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Luncheon Celebrates Female Veterans

Screen Shot 2016-05-26 at 8.08.01 AM

Photo credit: Leslee Hill

Screen Shot 2016-05-26 at 8.08.01 AM
Written by: Bernadette BeckerMarch 01, 2017

Over 36,000 female veterans lived in Indiana last year, according to the Department of Veteran Affairs website.

There are nearly 500 veterans on IPFW’s campus, and roughly 30 percent are women. Most of the time they go unnoticed, said Jo Vaughan, director of Military Student Services.

In order to connect female veterans to each other and a network of support, Military Student Services will host a Women Veterans’ Luncheon from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 1 at the IPFW Alumni Center.

“I could not let (this semester) go ‘til something special happened (for female veterans),” Vaughan said.

Female veterans have a special perspective and experience, Vaughan said. They are trained to drive semis, fix airplanes, work on cars and perform combat maneuvers. Most female veterans may know more mechanical and survival knowledge than the men they meet, Vaughan said.

Female veterans at bootcamp must sacrifice femininity for their duties by cutting off or putting up their hair and not wearing makeup, Vaughan said.  This makes female veterans sometimes feel out of place when returning to civilian life.

One goal of the luncheon is to connect female veterans to each other in order to build a sense of community, Vaughan said. In the fall, Military Student Services began the Vet-to-Vet mentoring program, which Vaughan hopes to encourage more female veterans to join.

The luncheon will comprise of three speakers.

The event will feature Leslee Hill of Hill Image, LLC, an image consulting company; Kristine Logan, a photographer; and Joan Pauley of Young Living Oils,  a certified aromatherapist and raindrop specialist.

“I think that women veterans have a unique story and one that is important to tell beautifully,” Logan said.

It is Logan’s belief that women lack much needed support meanwhile also taking on many responsibilities in life. Her work as a photographer serves to help women rediscover themselves and identify their personal brand, she said.

Two Veterans Affairs representatives will be at the event; One will be a general representative and the other is specific to Military sexual trauma. Roughly 20 percent of women seen by Veteran Affairs said they had experienced some type of Military sexual trauma, according to the Department of Veterans Affairs.

The Women Veterans’ Luncheon is a free event. Lunch will be provided by Blu Spoon Catering.

Attendees must RSVP to Jo Vaughan at jvaughan@ipfw.edu.