Editor’s Note: March is Women’s History month. We have been fortunate to have many women throughout history who are remembered for their contributions to their community, state, country and the world. This month we would like to recognize our women who contribute on a daily basis, quietly, in their own way. They may not make the history books, but they certainly deserve to make our pages.

NORWAY — Linda Jack believes all woman should “reach for the stars.”

“To me, every woman has the right to reach for any dream they want to pursue,” she said. “The more women get involved in their community, the more they learn and this learning can be passed down from generation to generation.”

For Linda, who now serves as 2nd District Department Vice President for the state’s American Legion Auxiliary, that learning began at an early age.

“I have been involved with the American Legion Auxiliary since 1951 when I was born, serving as president of two units over the years and chairman of various committees for the State American Legion Auxiliary.

“I was a junior member until I was 18 then became a senior member. I attended Dirigo Girls State in 1968 as a delegate, went back as a junior counselor and returned as a senior counselor for about 12 years, “ she said.

Recently Linda returned to Girls State as a senior counselor.

Linda said her work is very important to her.

“Veterans have always been dear to my heart,” she said. “My Mom and Dad taught me the correct way to appreciate veterans. I have always looked at them as an individual that helped me live my life the way I want because of their service to this country. I have a huge history of veterans in my family…my Dad, my brother, my husband and a son who is still serving.

“Veterans have allowed us as American citizens to live our lives without fear. The biggest thought I have is ‘all gave some and some gave all,‘ she says.

So who inspires her?

Two women – Myra Stevens and Ruth Jucius – inspired her in life and she continues, as she says, to follow their ideals.

“These ladies were both American Legion Auxiliary Department presidents. As a child they were always there for me when I had questions about the Auxiliary. As I progressed up the ladder, they were very supportive of me. To this day, I still wear the red blazer that belonged to Ruth when she was President … I now use it when I travel around the State representing the American Legion Auxiliary.”

Asked to name a woman in history who has influenced her in life, Linda said Margaret Chase Smith, Maine’s former U.S. Senator who, in 1964, was the first woman to have her name nominated as President of the United States at a major political party convention.

“As I was growing up, she intrigued me because of her ability to lead and become an individual that was well respected and loved. Her firsts as a woman can never be erased from my memory … especially when she was placed in nomination for president. I would love to ask her how she was able to raise a family and be so successful. That success is certainly one to look at and use as an example of how to live your life.”

Linda has lived through decades of change for women in this country, and has passed the lessons of that experience onto younger women through her work.

“If a woman ‘reaches for the stars,’ she then can project her knowledge to those that are eager to accept what she has learned over the years,” she said. “Women can lead with their heart and use their mind as a teaching tool to others.”

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