First female African-American General in the Army National Guard visits Windsor church

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WINDSOR - Black History Month may be coming to an end, but a local community is making sure it is celebrated every day of every month, through a powerful message.

In order to celebrate, The Hopewell Baptist Church wanted to honor a special group of people: the military. To do so, they brought in an esteemed African-American woman who is inspiring others through her accomplishments.

Julia Jeter-Cleckley was the first African-American female to be promoted to Brigadier General in the Army National Guard and became the first woman to be assigned as the Chief, Human Resources Officer (G-1), among many other accolades.

“I've had many people, both black and white, tell me that, 'C'mon you can't do that.  You're never going any further than this.' and to me that was always a challenge,” Cleckley said.

Every challenge became an opportunity and every opportunity became another page in her book, A Promise Fulfilled.

“This book talks about how if you can vision it. Have a dream. You can do it,” she said. “You can be anything that you set your vision and your goal on being.”

The event was put in place at the church by the Youth Department.

“'I hope that the youth will realize the importance of the military, the dedication of men and women that have served in the military, also benefits that they can receive from the military,” Youth Director Kathryn Hughey said.

As writer, a teacher, a motivational speaker all Cleckley wants to do is inspire.

“We all have a vision to be or accomplish something in life so you shoot for that vision,” she said. “On that path towards that goal, you may run into other things but you still keep pushing on and that’s what I do.”