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Women of 'firsts" to highlight Fort Monroe event
By Hugh Lessig
Women who are considered military pioneers will appear at Fort Monroe on March 31 to share their stories and help mark Women's History Month.
Representing the Army, Navy, Air Force and National Guard, they will take the stage at the Post Theater from 1-3 p.m.
"We have an unbelievable line-up of outstanding women who will talk about how they overcame barriers to blaze their respective trails," said Lt. Col. Liz Bobb, Women's History Month coordinator. The theater is located on Tidball Road, and the event is free and open to the public.
Here is the lineup.
Tammy Duckworth, assistant secretary, Department of Veterans Affairs: A major in the Illinois National Guard, Duckworth flew Black Hawk helicopter missions in Iraq. In 2004, her helicopter was ambushed and struck by a rocket-propelled grenade. She lost both of her legs and partial use of her right arm. She recovered and began a career in public service. She directed the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs from 2006 to 2008, focusing on health care, mental health, housing and employment. In her current federal role, her responsibilities include overseeing programs for homeless veterans and rehabilitative special event programs.
Ruby Butler DeMesme, a director at Deloitte Consulting: In 1998, she became the first woman appointed as the assistant secretary of the Air Force. She created and oversaw numerous programs, such as recruiting, education and family advocacy. With Deloitte, she advises federal agency clients, and her focus includes business strategies and solutions for today's and tomorrow's workforce.
Navy Vice Adm. Carol Pottenger, deputy chief of staff for capability and development, NATO-ACT: One of the first women selected for sea duty, in 2006 she became the first female admiral to take command of a Navy strike group as Commander, Amphibious Force 7th Fleet.
Retired Army Lt. Gen. Claudia Kennedy: The first woman to achieve the rank of lieutenant general in the Army, Kennedy's subsequent civilian career is marked by appearances as a military consultant on NBC and CNN, and as a guest on Larry King Live and Wolf Blitzer Reports. She has served abused and neglected children by chairing First Star, a non-profit organization.
Air Force Col. Joyce Adkins, Commander, 633rd Medical Operations Squadron: A clinical psychologist, Adkins established the Air Force's Organizational Health Center system and served on the Air Force Suicide Prevention Program development team. Now she commands the 633rd, located at Joint Base Langley-Eustis.