JBB celebrates Women's History Month

Story and photo by Sgt. Ryan Twist
139th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment
13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) Public Affairs

JOINT BASE BALAD, Iraq — Soldiers and Airmen came together to recognize Women's History Month March 29 at Morale, Welfare and Recreation east at Joint Base Balad, Iraq.

Service members attended the event to celebrate and recognize the significant contributions by women in history.

Capt. Katerina Carbuccia, deputy logistics officer with the 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) out of Fort Hood, Texas, said women came and showed their support regardless of rank, a memory they could all take home with them.

"I think it went very well," she said. "Sometimes we need to be recognized and Women's History Month is a moment to say, 'Hello, we are here and we can do the same job as men.'"

Carbuccia, a Hato Rey, Puerto Rico, native, said the event was well organized and kept the crowd entertained using speakers and performances. She said she participated because of encouragement by fellow Soldiers, but also to show her support for the women who influenced her throughout her life.

"My mom (and) my grandmother are who inspired me," she said. "That is the reason why I think about them every time it's Women's History Month. I don't think about the big people, they already have the recognition."

Staff Sgt. Chevella S. Stokes, a logistics noncommissioned officer in charge with the 402nd Army Field Support Brigade out of Rock Island, Ill., said the event was part of their equal opportunity program to celebrate each observance month. She said her role model was her grandmother.

"We have contributed a lot throughout history and it's nice to be acknowledged for what we have done and what we are continuing to do," she said. "(The event) went pretty well."

Stokes, a Savannah, Ga., native, said women are not limited by their gender.

"If we set our goals and strive for them we can achieve anything," she said. "Nothing is impossible. Women before us have shown that we can accomplish anything."

Col. Cherri S. Wheeler, the wing chaplain for the 332nd Air Expeditionary Wing and a San Antonio native, was the guest speaker for the event.

"I long for the day when the only limitation a little girl faces is her own lack of imagination," she said. "I hope the next generation of little girls is taught from the cradle that they can accomplish anything."

Wheeler said she hopes parents and mentors of women encourage them to follow their dreams, no matter the dream. She also said she feels jobs and positions should be determined by the most qualified, and not because a quota of women is required.

"I long for the day that all positions are open to those who are qualified for it and desire to pursue it," she said. "I long for the day when we no longer distinguish firsts by gender, but rather knowing that every person, no matter the gender, had an equal opportunity to prepare and accomplish it. I long for the day when history is no longer 'his story,' but 'her story' too."

 

news photo
Col. Cherri S. Wheeler, the wing chaplain for the 332nd Air Expeditionary Wing and a San Antonio native, was the guest speaker for the Women's History Month observance March 29 at Morale, Welfare and Recreation east at Joint Base Balad, Iraq.