Military Women Want To Be Heard

by Linda Franklin

Military Women Want To Be Heard by Linda Franklin Shining Service WorldwideYesterday was a day super-sized with emotion.  I travelled to Long Island with Trish, my right-hand gal and Shaun, our videographer, to visit with three female veterans.

We are producing a video so that that 99% of us who are civilians will gain an understanding of the challenges these women face,  And, to let our women know they have a voice and people are listening.

We talked with the women at an existing home in Bayshore that houses homeless women vets. That home is run by United Veterans Beacon House and is just one of 25 houses in their network.  This organization is run by Frank Amalfitano, a man with a heart bigger than the Grand Canyon.  He has helped thousands of vets.

UVBH is our partner and together we  planning to open The Shining Beacon House –  a home for veteran women and their children in New York City.  After hearing the stories yesterday, I know this long overdue. 

I wanted to know what a home like Shining Beacon would have meant to them as they tried to reintegrate back to civilian life.  The response I got was overwhelming.  As tears rolled down their faces they said it would have meant everything to them. To know they were safe, that the kids were safe and that they could rehabilitate without the anger of their families who just don’t understand.

Yesterday the emotion was raw and the issues they face are hard to hear.  What they experienced as women serving in an male-dominant military did not come as a big surprise to me, nevertheless you never get used to it.  I have talked to many women and the stories are consistent.  The women who left to serve are not the same women who return home. They are suffering and their children are suffering.  Nobody escaped.

When a mother has to leave her children the guilt she feels can’t be put into words. She is constantly second guessing her decision.  Sabrina had to leave her two young daughters with her 77 year old mother who wasn’t equipped to deal with them.  Of course there were consequences – there are always consequences.   

One thing was crystal clear from our conversations yesterday, our women want a voice. They know if they speak up about what they experienced while serving and the fallout when they returned home, it will help other women who will follow in their military footsteps.  They are very brave. 

We are working to provide housing while they get back on their feet.  Along along with that, we want to connect them with companies that will train them for new jobs.  We are also want professionals who can provide the proper treatment so they can heal physically, emotionally and spiritually,  And last. but by no means least, help them feel like they matter and that our country cares about them. 

Shining Service Worldwide is a charitable organization that supports all women who are part of the military family.  Our goal is successful re-integration to civilian life.

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