After the Uniform: Women Warriors

Helping our Women Warriors after years in harm’s way, they want peace of mind, a home of their own, the support of their loved ones, and the opportunity to earn a decent living.

Yet for tens of thousands of veterans, this remains a dream deferred. Did you know...

  • 1 in 5 homeless Americans is a veteran
  • The VA estimates 10 percent of veterans, or 23 million,
  • in the United Sates are women.
  • Since 2000, the number of women veterans using VA health care has more than doubled, from 180,000 to 360,000, outpacing the growth in the number of male users.
  • PTSD/PTSS, hypertension, and depression were
  • the top three diagnostic categories for
  • women veterans treated by VHA.
  • About 1 in 5 women seen in VHA respond "yes" when screened for Military Sexual Trauma.

After the Uniform is a series of national conversations hosted by Volunteers of America and the National Press Club. In May 2014, Volunteers of America invited the nation’s top leaders responding to the needs of America’s underserved women veterans, with a particular focus on homelessness, family housing, mental health and military sexual trauma. By addressing these needs, we aim to support the capacity of all women veterans to be healthy civic assets in their communities and nationally.

The Washington D.C. event was the final of a three-part series of discussions about serving our veterans after the uniform. Our goal has been to bring national attention to these issues and a call to action for more communication, coordination and partnerships among federal, state and private nonprofits working to ameliorate some of the barriers that have historically challenged veterans and their families.

The panelists in Washington included some of the nation’s top experts working to find solutions to the problems facing today’s returning veterans, including Elisa Basnight, Director of the Department of Veterans Affairs Center for Women Veteran; Kimberly Dozier, Associated Press Correspondent; Dr. Susan McCutcheon, National Mental Health Director for Family Services, Women’s Mental Health and Military Sexual Trauma, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs; Heather Pritchard, Senior Manager, National Partnerships, The Home Depot Foundation; and Dr. Jonathan Sherin, Executive Vice President, Military Communities, and Chief Medical Officer, Volunteers of America

The live simulcasts were held at Bangor Savings Bank Dirigo Room in Augusta, Maine. The event was open to the public and free of charge.

The four Maine panelists were:

Alicia Barnes, Social Media Marketing Consultant and Volunteer Executive Director of the Red Cares Foundation
LaRhonda Harris, BSN, RN, Women Veterans Program Manager with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
Terry Moore, USAF (Ret.), Women Veterans Advocate
Debbie Kelly, Maine Director U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL) Veterans’ Employment and Training Service (VETS)

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