The call to serve unites more than 40,000 female veterans living in Michigan. Women from different branches shared their experiences during the inaugural Women Veterans 5K.
For some, it was a way to make new connections in a male-dominated field.
“Veterans are a pretty small cross-section of America, but women veterans are even smaller,” Lieutenant Colonel Kathryn Prater says. “So I think any event that kind of brings us together, where we can meet more people across the generations, is an outstanding event.”
Events like this that bring veterans together can help them reach out for the resources they may need.
“There’s a ton of visibility issues, right, just making sure people remember that there are women veterans and they served their country,” Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin says, “and they deserve care along with everybody else.”
That care can mean anything from providing daycare at VA centers to making sure female veterans have access to OBGYN’s. But there are many ways, big and small, that people can show their support for the women and men who served.
“It could be helping a Vietnam veteran carry their groceries to their car, things like that. Just one little step,” Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency director Zaneta Adams says. “I believe that each little ripple creates a bigger ripple, so the more that you can support and say thank you through your actions is going to be the best way.”