By Larry Reilly
USAG Stuttgart Public Affairs Office
“As we commemorate women’s history month, we acknowledge with reverence the lives of countless groundbreaking women who have made enormous sacrifices. All those that came before us, those that are us and those that will surely follow us.”
Those words echoed off the walls of the Panzer Community Center, aka the firehouse, during the USAG-Stuttgart’s Women’s History Month celebration on March 23 as guest speaker Tawania Kovacs, USAG-Stuttgart, Army Community Service division chief, talked about the achievements of the many women who have made an impact on America and on her.
Following the Department of Defense’s theme of Honoring Trailblazing Women, Kovacs recognized such prominent women as Madeleine Albright, Condoleezza Rice and Hillary Clinton, but she hit a cord with the primarily female audience of about two dozen when she recognized a number of women who have played a major role in the development of her career.
“The rock stars in my life time (included) Karen McComas, Gretchen Shannon, Gail Foster and the infamous Kim Combs. Their guidance, influence, encouragement, pulling me up by the bootstraps and pushing me forward when I thought I couldn’t (have) led me here before you today,” said Kovacs.
Striking the audience’s cord a bit more, Kovacs brought her talk full circle when she stated those in the audience were the true trailblazers, the movers and the shakers of the present and of the future.
“We are, in our own right, the trailblazers and the movers and shakers of our families and of our community,” said Kovacs. “And I believe more today than ever before, we are our sisters’ keepers. A rising tide does lift all boats, and I know we can all be that tide.”
After the cutting of the traditional ceremony cake and partaking in an assortment of finger foods, the audience’s conversations centered on Kovacs’ message.
“Most times, speakers will focus only on recognizing the women who have made a difference historically,” said Martha Povich, an attendee at the ceremony. “I liked how she talked past women and their achievements, but also about the women who made an impact on her career and how we are all trailblazers in the lives we live and in the young lives we can shape and inspire.”
Although Kovacs was the keynote speaker, the behind the scenes work from the Garrison’s Equal Opportunity Office, volunteers from DENTAC and other units ensured the operational aspect of the ceremony went smoothly.