Throughout Women's History Month in 2021, America's Warrior Partnership is highlighting the women veterans on staff. Dannielle Pope, Army veteran and AWP's Director of Innovative Technology, shares her responses.
1) Who or what inspired you to serve your country in the military?
I grew up hearing stories from my grandfather, a World War II Navy Veteran and my Uncle, a Vietnam-era Marine Combat Veteran. Additionally, I played competitive softball and when you develop a mentality of team sports that meshes very well with the military thought process of team over individual. Ultimately, it was my softball career that provided me the opportunity to attend West Point. Once I visited West Point and met the Cadets and Military Service Members, the rest as they say is history.
2) What does Women’s History Month mean to you as a veteran?
Women’s History Month is a celebration recognizing women’s sacrifices and contributions, but most importantly, I believe Women’s History Month solidifies a platform for a continued discussion encouraging and promoting the empowerment of women.
3) Is there a specific event or accomplishment within your military service that you are most proud of?
In preparation for our deployment to Iraq I noted a distinct shift when my Soldiers went from from calling me “ma’am” to “XO.” This is a greeting reserved for male and female officers when they attain a level of respect and trust.
4) What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received, or what is your personal motto - that has helped shape your life, both personally and professionally?
The best piece of advice I ever received was from my grandfather. We were working together on our farm in Texas, and he told me that I should always “say what I mean and mean what I say.” Keeping the values of loyalty, honesty and integrity at the forefront of my mind has allowed me to develop and maintain long-term relationships in both my personal and professional life.
5) How would you encourage others to honor Women’s History Month and the women veterans in their lives?
I encourage individuals to honor all Veterans, although it’s not expected, it’s always nice to hear a simple “thank you for your service.”