BENEFITING: FINAL SALUTE
At the age of 25, with a two year old at home, I found myself in the middle of a war zone in Baghdad, Iraq. I was a flight medic with four years of active duty service in the United States Army under my belt and I was faced with the arduous task of flying into danger and saving the lives of our country's heroes. This job was very self-fulfilling and provided me with incredible experiences. However, working day in and day out among bullets and dodging mortar rounds in a helicopter was not how I viewed my future in supporting my child as a young mother. It was then that I decided to pursue a life outside of active military service. Upon departing the military, I learned first hand the difficulties of civilian life as a woman combat Veteran. It was very difficult to find support that was focused solely on my needs as a woman Veteran. If it had not been for my family, my child and I would have had no place to live. I was unable to find employment right away and that made supporting him difficult. Because of this first hand experience, I have begun advocating for the needs of women Veterans through various non-profits. Ms. Veteran America's mission is one that I am very passionate about and is very personal to me. The Ms. Veteran America competition highlights more than the strength, courage, and sacrifice of our nations military women, but also reminds us that these women are Mothers, Daughters, Sisters and Wives. Ms. Veteran America is also a role model, teaching and empowering young women and girls to support, inspire and lift-up one another. Women Veterans are currently the fastest growing homeless population in America and proceeds from this event provides housing for homeless women Veterans and their children through Final Salute, Inc.