Even though an annual force protection exercise was in full effect on Fort Huachuca, the United States Army Intelligence Center of Excellence, or USAICoE, still took the time to honor Women’s Equality Day by hosting an observance in Alvarado Hall on Wednesday.
“Celebrating Women’s Right to Vote” is this year’s theme, commemorating the 1920 passage of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, giving women the equal right to vote.
Barbara Ashley, businesswoman and spouse of the USAICoE and Fort Huachuca commander, opened the event by sharing a personal story of times when women were not viewed as equal, and setting the tone of how far equality has come.
Next, wearing a sash and voting button supporting women’s voting rights, featured speaker Col. Lisa Price, USAICoE, deputy commander for training, presented her speech about women and equality. Using audience interaction, humorous videos and patriotic candies, Price placed a light-hearted spin on a serious subject.
Organizers aired three videos that placed emphasis on the importance of voting and how a woman’s vote is just as beneficial as a man’s. The second video, “A History of Voting,” was an abbreviated segment on the history of voting and how it came to be.
“The patriotism by which we vote is so very important to me as a U.S. citizen, and so I want to convey that to you as well,” said Price.
She reminisced on her first voting experience, noting her youthful ignorance of voting and the changes that have happened since then. “My first election, I voted in the 1980 election and I voted for Ronald Reagan … but I will tell you that I had no idea what I was doing. Even the voting booths have changed,” Price said.
While providing direction on where to gain further information about voting within the community, Price reminded the guests of the historical women involved in the voting process.
“The Smart Voter is run by the League of Women Voters. [They] have been around since roughly 1920, and that was headed by the women who forged the right to vote for women across the United States,” Price explained.
During the celebration, Price requested audience interaction during a voting quiz about how to get involved and help out. Each participant who answered correctly received a bag of red, white and blue M&Ms®.
At the conclusion of the event, Ashley said, “Today we honor women from the military and civil service, for their strength, their honor and their pride. We honor them for their sacrifice while fighting for the freedom and the right to be an equal part of our nation and our Army.”