First Lady Frances Wolf Joins Adjutant General and Pennsylvania Commission for Women to Honor Female Veterans During Women’s History Month
March 28, 2018
Harrisburg, PA – First Lady Frances Wolf and Major General Anthony Carrelli, Pennsylvania’s Adjutant General, today joined the Pennsylvania Commission for Women to host the third annual Female Veterans Day Ceremony in celebration of Women’s History Month. During the event, held at the Governor’s Residence in Harrisburg, 16 women from across the commonwealth were recognized for their military service and selfless sacrifice to Pennsylvania and to the nation.
“Each of these women, and all those who have served before them, have made profound sacrifices for the betterment of their country. They have chosen to delay careers, families, and relationships — putting their own personal goals and desires aside to lend their time and service to their fellow citizens,” First Lady Frances Wolf said. “That is exactly why Tom and I have partnered with the Pennsylvania Commission for Women to make this event our Women’s History Month celebration each year. Women’s History Month is a wonderful time to pause and say thank you to our brave female veterans.”
“These 16 women are a great representation of the more than 60,000 female veterans and thousands of other currently serving female service members in Pennsylvania,” said Carrelli. “They broke through gender barriers and dispelled stereotypes for decades as they faithfully and selflessly served and continue to serve our country. We would not be the greatest military force on the planet without the tremendous contributions of our women in uniform.”
“On behalf of the Pennsylvania Commission for Women, we are honored to join First Lady Frances Wolf and General Carrelli to honor the courageous and selfless women who have served in the military,” Commission Chair Randi Teplitz said. “Women who have served deserve our recognition, and we are excited to share the unique stories and accomplishments of these 16 women who have triumphed in both the public and private sectors.”
The following women were honored for their service:
- Megan Andros (Pittsburgh) was honored for her service in the U.S. Army. Megan served for five years as an ordinance officer in the Army’s 1st Cavalry Division, reaching the rank of captain. She is a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom, having served in northwest Baghdad from January 2009 to January 2010. Megan graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point in 2006 with a Bachelor of Science in international law. After leaving the military, Megan joined the Heinz Endowments as a Community & Economic Development program officer. At the Endowments, she focuses primarily on improving the quality of life for veterans in western Pennsylvania. Her goals are to strengthen the community of veterans and their supporters, improve veteran access to quality health and service organizations, and increase opportunities for veterans in the workforce.
- Elaine H. Berkowitz (Pittsburgh) was honored for her service in the U.S. Army. Her education includes a Bachelor of Science in vocational education from the University of Pittsburgh, a Doctor of Dental Medicine from the University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine, and a residency at Ohio State University, College of Dentistry. Dr. Berkowitz was a dental assistant for over 20 years and taught dental assisting at the high school level and at the University of Pittsburgh before going to dental school at age 38. She recently retired from the Army Reserves as a lieutenant colonel with 38 years of service. She deployed four times and has accumulated numerous medals and awards.
- Bobbi Cumpston (Washington) was honored for her current service in the U.S. Army. Bobbi is the training and supply manager for B Company, 128th Support Battalion. She has served with the Pennsylvania Army National Guard for 15 years. Bobbi earned a bachelor’s degree in information technology, followed by a Master of Arts in organizational management. She is a member of SALUTE Veterans Honor Society. Bobbi also serves as the Commander’s Liaison for the Family Readiness Group of B Company. Bobbi resides in Washington, Pennsylvania with her husband of 24 years.
- Natalie Aysha David (Philadelphia) was honored for her service in the U.S. Marine Corps. Natalie is a native of Philadelphia and graduated from Community Academy of Philadelphia Charter School. She enlisted in the Marines in September 2014. After graduating Recruit Training in Parris Island, she attended the Ground Supply School in Camp Johnson, North Carolina. Since then, she has served in Japan and South Korea. Most recently, Natalie reported to the Chemical Biological Incident Response Force in Indian Head, Maryland to serve as a Supply Warehouse Clerk. Lance Corporal David’s awards include the National Defense Medal, Korean Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, and the Sea Service Deployment Ribbon with one bronze star.
- Hazel Marie Diaz (Annville) was honored for her service in the U.S. Marine Corps. A 2004 graduate of Lebanon High School, Hazel joined the Marines in 2006, serving for four years before she was honorably discharged. Hazel went on to earn a Bachelor of Science in psychology at Penn State University. In the eight years since her discharge from the Marines, Hazel has worked to help veterans access their GI bills and education benefits, as well as healthcare. She is currently working with NPR and StoryCorps to amplify female veterans’ voices. Hazel was recently appointed Chair of the Veterans Caucus for the Pennsylvania Democratic Party. She is the first woman of color to hold the position.
- Cheryl Grant (York) was honored for her service in the U.S. Army. Cheryl enlisted in 1979 and served as an administrative specialist in Stuttgart, Germany; Fort Eutis, Virgina; and Fort Campbell Kentucky. She was honorably discharged as a Specialist 4 in September of 1982. Today, Cheryl is employed with the City of York Parking Bureau.
- Carol Griffitts (Abington) was honored for her service in the U.S. Navy. Carol received her training in the Great Lakes region and was first sent to Virginia and then Puerto Rico for sea duty, where she served as a medical corpsman. Carol has also served as adjutant of her American Legion and as commander of the Bux-Mont Women Veterans Association. She lives in Abington, Pennsylvania — and still gives medical advice to those in the need when she volunteers to give rides to seniors for their medical appointments.
- Kimberly Henderson-Rosario (Philadelphia) was honored for her service in the U.S. Army. Kimberly attended Simon Gratz High School in the School District of Philadelphia, where she participated in the school’s Air Force Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps program. In 1981, Kimberly enlisted in the Army Reserves and served with the 224th Military Intelligence Unit and 4074th Reception Battalion. She was awarded the Army Achievement Medal, along with letters of appreciation. In 2013, Kimberly joined the Latin American Legion Post #840 in the 1st Pennsylvania District of the American Legion. Kimberly became the first female to hold elected office in the Latin American post. Kimberly is a proud mother of two career military sons – one serves in the Army and the other serves in the Air Force. She is also a grandmother of three girls, with one more on the way this month.
- Charmaine Ijeoma (Norristown) was honored for her service in the U.S. Navy from 1985 to 1989. After leaving the military, Charmaine graduated cum laude from Temple University with a Bachelor of Arts in African American studies. She then pursued a masters and a doctorate, specializing in African American literature. In 2008, Charmaine lost her job and for three years, she lived on savings and part-time jobs, but eventually lost her home and became homeless. Charmaine connected with Coatesville VAMC, where she used their computers to search for full-time jobs and enrolled in VA Healthcare. In the summer of 2014, Charmaine was successfully housed in Pottstown. And in 2015, Charmaine was hired as the Homeless Veterans Outreach Officer at the Montgomery County Veterans Affairs Office. There, she has housed 215 veterans and 170 of their family members. She continues to work to help other veterans in Montgomery County avoid becoming homeless in the first place.
- Amanda Kloehr (Camp Hill) was honored for her service in the U.S. Air Force. Amanda entered the military immediately after high school. She spent three and a half years working as a physical therapy assistant for the Air Force before being medically retired in 2009 after suffering a horrific car accident in 2008. The accident was a result of her being a distracted driver. She was in a coma, underwent over 20 surgeries, and lost her right eye. In 2014, Amanda graduated from Central Penn College with a Bachelor of Science in corporate communications. She was hired as communications coordinator for the East Pennsboro School District. Amanda has also chosen to use her horrific experience to educate others about the dangers of distracted driving. She is a motivational speaker who has spoken with audiences ranging from one to 2,000 – she’s even been interviewed on the Today Show.
- Rachel Kovach (Clinton) was honored for her current service in the U.S. Army. Staff Sergeant Kovach is a training manager for the 1st of the 112th Infantry of the 56 Stryker Brigade Combat Team of the Pennsylvania National Guard. She has served in the National Guard for 13 years. Rachel is currently pursuing a degree in operations management with a concentration in supply chain management. She is a member of National Defense Transportation Association, the American Legion Post #0698, and Veterans of Foreign War Ladies Auxiliary Post #6553. Rachel resides in Clinton, Pennsylvania with her husband of 13 years and their son.
- Monica Mihlbauer Kruger (York) was honored for her service in the U.S. Marine Corps. She joined the Marine Corps Reserve in 1980 through the 4 x 2 program, which meant four years of active reserve duty and two years of inactive reserve duty. She attended basic training at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot located in Parris Island, where upon completion she was meritoriously advanced to Private First Class after finishing second of 52 in her platoon. Following boot camp, Monica reported to Frostburg State College in Maryland and traveled to and from Andrews Air Force Base for monthly duty. She was then transferred to Cherry Point, North Carolina in July 1982. She was promoted to sergeant in August of 1983, a position she held until she was honorably discharged 1986. Today, Monica is happily married to her husband Bob, has two children, and lives in the City of York, where she is employed with the City Bureau of Health as a Personal Health Services Supervisor.
- Stephanie Reid (Pittsburgh) was honored for her current service in the U.S. Army. She entered military service in 1993 and served as a transportation operator until 2007. She deployed in 2004 in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and was awarded the Bronze Star for meritorious service while leading 35 combat convoy missions in Iraq. In 2007, Stephanie was mobilized with the 316th Sustainment Command in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. She remained on active duty with the 316th until 2011. In 2011, Stephanie deployed to Afghanistan, earning her second Bronze Star. In 2017, Stephanie completed her third deployment – this time to Kuwait. For her service, she received three Army Meritorious Service Medals. She holds a Bachelor of Science in nursing from the University of Pittsburgh and a Master of Science in leadership from Duquesne University. Master Sergeant Reid now works as a Department of the Army Civilian/Military Technician in Western Pennsylvania.
- Theresa Walls (Chalfont) was honored for her current service in the U.S. Army. Sergeant First Class Walls has served over 28 years in the United States Armed Forces, including the U.S. Navy and the Pennsylvania Army National Guard. While raising her three children, she has had a span of assignments including Aviation Storekeeper, Automated Logistics Specialist, Light Wheeled Vehicle Mechanic, Human Resources Manager and Paralegal. Her tours include humanitarian efforts in Nicaragua and Louisiana, in support of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, where she earned Humanitarian Service Medals. Theresa also had a combat deployment to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. She earned her MBA in 2015 from Excelsior College in Albany, New York. Her significant military decorations include the Bronze Service Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal, four Army Commendation Medals, the Army Achievement Medal, the Iraqi Campaign Medal and the Combat Action Badge.
- Cheryl A. Wormley (York) was honored for her service in the U.S. Marine Corps. Cheryl joined the Marines via the delayed entry program in October of 1980. She attended boot camp at Parris Island in February of 1981 and graduated as the honor graduate of her platoon. Cheryl was assigned as a Communication Center Operator and permanently stationed to Camp H. M. Smith on the island of Oahu, Hawaii, where she remained for the next three and a half years. After the Hawaii tour, Cheryl returned to Pennsylvania, and continued to serve by joining the US. Marine Corps Reserves located in Harrisburg. After just about a seven-year break in service, she re-enlisted in the 28th Infantry Division of the Pennsylvania Army National Guard in Harrisburg, where she remained until her retirement after 24 years of service. Cheryl is a mother of three daughters and has one grandson. Cheryl was recently sworn in as the Zoning Officer for the City of York, where she is also active in several different volunteer and civic groups.
- Adelle Zavada (Dallas) was honored for her service in the U.S. Air Force. Adelle retired from the Air Force in 2008 as a colonel, after a 30-year career as an aircraft maintenance and logistics officer. She served in various leadership positions in both the active and reserve components. As a Reservist, she was mobilized after the September 11 attacks to lead the Air Force Combat Support Center at the Pentagon. Adelle is a graduate of Squadron Officer School, Air Command and Staff College, and Air War College, all located at Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama. She is also a distinguished graduate from the Air Force Institute of Technology, where she received a master’s degree in logistics management. She has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Pittsburgh, a Pharmacy degree from Temple University, and a Juris Doctor from Widener University School of Law. She has practiced law in the public interest sector over the past 12 years. Adelle resides in Harveys Lake, Pennsylvania with her husband Sam.
The Pennsylvania Commission for Women, which was created by Executive Order and consists of volunteer members, is responsible for advising the governor on policies and legislation that impact women; supporting economic and civic opportunities for women; encouraging mentoring programs for girls and young women; identifying programs and opportunities for the benefit and advancement of women; and serving as a resource center for Pennsylvania women and girls. To learn more about the Pennsylvania Commission for Women, visit the Commission’s website or follow the Commission on Facebook.