FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Being a remarkable woman means going above and beyond the call of duty. That’s what a family in Avilla believes. “Everything is people first not her,” said 16-year old Katie Peters. Katie nominated her mother Eve Peters for the Nexstar Remarkable Women project showcased by WANE 15 and Fort Wayne Toyota Dealers.
“I’m originally from Chicago but now we live in Avilla which is my mom’s hometown,” said Eve Peters. “My family is the 10th generation.” Roots run deep here as does Peter’s commitment to family, community and country.
“I’ve been in some wonderful spots to get to do some amazing things,” Peters said. She was part of FORSCOM, the United States Army Forces Command for almost three decades. “Twenty-eight years to be exact,” she said.
A Medical Service Officer in the Army Reserves, this retired Lieutenant Colonel served during a number of conflicts including Operation Iraqi Freedom. One of her responsibilities was helping rebuild Baghad. “All of those things that keep a city going, had been demolished with the war. But with my background as a Medical Ops Officer, I knew how to set up hospitals and how to evaluate hospitals and do all that,” said Peters.
“We also evaluated the city morgue that was used to getting maybe five patients a week. When we were there it was getting 15 to 20 a day. So bodies were just stacked, 300 in a pile.”
Peters’ was instrumental in developing an Army directive that set the criteria by which Reserve and National Guard Units were evaluated during training to determine their readiness for mobilization and deployment. “I wrote a regulation and got to travel all over the world teaching people how to implement it. That was an amazing assignment.”
With the help of a webcam she also went live from Baghdad to talk with her husband, children and an entire school. Memories of that moment were preserved in a newspaper article. “At the time I worked for Kendallville Middle School,” she said.
Inside her home in Avilla, along with family pictures there are also military memories including two floor rugs that were in the home of former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein. “When I got to Baghdad our headquarters was in what would have been Saddam Hussein’s Camp David, similar to our Camp David. It was his getaway spot and the person I was replacing was a neat-nick and so the rugs were down in her office and they had been in the palace and she didn’t want to keep them saying they would gather dust. I asked my clerks if anybody wanted them and everybody said, no we’re throwing them out. I said, well I’m taking them and I shipped them home.”
Peters told us she has promotion orders that indicate she’s a Colonel. She is waiting on paperwork to confirm she can retire as such. “I have the paperwork that shows I was approved for the promotion but it got backed up in Congress. Right now it’s just a paperwork nightmare.”
Peters is a married mother of seven who is a community volunteer and takes care of her disabled husband who is also a retired veteran. “Eve is a great person,” said her husband Tom. “She’s been a great wife and mother and she is tremendous getting me what I need.”
Peter’s juggles it all while serving as a full time special education math teacher at where else but the Home of the Generals, Wayne High School in Fort Wayne. She teaches math and more. “There are a couple of young ladies in the building who talk to me extensively about what it means to be a female in the Army, the military. I tell them it’s an amazing wonderful experience but as a female, every time you walk into a new job, a new command, you have to proof yourself. You have to prove you know what you’re talking about.”
In addition to serving her country, her family, her church and her students, Peters also works with animals, specifically horses. For the last 16 years she’s been an active leader in the 4H club. “I always wanted horses when I was a kid. My son got the entire family interested. So when you find something your kid likes that you like, you jump on it.”
“We just love her,” said daughter Katie Peters. “Eve Peters is the most remarkable hardworking woman we know and we are proud to call her our wife and mother.”
WANE 15 is proud to call this teacher, mentor and retired Lieutenant Colonel, one of four local finalists in our Remarkable Women contest that we’re showcasing with Fort Wayne Toyota Dealers. “You know you look back and ya go, how did I do all that?,” reflected Peters. “But you do. You just do.”