Service members across Okinawa unite in honor of Women’s Equality Day

Service members across Okinawa unite in honor of Women’s Equality Day

by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Steven Khor
Fleet Activities Okinawa

OKINAWA, Japan – (Aug. 25, 2017) -- Service members and civilians from across Okinawa came together and participated in a 1.3 mile run/walk around the Robby Risner block on Kadena Air Base in commemoration of Women’s Equality Day, Aug. 25.

Hosted by the 18th Medical Group, participants included Sailors, Airmen, Soldiers and Marines, and their families. Some participants were even accompanied by pets.

Col. Theresa Goodman, attached to the 18th Medical Group, was the guest speaker. She highlighted the importance of women’s equality and how women all over the military are helping break down societal barriers.

“The arduous struggle to gain women’s right to vote came from the mutual support of many to reach a common goal,” said Goodman.” Each of you has the opportunity to empower those around you. I challenge you to use your strengths to make all those around you stronger and more confident, and I look forward to watching you all continue to break barriers in the future.”

Established by Congress in 1971, Women's Equality Day is celebrated on Aug. 26, and commemorates the 19th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which prohibits the states and the federal government from denying U.S. citizens the right to vote on the basis of sex.

Women first entered Naval service in 1908 with the establishment of the Navy Nurse Corps. It would be 12 years later with the ratification of the 19th Amendment that women were finally given the right to vote. Women continued to serve in the Navy throughout World War I and World War II, but it was not until June 12, 1948, with the passage of the Women's Armed Services Integration Act, that women gained permanent status in the U.S. armed forces.

“Today was an awesome day to come out to participate in a run and to celebrate unique accomplishments for both men and women alike and meet our fellow service members,” said Navy Lt. Andrea Baker attached to Commander Task Force 76.

“It’s [my daughter’s] first official run, and I was glad to bring her out here and support a really good cause for her future and the future of other women,” said Melissa Cook, a civilian attached to the 18th Medical Group.

For more information on Commander Fleet Activities Okinawa, please visit us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/COMFLEACTOKI/

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