General Ann Dunwoody
YOU’VE OBVIOUSLY EXPERIENCED A GREAT DEAL OF SUCCESS IN YOUR LIFE. WHAT WOULD YOU SAY IS YOUR GREATEST ACCOMPLISHMENT, AND WHY?
I always hoped my greatest legacy would be developing the next generation of leaders. By coaching and mentoring I tried to live and lead by a Higher Standard and encouraged my subordinates to do the same.
LIKE EVERYONE ELSE, LIFE IS NOT ALWAYS SMOOTH. CAN YOU TALK ABOUT A SETBACK OR TRAGEDY YOU’VE ENCOUNTERED, HOW YOU DEALT WITH IT, AND THE IMPACT IT HAS HAD ON YOU?
When my Mom unexpectedly had a stoke when she was 80 .. (2005). . she was 6 years younger than my Dad and very active tennis player. NO one in my family ever expected her to pass before my dad did. She was the most selfless, devout Catholic, optimistic, glass is always half full kind of person. For 8 long months she was hospitalized before passing. I flew down to see her all the time… to be with her, to hold her hand, say the rosary with her and support my Dad. While i had always admired my Dad – Greatest Generation War hero…3 wars WWII Korean War and VN. 2 Purple Hearts and Distinguished Service Cross. But I finally realized watching my mom her last 8 months… that if I could be more her… I would be a better soldier.
DO YOU SET ASIDE “ME-TIME” IN YOUR CALENDAR, AND WHAT DO YOU DO IN YOUR SPARE TIME TO RELAX?
That was hard to do on active duty when you are a Nation at War. When i retired I wanted QOL and family to be a priority. So I still use the old paper 2 year calendar and I color code it with magic markers … fun time – pink… official business – Orange, Board work – color coded by boards … I have include photos… I learned early on from one of my Bosses … he lived and died by his calendar. Now I check each month for Pink space :).
WHAT’S THE MOST MAGICAL PLACE YOU’VE DISCOVERED WHERE YOU CAN GO TO CHILL OUT?
We’ve been to lots of beautiful places … but i think our most fun, easy and relaxing is Key West.
DOES PHILANTHROPY PLAY A ROLE IN YOUR LIFE, TO WHAT EXTENT AND HOW?
We have been so blessed … and we believe in giving while we’re living than giving when we are dead. We both have wonderful families … I have (had) 2 brothers (my older passed unexpectedly this year) and 2 sisters, Craig has 1 brother and we have 2 sons… they have beautiful children and we have beautiful grandchildren. They are all great Americans and we love sharing our blessings with them and their families. We are involved with multiple charity organizations and activities and JR leader development programs. My husband Craig is on the BOD for Special Operations Warrior Foundation and we are very engaged, I am on the Board of Directors for AUSA, Army Historical Foundation, Thanks USA, Florida Tech, WIMSA, and am involved with many Veterans and Women Veterans activities.
WHO IS ON THE GUEST LIST FOR YOUR IDEAL DINNER PARTY?
Annie Oakley, Arnold Palmer, John Wayne, My Mom and Dad, our good friends John and Cindy Carney (USAF COL R) … I could have a real long list … but fortunately I have had the opportunity to have dinner with many.
CAN YOU OFFER ANY WORDS OF WISDOM TO YOUR FELLOW THROOMERS?
-Believe in yourself and never give up. Always try to be the best you can be and never let others dissuade you from something you are passionate about.
-If we let others unduly influence or make decisions for us — they win!
-If we let others drive us away from our passion or something we believe in — they win!
-Were there times when it would have been easy to run in the face of adversity — you bet!
-Were there times when I was afraid angry or frustrated — you bet!
But at the end of the day … I would ask myself … If I quit and take the easy road and don’t continue to try to make a difference … who is the real winner and who is the real loser? It’s all about leadership!