June 15, 2023 By Carol Britton Meyer
Hingham resident Janine Suchecki, a United States Navy veteran, was nominated for the 2023 Deborah Sampson Award, which recognizes a female veteran who has gone above and beyond to serve her fellow women veterans throughout the year.
Suchecki was recognized on June. 12 by Gov. Maura Healey as a nominee and was presented with a citation at Women Veterans Recognition Day at the State House in the Hall of Flags.
“Thirteen women veterans [including Suchecki] who work with veterans in the Commonwealth [were honored], with a rockstar 14th female veteran, Jenny D’Olympia, named Woman Veteran of the Year and receiving the Deborah Sampson Award,” Suchecki told the Hingham Anchor. “It was an incredible program.”
Following the ceremony, Rep. Joan Meschino presented her with a citation in the Hall of Flags and Sen. Patrick O’Connor with a citation in the Senate.
Suchecki, who attended this week’s Select Board meeting with her family, was also honored by the board for her leadership as a woman veteran.
“Janine’s service to our veteran community follows the strong tradition of women veterans in Hingham going back to World War II,” Select Board member William Ramsey — who nominated her for the award — said. “Our citation follows Governor Healey’s recognition of Janine when she presented her with a Gubernatorial Citation as a finalist for the prestigious Deborah Sampson Award recognizing women veteran leaders in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.”
Suchecki made history by being the first woman in the U.S. Navy to complete passive Sonar training. “She was trained to follow schematics and identify different sounds emanating from the ocean,” Ramsey explained.
He called Suchecki’s service to the Hingham veterans community exemplary. “Janine served as the public affairs officer on the Veterans Council and volunteers to assist veterans and military families in need,” Ramsey said. She has also assisted with veteran mental health initiatives in the Hingham community.
Suchecki was among 100 female guests fortunate enough to go underway (set sail) on the USS Constitution from the Charlestown Navy Yard on June 9 to commemorate Women Veterans Day “with its first-ever female commander and the first-ever governor [to do so] as well,” she said. “It was pretty cool just to be able to go on board. The Constitution is amazing, but to be one of the few to go underway was an absolute honor.”
The USS Constitution is a floating museum and therefore doesn’t get taken out very often. The underway included a 21-gun salute viewable from Fort Independence on Castle Island.
Women Veterans Day, held on June 12, marks the anniversary of the Women’s Armed Services Integration Act, signed in 1948, legally allowing women to serve in the U.S. Armed Forces.
Select Board Chair Liz Klein told the Hingham Anchor that it was “a privilege to honor Janine, not only for her service to the U.S.
Navy and her nomination for the Deborah Sampson Award, but also for her valuable contributions to local veterans and their families and her continued service to the Hingham community.”
Suchecki also chairs the Hingham Housing Authority and previously served on the Cultural Council. She is a member of American Legion Post 120.