that women continue to excel as role models and leaders, but let us not forget that this path was paved by self determination and a great deal of courage.

Thank you, ladies!