Women recognize long journey during Equality Day

| August 20, 2010 | 0 Comments

Pfc. Marcus Fichtl
8th Military Police Brigade Public Affairs, 8th Theater Sustainment Command

SCHOFIELD BARRACKS — Aug. 26 marks Women’s Equality Day, a day that commemorates the passing of the 19th Amendment, which gave women the right to vote in the U.S. 

For the military, the observance encourages personnel to commemorate women’s sacrifices and struggles. 

The Army’s Military Police Regiment and, specifically, the 8th MP Brigade, 8th Theater Sustainment Command, celebrate equality among the sexes, as seen by multiple combat and garrison MP units that are led by women, including Col. LaTonya Lynn, who is commander of the 8th MP Bde.

“I entered into the Delayed Entry Program in 1977, a year after they abolished the Women’s Army Corps,” said Susana Pizano-Peterson, a retired master sergeant and current logistics manager for 8th MP Bde. “In 1978, I went to one of the first integrated basic training companies in Fort Jackson, S.C.” 

While the cadences were “a free for all,” and the language, even among the women, was a bit coarse, they only drove Peterson to try harder. Deeds, not words or charms, were what was going to build respect and a successful career in the U.S. military.

Peterson’s accomplishments during her 25-year career ranged from getting her spurs with the cavalry unit, an 

accomplishment requiring a gauntlet of both physical and mental tests, to becoming an impromptu translator in Panama.

“I took on all challenges and took it (to) the limit, something all women should do to show what we can do,” Peterson said.

Master Sgt. Cynthia Edwards, senior food operations manager, 8th MP Bde., is thankful for women who paved the way for her, and she said she hasn’t taken their sacrifices for granted.

Like Peterson, Edwards has taken on all challenges placed before her, like winning Soldier of the Month boards, mentoring Soldiers into becoming warrant officers and managing a dining facility.

“I’m going to start a finance management business and help people solve and organize their debt, and use the skills I had running the dining facility: managing budgets, inventory and more than 120 people,” Edwards said, about translating what she learned in the military towards a career in civilian world. 

“Preparing oneself tactically and technically – and letting one’s accomplishments speak for themselves,” Edwards continued, “will not only let female Soldiers earn respect from their male peers, but from each other — and, ultimately, themselves.” 

Spc. Ashley Love, human resources specialist, 8th MP Bde., understands the necessity of having goals, facing challenges and recognizing the accomplishments of being a woman in the Army.

“I was stuck in a rut in Georgia,” Love said. “I wanted independence and a challenge.”

Love got a challenge, but she wasn’t sure if she got what she was looking for.

“That first year, I didn’t know what I got myself into,” she said, “but then everything came into focus. I saw my degree becoming a reality. Hurdles that were in front of me were being overcome, and, in 2009, I decided to re-enlist.” 

Love said she worked through her challenges and persevered in the Army. 

“Do what it takes to reach that next level,” Love said. “The stronger you are as a Soldier and a woman, the more able you will be to fight adversity and overcome all obstacles before you.” 

Category: News, Observances

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