Dear AWV & Wood River Students,
ANNOUNCEMENT & SPECIAL REQUEST: We are SO very excited to announce that in 2016, you’ll see some major changes in AWV! For the past seven years, we’ve focused predominately on (1) awareness of women in service to this great nation, (2) educating military women and veterans about the benefits they’re entitled to as well as (3) advocating for policies on Capitol Hill that impact both our military women and veterans, policies like ensuring the Post 9/11 GI Bill afforded opportunities to single-parent veterans, improving VA Healthcare facilities and services for women, repealing DADT, updating the combat exclusion policy… among much more!
Even during the 2013 deployment to Afghanistan of both the Founder and Co-Founder of AWV, the organization has worked tirelessly to do all we could to ensure that AWV continued it’s mission. Because of all of this amazing work and the incredibly rapid and long-needed changes that have happened for service women and veterans since our founding in 2009, it’s time for us to evolve as well. Our primary role now is less about advocacy and policy changes (though we will be taking Congress to task on Selective Service) but more about being the watchdogs and ensuring that the VA furthers improvements as well as continuing to advise and raise awareness among the Pentagon, Congress, and the American people. We’ve worked tirelessly to impact women from strategic levels, now we are shifting our focus to work at the ground level. #AWVBootsontheGroundMission#AWVBotG
The second phase of the #AWVDream starts here and now. The American Women Veterans Boots on the Ground Mission is all about us – all of us (yes, you, too!). It’s three phases; (1) Get to good. This phase is all about taking care of you. AWV members will work to help you not just transition from the military but set yourself up for success, (2) When you’re G2G, you’ll turn around and help a sister. This is all about us taking care of our own, and finally phase (3) is about community. We all joined the military to be a part of something incredible and so much bigger than us. After years of taking care of the world, we are bringing our strengths, skills, and experiences to benefit our families, friends, and communities here at home because service doesn’t end with a DD214!
Today is uniquely special, not only because it’s Veterans Day but because it is the kick off of #AWVBootsontheGround. We are starting here in Sun Valley, Idaho, the new base of American Women Veterans. We are getting out into our local community and building the foundation of the largest women veterans organization in probably the world! Throughout 2016, we’ll be developing chapters across the country but it starts here.
To celebrate this commitment we have the honor of speaking with elementary and high school students here in our community. We have the privilege of answering their questions while simultaneously educating the next generation that #NotEveryGIisaJoe!
But we won’t have the time we need to be the voice for 2.2 million women vets at the event today and because we are arguably the most diverse demographic of the US population, we’d love it if you could help us! Below are some questions the students came up with. Help us surprise them by answering the questions in the comments section of this post. During the assembly, we will tell them to check this page out.
We can think of no better way to start our new initiative than with community outreach and we are honored that we will have the opportunity to speak to some of America’s students.
Here are the students’ questions:
1. What made you want to be in the service?
2. Have you ever been in a life threatening situation while in the line of duty?
3. How hard is it to be away from loved ones and to say goodbye to your family?
4. I feel like you would never look at life w/ the same beauty after what you have seen? Is that true?
5. What was the best aspect of your service?
6. Being a female in combat seems intense, what was your experience like?
7. When you are about to take a life, do you do it for the protection of the American citizens or for the hate of the enemy?
8. Do you believe Veterans Day properly honors all Veterans? If not, what else could be done to honor our vets?
9. What was the most difficult part you had to face during War? At times when you are in the middle of the war do you sometimes regret it?
10. Do you have any regrets about the war? Greatest Injury? Are you content with your decisions?
11. Would you ever go back to war if they let you go? What was your most memorable moment?
12. Is it hard to sleep at night during war?
13. How did you feel and what were the challenges transitioning back into the country and society?
14. How heavy is the average backpack?
If you’d like to provide further assistance to our 2016 initiatives:
1. Please donate. Creating chapters across the country will cost $$!
2. Buy – Visit the www.AWVGear.com store and get some of our awesome gear!
3. Volunteer – We are looking for artists, writers, chapter organizers, advisors, etc. Please send your cover letter and resume to americanwomenveterans