From “Embracing Your Second Calling: Find Passion and Purpose for the Rest of Your Life” by Dale Hanson Bourke
General Claudia Kennedy was the first woman to achieve the rank of three-star general in the U.S. Army. She is attractive, feminine, and rough. She was successful in a man’s world at a time when it wasn’t popular to be a woman in the military, moving up the ranks to become Deputy CHief of Staff for Army Intelligence.
When Claudia retired at fifty-three, she officially entered the second half of her life. No more uniforms, orders, or mess halls. But she also lost the camaraderie of the military and the community from which she drew her friends. After speaking at an event for Opportunity International, the Christian microfinance organization, she became more involved in the ministry, visiting the Dominican Republic and seeing women who had received small loans pulling themselves out of poverty. Claudia now spends much of her time speaking on behalf of the organization and using her military intelligence background to help explain why we should “make peace” by helping people find economic freedom.
“Getting involved with Opportunity International saved my life,” she says. “If you had told me I would be doing something like this ten years ago, I would have laughed. But in many ways, this is the most meaningful thing I have ever done in my life. It’s not a career so much as a calling.”