New York Times Reports On Female Vets Struggling Back Home

by Linda Franklin

New York Times Reports On Female Vets Struggling Back Home Linda Franklin Shining Service Worldwide
This morning I read this article in The New York Times  by Patricia Leigh Brown and it confirmed everything female veterans already know and are dealing with on a daily basis.

Even as the Pentagon lifts the ban on women in combat roles, returning servicewomen are facing a battlefield of a different kind: they are now the fastest growing segment of the homeless population, an often-invisible group bouncing between sofa and air mattress, overnighting in public storage lockers, living in cars and learning to park inconspicuously on the outskirts of shopping centers to avoid the violence of the streets.

While male returnees become homeless largely because of substance abuse and mental illness, experts say that female veterans face those problems and more, including the search for family housing and an even harder time finding well-paying jobs. But a common pathway to homelessness for women, researchers and psychologists said, is military sexual trauma, or M.S.T., from assaults or harassment during their service, which can lead to post-traumatic stress disorder.

Female veterans are far more likely to be single parents than men. Yet more than 60 percent of transitional housing programs receiving grants from the Department of Veterans Affairs did not accept children, or restricted their age and number, according to a 2011 report by the Government Accountability Office.

These statistics are much more than mere numbers to me. Since I started Shining Service Worldwide, which is all about successful integration for female veterans, l have been all to aware of the challenges these women and their children have to endure.

Just yesterday, one of our makeover veterans and her two kids faced living on the streeets.  But, with the assistance of our partner United Veterans Beacon House and Congressman Israel’s office she is getting the help that she needs.  Now the real help can begin -getting her back on track – with healthcare shelter and a job.

Our Shining Service Makeovers are so much more than a day of beauty.  These women become part of our family and we do whatever we can to help them with their many challenges.

Shining Service Worldwide is a charitable organization that supports all women who are part of the military family. Our goal is their successful re-integration back into civilian life.  We accomplish that goal through our homes for veteran moms and their kids, our Shining Service Makeovers and our Shining Service Bracelets. Help us help our women in service!

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President’s Day Makeover Rocked NYC

by Specialist Gisselotte Ventura , N.J. National Guard

Presidents Day Fridays Shining Service WorldwideOn Monday February 18, 2013 five of my Army National Guard battle buddies and I were chosen to partake in the “President’s Day Makeover” organized by Shining Service Worldwide  It was billed as a salute to “First Ladies” and was their reward for our hard work as first responders during Hurricane Sandy.

We were chosen by one of our sergeants for a job well done. Sergeant Brito and Pamela Kulisek both informed us of what Shining Service was putting together for us. On our way to the makeover we were filled with excitement, nervousness and we did not know what to expect. From the minute we entered Riccardo Maggiore’s Salon everyone was very welcoming. For the first time we were the ones being rescued and catered to.

We had gotten a breakdown of what our day would consist of but believe me, it far surpassed our expectations. Everything was so well organized. The stylists and Fox 5, who filmed the event for the evening news broadcast,  were eager to know more about us and where we came from. Being in the military we very seldom find people who are genuinely interested in who we are, it has mostly been about what we have done.

Words cannot express our gratitude for being granted the opportunity to meet so many inspiring people.  It was as if we were queens of the city. We were complemented from the minute we arrived and even after we said our goodbyes. All the stylists kept us engaged in conversations about what they were doing to our hair, nails and make up, providing us a real level of comfort.

Then it was time for our big reveal.  We changed into our party attire ready for the final  piece to an amazing day. Linda Franklin and Trish Rubin welcomed us to Shining Service Worldwide and provided us with a beautiful Shining Service bracelet and gorgeous red pashminas.  It was a very emotional moment for us. I was even more excited because this same week marked my fourth year in the military and what better way to celebrate your service.

Then if was off to TGI Fridays for lunch.  We were greeted royally and ushered to a special section just for us.  Then it began.  Champagne toasts, followed by a delicious lunch and an open bar for our pleasure.  The manager of Fridays at 56th and Lexington Avenue and the server, were at our beck and call with fabulous service.

Our combat boots were taken off, children were left at the babysitters, and professors and employers were notified of our absence. It was as if we were part of a fairy tale – only it was real life.

Linda, we learned so much about your organization and we praise what you all do for women in the military. Again thank you not only for the makeovers, the delicious meals, or the toasts but for introducing us to your organization and what you do.  – Hooah

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