Women’s Veteran Event to be Held at the NIC in June
The Sheridan Veterans Affairs Health Care System and Casper Vet Center announced the women veterans event, Women Warriors--Invisible No More, which will be held at the Nicolaysen Art Museum on June 4 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The event, which is for women veterans and their families, was created to share information on services and programs for women veterans and has a schedule on their website.
Kristina Miller, Public Affairs and Congressional Liaison Officer for the Sheridan VA Health Care System, said she sometimes felt that she was taking care away from others by going to the VA, but that she learned that she should get help if she needs it.
"I never came to the VA when I left service. My husband's a veteran too and he did because he had some medical issues and things," Miller said. "I just didn't think I needed the VA for care and I felt like if I came to the VA, I was taking a spot away from someone who needed care more, and I had insurance already at the time, so I convinced myself that I didn't want to take it away from someone who might need it more. What I was told by a peer of mine, is that that's not how it works. You served, come see us if you need care, and it's not taking away from anyone else."
Mandi Mosher, a mental health therapist with the Casper Vet Center, said they're hosting the event to get more women veterans in the community aware of the center.
"I tried to do a women's group at the Vet Center and it kind of fizzled out so I want to do the event to get more women veterans in the center," Mosher said. "I've been a social worker in Casper since 2009, and I know of a ton of different agencies. But truthfully, I never knew of the Casper Vet Center and if I didn’t know about it, how many more people also don’t know about our agency? So I think we need to get our name out there and one of the best ways to get our name out there is to do an event, and I wanted to do it for women specifically because again, we don't have that many women veterans that we're seeing at the center, and based on how many female veterans there are in the community, they're there."
Mosher said that this is the first time they're hosting an event like this but hope to turn it into an annual one if it is successful enough.
Miller said that, as a veteran, she has felt women veterans aren't given the same support or recognition that male veterans receive.
"There's historically nationwide a very unconscious, definitely not intended, invisibility cloak on women veterans it feels," Miller said. "For instance, my husband and I will go in places, and even though we both served, and he has a full beard, definitely doesn't look like he's military currently, if they have a military discount, they will almost always ask him and never ask me. And yet we both served, and in fact, I was in the navy before him, and it's certainly not intentional, but that's what the idea of the 'Invisible No More...' We want the community as much to know that by recognizing that there's just as much of a chance of a woman being a veteran as a man and that it's important to get that acknowledgment, and that's the idea with events like this."