Women's Equality Day

Story by Pvt. Crystal D. Eldridge
13th COSCOM Public Affairs Office

The 13th Corps Support Command celebrated Women's Equality Day with the mayor of Killeen at the Officer's Club here Friday.

Maureen Jouett, who is Killeen's first female mayor, spoke to both men and women in a speech that briefly covered the history of women's suffrage in Texas before stressing the importance of being active in one's own choices and future.

"In life, you have many choices … We are restricted only by our own imaginations. I would encourage you not to be like that," Jouett said to the audience of both enlisted and commissioned Soldiers.

Instead of holding oneself back, she continued, everyone should strive to be like the little engine who could.

Citing a quote made famous by Henry Ford, she emphasized, "If you think you can do a thing or you think you can't do a thing, you're right."

One area everyone has a choice in is voting, Jouett said. Women campaigned for 72 years to gain the right to vote, and it is everyone's responsibility to take advantage of that right.

"If you don't vote, you've slapped the faces of those who fought to give you that right," the mayor admonished. "Always be sure your voice is heard. If we don't vote, we have no voice. Make your own choices - don't let others make choices for you."

Following Jouett's speech, COSCOM commanding general Brig. Gen. Michael Terry addressed the audience with comments about women in the military.

"I don't know if you know this or not, but the COSCOM is one-third female …" Terry said.

On those who object to women in the military: "Some of these folks just [have] to get over it. We can't accomplish our mission without females," Terry assured the Soldiers.

Terry continued by telling a firsthand account of women in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

At one water point in Iraq, Terry said living conditions were very poor and bugs were rampant.

"[The female Soldiers] decided to get on with it and accomplish the mission. I couldn't have been prouder!" Terry bragged.

This year's Women's Equality Day marked the 85th anniversary of the 19th Amendment which gave women the right to vote.


Maureen Jouett
Killeen Mayor Maureen Jouett spoke on the importance of all citizens to advantage of the right to vote -- not just women -- during the COSCOM's Women's Equality Day celebration here Friday. Photo by Pvt. Crystal D. Eldridge