Women veterans from all corners of Washington State assembled at Tacoma’s Hotel Murano on June 16 for the 3rd Annual Washington Women Veterans Conference. We were also joined by veterans from Idaho, Oregon and even the East Coast States of New York, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Virginia and Georgia. Our farthest participant currently serves on a ship with a home port in Europe, but thankfully they were docked in Bremerton during the time of the Conference!
We’d like to extend our special thanks to Guest Speakers Brigadier General Rebecca Halstead (Ret) and Colonel Debra Lewis (Ret) who captured the audiences’ attention by sharing their personal stories of triumph and success. They are truly role models for women in the military and their contributions have most certainly paved the way for others!
In addition, we’d like to thank Alex Quade, War Reporter, for her participation. Alex’s ability to connect with veterans on a very personal level was evident as she facilitated our Networking Room and her enthusiasm for documenting the military has offered the general public a glimpse of what it’s like to serve.
Over 450 women took part in thoughtful discussions and activities such as a health and wellness room, networking room, and information booths to help connect veterans with the VA benefits they earned. Also on site were experts providing legal advice and tips for employment, transitioning from military to civilian life and starting a small business. Veterans were able to visit various exhibitor booths and the day was capped off with a runway fashion show featuring several of Washington’s own women veterans.
As the day ended, a veteran approached one of our conference planners to share her story. As formerly homeless veteran suffering from PTSD, she was extremely hesitant to attend. In fact, this was the first event she has ever attended. She shared how overwhelmed she was by the support and compassion she received from her fellow Women Veterans. We wish her the very best as she begins a new chapter in her life and hope her story will inspire other Women Veterans to reach out and join us in the future!
We look forward to our work for Women Veterans over the next year and hope to see you again in 2013!
Special Guests Included:
Rebecca Halstead (Ret)
will be our lunch speaker
Colonel Debra Lewis (Ret)
will be speaking at our closing ceremony.
- Alex Quade