Women’s History Month celebrates the work of women who have come before us.  Originally starting as a grassroots campaign in schools to address the need for historical female figures to be incorporated into the curriculum, it became a National Observance 10 years later.  Women’s History Month is a time to celebrate and bring to light stories of powerful women like Lieutenant Colonel Jeanne Elise Hutchison in hopes of inspiring young women.

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Jeanne was a United States Military Academy cadet who swam at record-setting speeds.  Upon graduating in May of 1988, she commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the Army Signal Corps.  Jeanne’s hard work and determination, including participation in Operation Desert Storm which led to a Bronze Star, helped her ascend through the ranks quickly.  While serving as an executive officer for the U.S. Army Element at Lowry Air Force Base and 129th Signal Battalion, 29th Infantry Division, Maryland Army National Guard, she married Robert Hutchison, and together, they had two children.

Because of her leadership skills, Jeanne was selected to serve as West Point’s Corps of Cadets’ 2nd Regimental Tactical Officer.  She served in this position for seven months before passing away from an illness at Westchester Medical Center on February 26, 2009.  Jeanne’s work in the military inspired her son, John, to become a servicemember.

“My mom stuck to her morals and her hard-working attitude helped her rise to the top,” John explained.  “She understood the mission of the Army extremely well and was somehow able to balance family, the well-being of her soldiers, the mission, and her several other extracurricular activities.   Her hard work and achievements still inspire me to this day.”

With the help of Children of Fallen Patriots Foundation (Fallen Patriots), John graduated from the University of Colorado at Boulder for International Affairs.  John is now excited for his journey ahead as an Air Force Pilot at Laughlin Air Force Base. He knows that his mom would have been proud of him for never letting anything stand in the way of his dreams.  Fallen Patriots aims to identify and provide scholarships and educational counseling to all military children who have lost a parent in the line of duty.