• Post celebrates Women’s History Month

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  • The effect women have made on our nation’s history was revisited during the Women’s History Month luncheon March 27.
    The luncheon, sponsored by the Combined Arms Center and Fort Leavenworth, featured the presentation of the colors by the Junior ROTC Color Guard from Leavenworth High School. Col. Sioban Ledwith, commander of the 15th Military Police Brigade, was the speaker.
    During her speech, Ledwith reminded guests about women who demonstrated intelligence, strength and courage in early American history, like Betsy Ross, credited for making the first American flag; Abigail Adams, wife of the founding father and second president John Adams, who challenged her husband intellectually on government and politics; Margaret Corbin, who replaced her fallen husband as a cannon crew member during the Revolutionary War at the battle of Fort Washington; Harriet Tubman, who guided more than 300 slaves to freedom using the underground railroad; and Dr. Mary Walker, an assistant surgeon during the Civil War and the only woman to be awarded the Medal of Honor.
    Ledwith said the women’s suffrage movement brought names like Susan B. Anthony, Sojourner Truth and Elizabeth Cady Stanton to the forefront, and by the 20th and 21st centuries, women in America were rising to prominent positions from state governors to presidential cabinet members and general officers in the armed forces.
    “Those I briefly mentioned have certainly had a tremendous impact on our nation, but I submit to you that those are in the minority,” Ledwith said. “A vast majority of great women are generally unknown outside their families and local communities, however, their impact within their own sphere of influence is truly incredible.”
    To demonstrate this, she highlighted five women from the Fort Leavenworth community.
    “Today, I would like to share some examples of these great women who make a difference each and every day on this installation and definitely personify character, courage and commitment through their daily life,” Ledwith said.
    The first woman was Mary-Meghan Olmo, wife of Master Sgt. Luis Olmo-Jimenez, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, U.S. Disciplinary Barracks, and a third-grade teacher at Eisenhower Elementary School. Ledwith praised Olmo’s support of her husband’s career, being the bedrock for raising their two children and the academic and life lessons she has imparted upon her students.
    “Ms. Olmo provides the skills, support and positive educational environment that fosters a child’s love for learning, and she brings out the learner inside of themselves,” Ledwith said. “She’s committed to them achieving academic excellence and love of learning.”
    Next was Dorothy Ramsey, military spouse and nurse for 39 years currently assigned to Munson Army Health Center. She works daily at the medical clinic inside the USDB. Ledwith said she witnessed Ramsey advocating and coordinating for the best rehabilitative care for an inmate who tried to end his life and sustained orthopedic injuries.
    Page 2 of 2 - “Believe me when I say, Ms. Ramsey is truly a woman of great character as she makes a difference every day on Fort Leavenworth,” Ledwith said, “as she cares for her patients and serves as a role model for all medical care providers balancing professional medical treatment and compassion.”
    Sgt. First Class Nickie Wileman has been a soldier for 11 years. She is a corrections and detention operations specialist and serves as the 15th MP Brigade Equal Opportunity adviser. Ledwith recalled that recently Wileman’s apartment sustained smoke damage because of a fire and that Wileman humbly disclosed the first thing she grabbed was her Army Combat Uniform.
    “Ladies and gentlemen, I submit to you that not all of us would carry ourselves so well if a terrible misfortune disrupted our life,” Ledwith said. “
    Sgt. Francelli Maldonado is a soldier and mother of three who has served in the National Guard and the Army for more than 10 years. Ledwith said Maldonado credits wanting a sense of independence, wanting to make a difference in the nation and wanting a better life for her children as reasons she became a soldier.
    “The Army became a part of the Maldonado family, and anyone who has ever had the privilege to serve beside Sergeant Maldonado knows that she truly embodies the Warrior Ethos and there is nothing this young sergeant cannot do when she puts her mind to it,” Ledwith said.
    Jeanette Williams is an assistant inspector general at the Fort Leavenworth IG office. She has served as both a soldier and Army civilian for eight years, is married to a deployed soldier and has two children. Ledwith said that she has seen firsthand Williams’ tenacity and dedication in the workplace, upholding the Army values and assisting customers.
    “Ms. Williams is committed to the mission of the IG,” Ledwith said. “Being the eyes, the ears, the voice and conscientiousness of the Army across the spectrum of our operations. She truly makes a difference every day in her official capacity as she assists our soldiers, civilians, retirees and family members in regard to their concerns and issues.”
    Ledwith asked guests to reflect on what women they thought made a difference in their lives.
    “The Chinese philosopher Confucius is quoted as saying, ‘The will to win, the desire to succeed, the urge to reach your full potential … these are the keys that will unlock the door to personal experience.’ These women from our very own Fort Leavenworth community epitomize this quote, and they have all found the keys to the door of personal excellence, and they are preparing the next generation to find their own keys,” Ledwith said.
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