By Julie LucasDecember 18, 2012
VICENZA, Italy- Girl power was alive and in the air as females from around Caserma Ederle joined together Dec. 6 for the first Female 2 Female event. Spouses, civilians, and Soldiers mingled together, while playing an icebreaker game with the name of a famous woman placed on their backs. An introduction was given by Julia Sibilla, Army Community Service community program manager, who was one of the many people working to bring the event to life.
"I'd like to see us as an installation have a network for females to share information and have a better experience for newcomers," Sibilla said.
Ifat Levine, a former Israeli Defense Force officer shared her experiences with the audience.
"I lay in my bed with an M16 under my pillow, in full uniform, but couldn't sleep because of all the mosquitos," Levine said. "I woke up with sunlight on my face, sweating."
Following the speaker, women were given free time to continue to make connection in the community. Chris Wolff, Outdoor Recreation director, gave a brief presentation about trips with ODR and had a giveaway for a trip voucher.
One participant, Sgt. 1st Class Melissa Wakefield got involved with this event because she wanted to help be a mentor.
"F2F is is dedicated to making sure that the Female Sponsorship program is a priority and gets improved upon. The idea of knowing how easy it is to get involved in the wrong crowd or scared to venture out in a new location can be tough," Wakefield said. "Since I can relate to going to a new location in my career when I was a single female Soldier, I can relate to this program. For the future I would like to see females in our community step up and share their stories, so people can get a more personal feel for this program and understand the true need."
U.S. Army Garrison Vicenza Health Promotions office Mickie McNamara, who was also one of the foundations in starting the social, was happy with the outcome.
"We are extremely pleased with the turnout. I overheard one female Soldier thanking Ifat for the inspiration she provided -- that says it all because our goal for this inaugural event was to create dialogue and networking opportunities among females in the VMC," McNamara said.
Future events are in the working stages.