55 years old from Fort Belvoir, Virginia
Ann E. Dunwoody, after 33 years in the Army, ascended Friday to a peak never before reached by a woman in the U.S. military: four-star general.
At an emotional promotion ceremony, Dunwoody looked back on her years in uniform, said it was a credit to the Army—and a great surprise to her—that she would make history in a male-dominated military.
"Thirty-three years after I took the oath as a second lieutenant, I have to tell you this is not exactly how I envisioned my life unfolding," she told a standing-room-only auditorium. "Even as a young kid, all I ever wanted to do was teach physical education and raise a family.
"It was clear to me that my Army experience was just going to be a two-year detour en route to my fitness profession," she added. "So when asked, `Ann, did you ever think you were going to be a general officer, to say nothing about a four-star?' I say, `Not in my wildest dreams.'
"There is no one more surprised than I—except, of course, my husband. You know what they say, `Behind every successful woman there is an astonished man.'"
You can read the rest of Gen. Dunwoody's story here.
These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives
so that others may enjoy the freedoms we get to enjoy everyday.
For that, I am proud to call them Hero.
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