Washington, DC (PRWEB) September 26, 2013
Women Veterans Interactive hosts their 2nd annual Women Veterans and Women in the Military Veterans Day Extravaganza, November 9-11, 2013, at the National Harbor in Prince George’s County, MD. In addition to discussion panels on education, benefits, housing and financial literacy, this weekend of excitement and empowerment features a 5K run/walk, a hiring fair, a Potomac brunch cruise, and a formal gala, held in National Harbor’s beautiful Sunset Room by Wolfgang Puck.
Registration is open and tickets are available to attend the many fun, food and fellowship activities scheduled across the three-day celebration. The event is designed as an outreach tool for the 300-plus women veterans expected to attend, and organizers have scheduled an amazing lineup of guest speakers to educate attendees on available support services, and equip them with the tools needed for a smooth transition to post-military life.
Transitioning out of the military can be a daunting task; and when coupled with depression, unemployment, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Military Sexual Trauma and divorce, women veterans—many of them single parents—may also find themselves facing the tragic prospect of homelessness. Women veterans are the fastest growing population of homeless veterans, and are at higher risk for homelessness than their male counterparts.
Ginger Miller, CEO and founder of Women Veterans Interactive, knows firsthand the challenges facing female service members upon separation from the military. A Navy veteran and military spouse, Miller had to overcome homelessness, while raising her sons and caring for her disabled-veteran husband. While working three jobs and attending college full time, she also struggled in silence as she dealt with her spouse’s untreated Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Miller knew she had to take action to help prevent fellow women veterans from becoming homeless. “My thoughts were, if it happened to me, there have to be thousands more just like me who are suffering in silence, homeless, or at risk of becoming homeless,” said Miller. Women Veterans Interactive (WVI) was created to address the unique, and often unrecognized, challenges facing our nation’s 1.8 million woman veterans as they return to civilian life.
According to the Department of Veteran Affairs, many women veterans who do not identify themselves as such, unknowingly deprive themselves of available assistance. “One of the biggest obstacles for women veteran to overcome is their lack of knowledge about the support and services they are entitled to,” said Miller. “WVI provides platforms that are inviting and safe for women veterans, allowing them to acknowledge themselves as veterans, learn about support resources, and unify with their peers.”
WVI focuses on meeting women veterans at their point of need, and breaking down barriers that lead to homelessness. Their mission of “Supporting Women Veterans through Advocacy, Education, Interaction, Outreach and Unification—AEIOU” emphasizes a proactive approach to ensuring women veterans do not become homeless. “Homelessness does not occur overnight, and is something that can be avoided if addressed properly and in a timely fashion,” said Miller.
Since 2012, WVI has provided outreach and support services to more than 850 women veterans, and membership in the organization has spread to 12 states. Theirs is a mission that has touched many lives in a positive way. In March 2013, Miller was honored as one of fourteen women veterans, selected by the White House and First Lady Michelle Obama, as a Champion of Change, for her leadership and extraordinary efforts to empower and inspire her community.
WVI’s pioneering, holistic approach not only provides women veterans with tools to overcome financial and physical challenges, but also helps restore their emotional equilibrium. “Many women veterans isolate themselves due to feelings of shame resulting from being homeless, or not being able to provide adequately for their families,” said Miller. “We want to help them rebuild their sense of pride.” WVI initiatives include: rental assistance programs, food drives, outreach events, counseling services, peer-to-peer support, education on benefits and employment, and financial literacy programs.
Financial stability is a key success factor for women veterans, and WVI is proud to announce financial guru, Suze Orman, will be the keynote speaker at this year’s event. Orman expressed her excitement to speak to this unique audience, saying, “I could not be more honored to serve the women who have served and protected this country—our very own women veterans and women in the military. I salute every one of them and look forward to meeting them and their families!" Orman, an internationally acclaimed personal finance expert, author, television host and motivational speaker, will provide insights and guidance to women veterans on building a solid financial foundation.
This is an event women veterans, women soon to separate from the military, and their family members should not miss! Purchase your tickets now to participate in this year’s Veterans Day celebration. A complete list of activities, speakers and panel topics can be found on the events tab of the WVI website. For information on this event, or to learn about membership, event sponsorship or volunteer opportunities, contact Women Veterans Interactive at (516) 851-0812 or info(at)womenveteransinteractive(dot)org.
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