News: Women's history speaker focuses on education
Story by Staff Sgt. Matthew Winstead
JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska — As is increasingly common among Army leaders, Lt. Col. Eurydice Stanley is a woman and proud of it.
Stanley, a Reserve Component Advisor with the Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support, or DANTES, was the guest speaker for Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson’s Women’s History Month observance, March 30, at the Alaska National Guard Armory.
During her visit to Alaska, she accomplished much more than a one-day speech to mark the importance of women throughout history.
Stanley also conducted several classes at installations across the state, spreading a second message about which she remains very passionate: education.
“We are facing a drawdown, there’s no point in denying it,” Stanley said. “Service members need to realize that and do something about it to better themselves and not just sit there and think ‘Well, it won’t affect me.’
She also noted the common pitfalls service members should avoid during their careers.
“Don’t fool yourselves into thinking you have the next 20 years to worry about your education,” Stanley said. “You can’t be sure that you won’t get sustain an injury, get hurt and find yourself medically retired. Get your entitled tuition assistance, get your education now while you’re in and have that safety net for later, should the worst happen.”
Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Angela Valentine joined Stanley on stage to deliver a dramatic recital of a poem dubbed “The Spoken Word.”
Valentine made frequent use of the catchphrase and ultimate question of the poem, which was despite all the accomplishments “Ain’t I a woman?”
Following Valentine’s poem, Stanley delivered her comments, which highlighted the achievements of women throughout history and emphasized the importance of an education.
Her words were especially directed at the leaders in attendance, whom she challenged to bring stronger attention to the issue of educating their Soldiers and Airmen, both women and men, and encouraging to make the most of the entitlements and benefits they have access to while they are on active duty.
“Taking as little as one class a semester is better than nothing, and it creates progress toward the goal of a degree, something that can make or break you on the outside as a civilian.” Stanley said.
For more information on DANTES and educational benefits during military service contact your unit educational officer or visit the Education Center and the website www.dantes.doded.mil for detailed information of serviced available.