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    Fort McCoy observes 2022 Women’s Equality Day with special event

    Fort McCoy observes 2022 Women’s Equality Day with special event

    Photo By Scott Sturkol | Author and domestic-violence survivor Carolyn Colleen shares her personal story of...... read more read more

    Fort McCoy held its observance of Women’s Equality Day on Aug. 25 with a special event featuring guest speaker Carolyn Colleen at McCoy’s Community Center.

    The event, organized by Equal Opportunity Advisor Master Sgt. Ana Guzman with the Fort McCoy Garrison Equal Opportunity Office, recognizes the day the 19th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution was passed on Aug. 26, 1920, giving women the right to vote.

    At the United States Census Bureau website,, a snippet of the original Congressional Resolution for Women’s Equality Day from Aug. 26, 1973, was shared to provide a better idea about the day.

    “Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, that August 26, 1973, is designated as ‘Women's Equality Day,’ and the President is authorized and requested to issue a proclamation in commemoration of that day in 1920 on which the women of America were first guaranteed the right to vote. Approved August 16, 1973.”

    At the 2022 Fort McCoy observance of Women’s Equality Day, author and domestic-violence survivor Colleen shared her personal story of perseverance and more.

    Colleen’s FIERCE 5 blueprint for domestic-violence recovery and future success is well known. In Colleen’s book, “F.I.E.R.C.E., Transform Your Life In The Face of Adversity 5 Minutes At A Time!,” it describes what the FIERCE acronym means.

    • Focused breath: take a deep breath, face fear, and focus.

    • Identify one goal; name three things required to achieve that goal.

    • Examine barriers to the goal.

    • Reflect and visualize your truths; co-create your own reality.

    • Courage: recognize that you have the courage.

    • Engage — take action.
    “Thank you for having me (here),” Colleen said. It’s an honor to stand before you and be here today. … As a woman, as a CEO, as a leader, … life was not always that way. We all have different adversities in life. Getting out of bed might be one of those adversities. Figuring out what to eat for lunch could be an adversity. Who knows what’s gonna happen after this? We have no idea because in life, a lot of times, you’re either in a storm, coming out of a storm, or you’re heading into one. It’s not necessarily that life gets easier — we just learn how to navigate better.”

    Colleen added: “So the women (who) have come before us have experienced different kinds of adversities. Navigating those adversities, realizing the strength that we come to the table with, and repurposing them (is) in which you move forward. So how do we repurpose the tools that we have in which to create a more resilient, more FIERCE, more powerful movement heading forward?”

    Colleen further discussed her life journey to where she is today and how it has been a long one. She grew up in a home where her mother was a hoarder with mental health issues. Her father wasn’t around and was away at work all the time.

    At an early age, she was physically and sexually abused by others and had a troubled youth. She even tried to commit suicide at one point. As an older teen, she became involved in an abusive relationship that became a marriage with a child born from it. During her years in this relationship, she endured further emotional, physical, and sexual abuse.

    Her daughter also was nearly inconsolable with colic after birth. About a year and a half after her daughter was born, Colleen said she had a life-changing moment. She said she prayed for strength, and suddenly, her daughter stopped her constant crying. She said she looked into her daughter’s eyes and at that moment learned about unconditional love. That moment, she learned she had to leave the abusive relationship and improve her life.

    In her own words, through much hard work, Colleen was able to create a life “that changed the cycle.” Colleen also honored all the women who “have come before us and the trailblazing that (was) done by so many before us” for Women’s Equality Day.

    Fort McCoy Garrison Commander Col. Stephen Messenger thanked Colleen for her presentation.

    “That was just a really powerful story, and thank you so much for sharing that,” Messenger said. “I took a couple of notes myself. I wrote leadership, and I talk about this all the time. It’s not one who consumes, it’s one who provides, and we have so many leaders out there who like to consume, and it’s about them versus providing and the servant leadership aspect and that really resonated with me. That was awesome. The second one … leadership is a journey. It’s not about your accomplishments, it’s about the accomplishments of the people who are around you. It’s like you were talking about — what a strong, powerful example of a woman … thank you Carolyn. That was an amazing story.”

    Fort McCoy’s senior enlisted leader, Command Sgt. Maj. Raquel DiDomenico, also appreciated Colleen’s presentation.

    “Thank you for sharing your story and all of those words of wisdom,” DiDomenico said. “Absolutely loved that you were able to turn your negative into such a positive for everybody.”

    In addition to Fort McCoy, Women’s Equality Day was celebrated across the Army and the Department of Defense.

    Fort McCoy’s motto is to be the “Total Force Training Center.” Located in the heart of the upper Midwest, Fort McCoy is the only U.S. Army installation in Wisconsin.

    The installation has provided support and facilities for the field and classroom training of more than 100,000 military personnel from all services nearly every year since 1984.

    Learn more about Fort McCoy online at, on the Defense Visual Information Distribution System at, on Facebook by searching “ftmccoy,” and on Twitter by searching “usagmccoy.”

    Also try downloading the Digital Garrison app to your smartphone and set “Fort McCoy” or another installation as your preferred base.



    Date Taken: 09.06.2022
    Date Posted: 09.06.2022 17:13
    Story ID: 428708
    Location: FORT MCCOY, WI, US 

    Web Views: 34
    Downloads: 0