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2011 Seattle Storm Women of Inspiration

2011 Women of Inspiration:
Grethe Cammermeyer

The Seattle Storm is proud to announce our 2011 Women of Inspiration presented by Moss Adams LLP. As part of our commitment to the community and to inspiring women, four exceptional leaders with remarkable stories and achievements, have been selected to be honored at the Storm game on Aug. 5, 2011. Find out more about Grethe Cammermeyer, a retired nurse from the U.S. military, an equal rights pioneer and one of this year's honorees.

Her courage in fighting for equality led to huge changes in how the U.S. Military treats people. Grethe Cammermeyer had given years of service in the military, including 14 months serving our country overseas. She had a flawless military history when she was forced out of the military because of her sexual orientation. She bravely fought back, filing a lawsuit which led to the ruling the military’s policy was unconstitutional and prejudiced. Ultimately Cammermeyer was reinstated to her position as Chief Nurse of the Washington State National Guard, from which she recently retired after 31 years of service. Cammermeyer says she wears her uniform to remind people of gays and lesbians who serve in silence.

What was your reaction when you heard you were selected as a 2011 Woman of Inspiration by the Storm?
Karen (Bryant) was coming up to our seat in the heavens in 111 of the arena. I was quite surprised and of course pleased when she told me of my selection as one of the Woman of Inspiration.

What does it mean to you to be named a Woman of Inspiration?
I am humbled for the honor and hope it acts as an inspiration for others to speak their truth and continue to struggle for social justice.

What motivates/drives you to be your best?
As a military soldier, wearing the uniform, representing America around the world, I continue to feel a responsibility to reflect the best of what we have to offer. For many years, I wore the uniform to represent the flag. With the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell, the flag represents us all.

Who has inspired or does inspire you?
I was inspired by the Norwegian women who stood up to the Nazis during occupation during WWII. I always wondered if I could have been as brave standing up for what I believed. For the past 21 years I have worked to prove that I can and will ultimately succeed.

In your work, how have you seen role models make a positive difference in the lives of others?
We learn by example! Seeing others work for social justice empowers the example for others.

What role do you think the Storm organization and players play in making a positive difference?
I suspect there are a number of us old folks thinking, 'I wonder if I could have been that good, given the opportunity 50 years ago?' :) The support of the Storm to the community and the community for the Storm reflect the mutual respect and positive influence the team has on young women and men throughout the region. The makeup of the audience is now so much broader than it was when the Storm started. We feel the Storm is OURS, our family and reflect on the possibilities.

2011 Women of Inspiration Homepage

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