Today on Thanksgiving Day I am thankful for many things. One of these is to have lived to have seen how much the world has changed since 1970.
In my Google alerts today I found a link to the Army and Air Force Exchange Service Company Information website page. Under the heading "Recent Blog Posts" I found "MRS. LIEUTENANT: A SHARON GOLD NOVEL." I clicked on the link to my blog post about the AFFES' new blog initiative SaluteToYourService.com.
I said to my husband: "Imagine this turn of events. In 1970 I was turned down from a professional position at the U.S. Army's European Exchange System headquarters in Munich (where we were stationed at the time) because I might block a man from getting that position. And 38 years later AAFES (parent of EES) has a website that links to a blog of mine about my novel MRS. LIEUTENANT."
And only yesterday, as co-host of the new BlogTalkRadio show Your Military Life when host Nancy Brown of YourMilitary.com and I interviewed Lauren Vargas of AAFES, I asked Lauren if AAFES still has catalogs. (The answer was yes, plus an online mall-style shopping site.) And I told Lauren that I still have my 1971-1972 EES mail order catalog.
To return to the subject at hand, I am so thankful for the progress that U.S. women have made in the past 38 years. While we still have a long way to go, I could never have imagined -- at the moment that I was turned down at EES headquarters -- that, in the intervening years, it would become unlawful to discriminate against women and whole other classes of people in employment situations.
May the United States continue to champion equal rights for men and women of all races, creeds and places of national origin. And may we as a country be a beacon unto the nations.