For Bingham, perseverance pays off

Published 8:03 pm Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Lieutenant General Gwendolyn Bingham, (Ret.)  will be the featured speaker at the Inaugural Scholarship Brunch hosted by the Troy Alumni Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi from 9 until 11 a.m. Saturday at the Trojan Center Ballroom on the campus of Troy University.

“For our alumni chapter, for the City of Troy and for all our residents, having LTG Gwendolyn Bingham as our guest speaker is a tremendous honor,” said Jerome Solomon, Troy Alumni Chapter. “To many of us, LTG Bingham is Gwen McMillian. She is a hometown product who has excelled in the United States Military and that makes us all proud.”

And, Bingham is just as proud of her hometown and the ground work laid there for a successful career in the United States Army.

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“I am thrilled to come back to my hometown and talk about scholarship, which is a subject that is near and dear to me,” Bingham said. “I appreciate the opportunity to say to young people that, if they persevere, hard work pays off.”

Bingham received a four-year ROTC scholarship to the University of Alabama and graduated from the Army ROTC as a Distinguished Military Graduate in August 1981.  She persevered and, in the process, fell in love with something bigger than herself, the military.

“It took a bit of gumption in doing it, though,” she said, laughing. “I did not plan to spend 38 years in the military, so I always tell young people to never say never.”

Bingham said the answer to why the military became her career is easy.

“It was the people,” she said. “I truly loved the people that I ran into at the different duty stations. Each station was teeming with the most incredible people, people from different origins, races, backgrounds. It was fascinating to work together on missions and to have so many opportunities to make a positive difference and with different teams and with such amazing humans.”

Bingham said another positive of military services is those who retire from the military leave with a skill set that easily transitions into the civilian sector and could pave the way to a second meaningful career.

“And, these are usually high-paying jobs,” she said. “But you don’t think about it at the time of service but what you learn in the military will most often transition to the outside.”

However, Bingham cautioned that the military is not for everyone.

“The purpose of the military is to fight and win wars but that kind of ebbs and flows,” she said. “There will be times when you are separated from your family. I was in Korea and my family could not go and in Kuwait and Afghanistan. But, if you like adventure and the physical aspect of the military and you are willing to train and work hard, the military can be gratifying and fulfilling. You can make a difference and you can see it. I fell in love with the military and with the man I married. I was fortunate to have two loves.”

Tickets for the Troy Alumni Chapter Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Scholarship Brunch from 9-11 a.m. Saturday at the Trojan Center Ballroom are $25 and may be purchased by calling 334-672-0582 or by PayPal https://bit.ly 138a94dh until the close of the business day on January 24.