Added: Marvin Hereford - Date: 20.11.2021 02:54 - Views: 30820 - Clicks: 5338
Kennedy made history by becoming the U. The highest-ranking female officer of her time, she served as deputy chief of staff for intelligence, overseeing policy and resources affecting 45, soldiers worldwide. In her new book, Generally Speaking, Kennedy recalls her career. Read an excerpt below. My father, Cary A.
In he came home to Memphis, married my mother, Tommie Jean Haygood, and Adult personals american Fort eustis Virginia young couple soon embarked — literally — on an Army career, taking a troopship to Germany. As Daddy would later wryly tell us, he decided to stay in the Army because he was energetic enough to walk up stairs to a processing station on the second floor. When the war was over, officers were given the choice of applying for a regular commission or mustering out.
The line for immediate discharge, he said, formed on the first floor of an administration building, while there was another line of officers who wanted to stay in the service on the second floor. Daddy was a major. He liked the Army, but, given the option of remaining in the Infantry or selecting another branch, he chose the Transportation Corps.
I was born in Frankfurt, Germany, in A year later, my father sent Mother and me home to Memphis because the Cold War seemed about to flare into open conflict. The Soviets had cut off Allied ground access to Berlin. The West responded with the Berlin Airlift. Although tensions remained high for eleven months, the Soviets eventually relented and opened the land corridor to the Allied sectors of Berlin. But the Iron Curtain now divided Europe. Over the coming years, we would repeatedly return to this post. Both my parents were strong influences on my character.
Obviously, my father, a career soldier, formed my model of a professional officer. But my mother, Jean, has also always been a strong individual. She taught me that a woman could have independent political and social opinions at a time when Father Knows Best was as much a national ethos as popular entertainment. Almost fifty years later, I clearly remember an afternoon when she first made me aware that women could hold independent views on important issues.
It was early falland the presidential election race between Democratic candidate Adlai Stevenson and Republican candidate Dwight Eisenhower was heating up. I was skipping rope in the yard and came inside to find Mama ironing and watching the grainy black-and-white image on the large screen of our light oak television set. It was Mr. Stevenson giving a speech.
This was exciting stuff for a kid of five. Mama was talking to me like a grown-up. Daddy was a politically conservative Army officer who would naturally vote for General Eisenhower. But Mama had independent political views, which were more liberal than my father's. Both my parents, however, taught their children that their personal lives had to be disciplined, whatever individual social views they held.
They also taught us to examine our own motives and not accept the opinions of others whole cloth. I can't think of a better preparation in childhood for the character of a future leader. Like most Army children, I learned to make friends fast, not be surprised when we had to move after a year or two, and to endure the isolation of being the new kid when I was put into the middle of a strange class at a new school. And I also experienced some wonderful educational opportunities that civilians rarely had. As a second-grader at the Yoyogi School for military dependents in Tokyo in the mids, for example, I Adult personals american Fort eustis Virginia the dances that all young Japanese girls were taught and even took a class in making traditional silk dolls.
At the post school in Boeblingen, Germany, a few years later, I began to practice the polysyllabic mysteries of German. When we went to Israel inDaddy was ased to the embassy. I started tenth grade at Tabeetha School, run by the Church of Scotland. The curriculum was demanding, particularly the English and Latin courses, but I enjoyed the challenge because I had decided three years earlier that I wanted to be a doctor. I had reached that decision in an unusual way. When I was in seventh grade, there simply were not many professions open to women other than teaching and nursing.
So I had decided I would be a nurse. I chose my eighth-and ninth-grade courses, including algebra and Latin, based on that ambition. In Israel, I learned mammalian anatomy quite well by dissecting a dead rabbit.
But, in the process, I also discovered that I had no further interest in becoming either a doctor or a nurse. Inwe got news that my father, who had been promoted to full colonel, had been ased to command the Brooklyn Army Terminal. We would live at nearby Fort Hamilton. I had become attached to my friends in Israel.
I did not want to go to a third high school. I was eager to be independent, to be an adult. We were at dinner. That evening Father was tired but patient. Naturally, I went home with the family. And I was unhappy that year. Fort Hamilton High was a civilian school near the post. The seismic shock waves of the s counterculture hadn't hit yet, and the social scene was still frozen in a s teenage time warp.
Belonging to the right clique, whether it was centered on student government, sports, or neighborhoods, seemed a matter of dire importance. With four children and an Army salary, my parents were saving every dime they had for our college education. The trendy pleated skirts from Neiman Marcus were out of the question. Nobody asked me to the prom. In fact, I didn't have a single date that last year of high school. For some girls, that would have been a tragedy. I decided to concentrate on my classes. And I read a lot for fun, mostly biography, which I'd enjoyed since grade school, then branched into Ayn Rand and Dostoyevsky.
We had already decided that I would attend my mother's alma mater, Southwestern at Memphis, a small co-ed liberal arts college founded by the Presbyterian Church in My mother's family had a long association with the school.
Both aunts and one uncle had attended, and my grandfather had taught math and coached football there. Another advantage of attending Southwestern was I could live with one of my grand-mothers. Daddy had promised all the children four years of college, but after that, as he always reminded us, "You graduate from college in four years, get a job, pack your bags, and live on your own.
You'll always be welcome home for brief, pleasant visits. That was the Army colonel speaking. The start of my freshman year in August coincided with the true beginning of the "sixties," the social cataclysm that shook the Western world for the next decade. Even though Southwestern was a Southern campus where weekly chapel attendance was mandatory, it was viewed as liberal in comparison with the local state college. Anti-Vietnam War demonstrations and protests over dorm rules and fraternity and sorority culture became commonplace during my college years.
But in Memphis, retaining its Old South civility, these events lacked the strident tone or violence found on larger, more radical campuses. And many of the students simply remained aloof, preferring traditional college pursuits and confining their probing of deeper issues such as the civil rights movement or the war in Vietnam to intellectual expression, rather than taking the debate to the streets.
Although I ed the Kappa Delta sorority, I was hardly a leader: My most memorable responsibility was keeping the Coke machine filled; somebody else even emptied the dimes and delivered them to the vendor. I eventually opted for a philosophy major because it was interesting and permitted the most electives. And my father was dubious: "Just exactly what kind of job do you plan to do with that degree, Claudia? My big treat each month was taking myself to McDonald's, where I could afford two out of three items: a small burger, small fries, or a small Coke.
I was not interested in marching in campus demonstrations or in going to rock concerts. But I was starting to consider what kind of job I would get Adult personals american Fort eustis Virginia fill the years between graduation and the apparent inevitability of marriage and motherhood. Real estate came naturally to mind because my grandmother Kennedy had run her own office for years, and I would always remember coveting Adult personals american Fort eustis Virginia shiny Burroughs adding machine when I was a little girl of five.
And my godmother, Meredith Moorehead, had worked her whole life in an office. She had her own lovely apartment in Memphis that I can remember as one of the most sophisticated and appealing places I visited as. As I read Socrates and struggled through economics and French literature, I considered the possibility of my own independence after college, not the mounting tensions on campus. My father's next asment brought the war home to me, however.
He went off to command the port of Saigon at the height of the American military buildup in Vietnam. And now the steadily mounting draft calls for the war meant that many of the boys who were my friends were forced to consider how to navigate among the competing demands of college, graduate school, and the draft. The antiwar protests became more vocal. Although I was personally troubled by our government's disregard of the public's legitimate concerns about Vietnam and South Vietnamese suppression of opposition groups, including Buddhist monks burning themselves alive on Saigon sidewalks, I did not believe national policy should be set by people's individual acts of civil disobedience during wartime.
It was all well and good for college students enjoying their deferments to loudly debate the war. But the Iowa farm boy or inner-city black kid didn't have that option. They were over there in Vietnam. Just like my father. I felt they deserved our support, no matter what we thought of the war itself. In the spring of my junior year, Southwestern hosted a seminar as part of the annual week-long Dilemma series on ethical issues in which a civilian speaker defended American policy in Vietnam.
The lecture hall was packed with opponents to the war, students, faculty, and people from town.
But the speaker handled himself well, even when the questions and audience responses to his answers got heated. At the end of the program, as we stood outside the auditorium in an informal continuation of the discussion, I addressed him. What can we do about them? He looked around the lobby, then at me. The people around me were silent. There were none of the groans or boos that had greeted his earlier statements.
His words have stayed with me over three decades as a professional soldier, and have sustained me through the losses of a growing of fellow soldiers. A few weeks later, the postman found a copy of Cosmopolitan with a missing mailing label in his bag. He knew a college girl lived at my grandmother's house, so he put the magazine in the box. I read about the hot fashions and rather innocent dating advice, then happened to spot a full- advertisement showing a photo of a dancing couple. They wore Army green uniforms. The ad sought enlisted applicants for the Women's Army Corps.
Intrigued, I sent in a postcard and received information about the WAC summer program for college juniors considering becoming officers after graduation. They had looked sharp and purposeful in their summer cord uniforms. Once commissioned, they would have a minimum two-year service obligation. Looking at the brochures, I saw photos of women officers leading formations of WACs and doing staff work in offices. To a young person raised near Army posts, it seemed natural that women officers were the counterparts of their male colleagues: leaders. For the first time in my life, I recognized the possibility that I might enjoy being a leader.
But I was Adult personals american Fort eustis Virginia just twenty years old, and I didn't want to take the plunge alone. I had to obtain faculty references to complete my application. When I approached one of my science professors, he wasn't very receptive. I did, and found it very courageous for Betty Friedan to say out loud what many thought but were unable to put into words, that it simply was not enough for a woman to devote her life to being a wife and a mother.
Every argument she made was not only rational, but captured the sense of what is the essential struggle in our lives, the two competing demands of family and work. I grasped her viewpoint instinctively — as did countless millions of other young American women over the coming decades. We were not inherently less capable or ambitious than the boys and young men we had grown up with. But until Betty Friedan spoke out, women as a group were simply expected to truncate their lives due to their gender, not fulfill their individual talents or aspirations.Adult personals american Fort eustis Virginia
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