I am the granddaughter of a WW I veteran. I am the daughter of a WWII veteran. I am the daughter-in-law of a Korean War veteran. I am the mother of an active duty serviceman about to deploy. And I am very proud of all of them. I don’t say lightly that it takes courage to serve our country. The training is tough and an enlistment requires time away from loved ones. And then, of course, there’s the combat.
But serving our country has an entirely different set of challenges when you’re a woman. As one female Iraqi war veteran told me, “A man only has to prove himself once to be in the club. A woman has to prove herself every single time. There’s always someone who’ll say, ‘She got lucky.’ And if you fail, there’s always someone who’ll say, ‘See, I told you she wouldn’t make it.’”
Just as women’s courage is different from men’s, so are the needs of women veterans. I am delighted to share two organizations who are addressing these needs. The first, Grace After Fire, (www.graceafterfire.org) is an online resource with abundant information for women vets. The second is Fatigues to Fabulous, a national program created to honor the service of women veterans and support their transition home. It launches tomorrow and is a joint venture between Grace After Fire and the Society for Women’s Health Research. More info on both is available on Facebook.
What a wonderful way to say, “Thank you!”
Not so long ago (well, okay, maybe thousands of years ago), before civilization became as we know it today, couples were still coupling. There was so much to do just to survive – tend to the offspring, maintain the shelter, collect fuel for warmth and light, grow or hunt the nourishment, prepare the nourishment, protect the homestead. No one, neither man nor woman, would have had the time or energy to handle it all alone.
Because of biology, with women giving birth to and then nurturing the offspring, their work was done primarily inside the family dwelling. Equally, because of men’s biologically superior strength and speed, they became responsible for duties outside the family dwelling.
Furthermore, very specific and inherent characteristics made men and women successful in their designated life arenas. Women used their natural instincts to nurture, communicate and be altruistic, among others, in raising the children and caring for the home. Likewise, men’s natural instincts to be aggressive, impulsive and take risks were advantageous in the world at large.
I believe that this is the very foundation of how our view of courage developed. What happened next? Keep reading ….