Meredith College Hosts 10th Anniversary Event to Honor Women Veterans
Meredith College held its Veterans Day celebration, Honoring Women Veterans, on November 9, 2022. It was the 10th anniversary event and a return to in-person service after two years of virtual commemorations .
The event honors all veterans, with a particular focus on the contributions of female veterans. It featured a musical performance by Encore! and a keynote address by Lt. Gen. Kathleen M. Gainey, US Army (Retired).
Gainey spoke about her own military service, shared stories of female veterans, and spoke about the Military Women’s Memorial.
Gainey comes from a military family, but called her career path in the US military unlikely. “I never planned on a career in the military,” but the military continued to offer attractive leadership challenges.
She served in the United States Army for more than 35 years and retired in December 2013. Her past assignments include Deputy Commander of United States Transportation Command, where she led the command through a major strategic review and a period of increasing forces in Afghanistan and decreasing forces in Iraq. . She also served as Director of Logistics to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Here, she led a review of contractor dependency on the battlefield, updated guidelines and equipment disposal for the departure of forces from Iraq, and established an Interagency Logistics Council.
“I lived by the Army motto, ‘Be all you can be,’ because of the people in the Army who challenged me to accomplish.”
She acknowledged that the opportunities that are now common were not always available to women.
“Every generation of women who have served has helped break down barriers,” Gainey said. “They demonstrated how women could excel. I am forever grateful to these women.
Gainey also discussed the Military Women’s Memorial (MWM), formerly known as the Women in Military Service for America Memorial. Located in Arlington, Virginia, the memorial commemorates its 25th anniversary in October. Gainey is an MWM ambassador in North Carolina. She underlined the importance of this memorial.
“More than three million women served in the U.S. military…the artifacts and memorabilia [of these veterans] will be lost if we don’t capture them in this memorial,” Gainey said. She concluded by challenging members of the public to visit the MWM and help find and record the stories of women veterans in the memorial.
The College’s annual event is presented by the Meredith College Honoring Women Veterans Committee, with assistance from the Meredith Student Veterans Association and Service Scholars. In addition to this commemoration, members of the Meredith community can craft greeting cards that will be sent to the troops via Heartillery Group. Card supplies are available in the lobby of the Cate Center until Friday, November 18.