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Luncheon crowd celebrates women’s ‘victories, struggles’

By Verda L. Parker | | March 20, 2014

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Whether a luncheon attendee or not, anyone within range of the Town and Country Restaurant could have heard the celebration going on inside during the installation’s Women’s History Month luncheon, March 11.

To the tune of Helen Redding’s hit song, “I am Woman,” women as well as men participated in a sing-along with vocalist, Jacqueline Clark and guitar strumming Joseph Wingard.

Clark is a management analyst with Manpower, Marine Depot Maintenance Command, and Wingard is the director of Consolidated Storage Program, Logistics Management Services Center, Marine Corps Logistics Command.

“Each year March is dedicated, designated as Women’s History Month to insure the history of American women will be recognized and celebrated in schools, workplaces and throughout the country,” Ira Thompson, inspector general, LOGCOM, said.

Thompson continued to give accolades to the significant role women have played and contributed to American society.

“Throughout our nation’s history, women have led movements of social and economic justice,” he continued. “During Women’s History Month, we recognize the victories, the struggles and the stories of women who have made our country what it is today.”

According to one of the event’s coordinators, Angelo Knox, equal employment specialist, Civilian Human Resources Office-Southeast, Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany, the luncheon’s primary objective was to bring awareness to women’s contributions in shaping America’s history through education as well as through entertainment.

“When we think about celebrating women of character, women of courage and women of commitment, we think about women who are not wearing a uniform,” Knox said, as he welcomed a packed crowd at the luncheon.

Addressing attendees to the celebration, Knox cited the names of non-uniformed women who have impacted the nation’s history as being “the first.” He then shifted his list in honor and recognition to women in the country’s armed services.

Focusing on the theme, “Women of Character, Commitment and Courage,” Knox then paused to give honor and recognition to some of the women in key leadership positions on the installation.

“Here in Albany, Ga., we have Master Gunnery Sgt. Carlotta Moore, administrative chief, Marine Corps Logistics Command,” Knox said. “Then, on our civilian side, we have Deborah Bouyer, director, Marine Corps Community Services, and we have Catherine Wesbey, our new comptroller (at Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany).”

In wrapping up his list honoring female personnel aboard the base, Knox shifted his attention to the progress women have made over the years.

“These women (as well as others) are

still doing great things, Knox concluded. “The glass ceiling has been broken for a long time and it has been shattered.”

The highlight of the luncheon came when guest speaker for the event, Maggie Emily, international student advisor, Albany State University, Albany, Ga., took her place at the podium.

“I am from Kentucky and I’m a woman,” Emily said. “Those are my qualifications for giving this speech today.

“I come from a matriarchal family,” she continued. “I like to refer to them as the league of wonder-women. I was raised by my great grandmother, Amie, my grandmother, Vernice, and my mother, Charmaine.”

Reflecting on some of her childhood memories, Emily said seeing some of the things the “strong women,” who had raised her had accomplished, she realized she could be, and could do anything she had a desire to be or to do.

“Those images left an indelible mark on me,” she said. “It was then that I knew too, I could do whatever I chose. I knew and I know that it’s all mine for the taking. If I leave you here today with nothing else, please remember that.”

Emily recalled former president Ronald Reagan’s proclamation of March 7, 1982, in which he declared March as the first Women’s History Week -- a time to celebrate the contributions of women in American history.

“I, personally, look forward to the day when we no longer need this month to remind us of our greatest … when it’s just understood that we rock,” Emily proclaimed. “But, until then, I am more than happy to remind America just how great my fellow women are.”
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