Military women are uniting as Green Country’ “Strong Chicks” to raise money for military organizations.
Debbie Vinyard is the owner of a Tulsa based clothing company called “Happy First.” She launched a brand of t-shirts called “Strong Chick.” The idea came out of a contest last winter to find out what the next “chick” brand would be this Fall. She has dozens of “chick” brands like, Yoga Chick, Golf Chick, Hiking Chick, Super Chick. A 14-year-old girl, Ally Boulas wrote to Vinyard about her strength and her mother’s strength when her mother, a soldier, was deployed to Kuwait for 18 months. Boulas’ story moved Vinyard to create the “Strong Chick” line. It would celebrate the soldiers serving, the moms, wives, daughters, sisters – all whom support the military on active duty and at home with their strength.
“It’s all about women and their passion, that what’s Happy First has turned into,” said Vinyard.
Vinyard needed local military women as spokespeople for her new line. She asked several women to be a part of it and also to choose a charity where ten percent of the proceeds from each “Strong Chick” t-shirt sold would go to.
“Being a part of “Strong Chick” helps keep me motivated,” said spokesperson Jenny Adamus. Adamus is a solider in the Oklahoma Air National Guard. She is also a wife of a soldier in the United States Army and a mother of three children. When she was 33 she enlisted in the Air National Guard. She waited her whole life follow her dream of becoming a solider because she had family as her number one priority.
Finally, her husband, former Sgt. Brian Adamus got tired of hearing her say she wish she could be in the military.
“We were driving on Highway 169, by the reserve base over there, and she was doing her sighs,” said Adamus. “She drove by the reserve base, and so I said just, ‘Go talk to the recruiter because one day you’ll regret not getting involved.’”
It was not easy after that.
“My husband, I could have done it if he would have said ‘Go, I’ve got this at home, Go.,’” said Jenny Adamus. “I cried. I know that sounds not strong, but I cried every day of Basic Training. I wanted to go home I wanted to see my babies. I would cry at night I prayed every morning asking God for another day and pray that my body would hold up, like I said I was overweight, I never ran in my life, I had shin splints, falling apart, please God keep my body to hold up one more day. 8 and ½ weeks later I graduated.”
“ I am extremely proud of her,” said Brian Adamus. “She has done really well. She has a pride in uniform that I didn’t see much in the military.”
She felt honored to be asked to represent “Strong Chick.” She asked donation be made to the Eagles Summit Ranch. Other charities include: Americansnipers.org, and operation Homefront.