Story by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Susan Damman
PACIFIC OCEAN – Sailors assigned to USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) observed Women’s Equality Month with a celebration in the forecastle, Aug. 29.
Stennis’ Multicultural Heritage Committee organized the event, which highlighted the accomplishments of women throughout history who struggled for equality.
“This is a celebration of how far we’ve come from the stigmas of what a woman should be, where she belongs, and what she should know,” said Aviation Ordnanceman Airman Laketta Hampton, from Houston, one of the guest speakers. Attendees said they learned a lot of interesting facts about remarkable women.
“I feel like it was an important event for all women and even men to see what women have done, how they effected change, went through adversity,” said Ship’s Serviceman Seaman Arrington Jenkins, from Arlington, Texas, and a Multicultural Heritage Committee member. “A lot of people don’t realize the stuff [women] have done.”
The climax of the ceremony was a Battle of the Sexes-style game show, with trivia about women’s achievements. Capt. Mike Wettlaufer, Stennis’ commanding officer, assisted on the bonus question, answering correctly that Adm. Michelle Howard is the Vice Chief of Naval Operations.
Wettlaufer also gave the concluding remarks, telling the story of Army and Navy nurses who served in combat zones in the Philippines during World War II.
Women in the military often don’t wish to be recognized for what they perceive as just doing their jobs, said Wettlaufer, but they serve as important role models to the next generation, showing what it is possible to achieve.
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