Imagine this: After years of wearing military fatigues and fighting for our country, you are expected to come back home and live a completely normal life. But as a woman, you have a hard time fitting back into “normal”—emotionally or otherwise. Sadly, the Society of Women’s Health Research (SWHR) has found high numbers of women veterans that use alcohol and drugs as a means of coping or self-medicating their symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), traumatic brain injury and military sexual assault. Sure, there are programs designed for male veterans, but as a mother, daughter, niece and sister, these programs don’t meet all of your needs.
Today, there are over 1.8 million female veterans in the U.S.—the highest number in American history—who know these disillusioned feelings. Fatigues to Fabulous or simply, F2F, is a national program designed to fit the needs of female veterans, focusing on five areas: education, jobs, healthcare, family support and finance.
F2F is actually a collaboration of two preexisting organizations. Grace After Fire ensures that female veterans have equal access to care, and offers support services through mediums such as a 24/7 online peer community. They are joined by the Society for Women’s Health Research (SWHR), a non-profit organization whose mission is to improve the health of women through advocacy, education and research, focusing on the fact that sex differences must be taken into account for prevention, diagnosis and treatment of health issues.
Claudia Chan met Colonel Kim Olson, Executive Director of Grace After Fire, Air Force Pilot and Iraqi war veteran, and Phyllis Greenberger, the President and CEO of SWHR, at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week. Aside from the already inspiring fusion of the two organizations, Grace After Fire and SWHR also teamed up with DKNYC and HSN to create a watch featuring military dog tags, which will be available through HSN and HSN.com this summer. Part of the proceeds from each watch will be donated to F2F as a part of HSN Cares, HSN’s charitable sector that is devoted to helping women and families. Watch the video for more information and go to fatiguestofabulous.com to support this important cause.
GIRL TALK TIME: What do you think of Fatigues to Fabulous? Do you know any female vetrans? What do you think of this cause?