AROUND TOWN: A sisterhood of women named Barbara

January 23, 2014 Updated: January 23, 2014 at 4:55 pm
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Barbara Harris, left, with Jan Caffey, who received the Order of Saint Barbara, an honorary military society of the field artillery. 011614 Photo by Linda Navarro The United States Army Field Artillery Association and the United States Army Air Defense Artillery Association maintain the Order of Saint Barbara as an honorary military society of the United States Army Field Artillery and the United States Army Air Defense Artillery. Members of both the United States Army and United States Marine Corps, along with their military and civilian supporters, are eligible for membership. There are two levels of membership in the order. The Honorable Order of St. Barbara, a silver medallion with red ribbon, is granted for long-term distinguished service in the Field Artillery or Air Defense Artillery corps. Appointment to the Honorable Order may be approved by the first colonel or the seniormost lieutenant-colonel in the chain of command. The most distinguished level is The Ancient Order of Saint Barbara, a gold-colored medallion with red ribbon. Those who are selected for this honor have achieved long-term, exceptional service to the field artillery surpassing even their brethren in the Honorable Order of Saint Barbara. The Ancient order must be approved of by the Commanding General, United States Army Fires Center of Excellence at Fort Sill.[18]

On Dec. 7, two men walked out of a class at the Colorado Springs Senior Center and noticed a group of woman at a luncheon. They asked what the group was. "Barbaras." What? It's a roomful of women named Barbara, they were told.

Puzzled, they shook their heads and walked out to their cars, not knowing it was Saint Barbara's Feast Day weekend. Indeed, with just three exceptions (a Donnis, a Linda taking photosand a Jan), it was a sisterhood of Barbaras.

The local membership numbers 169. The youngest Barbara is 11 and topping the list is a 95-year-old.

Jan Caffrey shared the history of being selected into the Order of Saint Barbara, an honorary military society named for the patron saint of the U.S. Army Field Artillery and the Army Air Defense Artillery. Donnis Martin from Partners in Housing was a guest who explained her nonprofit's work of helping women toward self-sufficiency. Partners in Housing was chosen for its work with women and children to receive the Barbaras' annual donation check.

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