Summit launches to offer free help for female veterans - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Summit launches to offer free help for female veterans

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COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -

The Female Veterans Warrior Summit is the first workshop created to support female veterans, and it launched today, Feb. 27.

The event was created by South Atlantic Center for Veterans Education and Training (SACVET), and provides free service and counseling on PTSD, substance abuse, jobs, military sexual trauma, child development and more.

Numerous female soldiers and veterans attended the very first event.

Ambra Roberts, a military spouse who holds the title of 2013 and 2014 Military Spouse of the Year for Fort Benning, started planning for the first Female Veteran Warriors Summit in October of 2013.

"I thought we needed to provide more help for our female veterans," Roberts said. "So I came up with this workshop to do that. Many counselors and organization leaders found out about this program, and they volunteered to provide free help to our female veterans. I am so grateful."

Roberts's husband is a veteran. He struggled with PTSD, traumatic brain injury, and has also attempted suicide in the past.

"It was not easy for me or the family," Roberts recalled. "This made me think about our female veterans who might be going through PTSD and other issues. Yet, they might have hard time getting treatment, because they have to look after children, go to work or do other busy things."

According to the Veterans Affairs website, Georgia has a total of 774,464 veterans, and 106,857 of them are women. The number is continuing to grow, and Roberts said SACVET's program can provide benefits and support to Georgia's female veterans and their families.

Katie McMaster, the spouse of a Commanding General at Fort Benning, said helping all soldiers transition from the military into the civilian world is important.

"Many Americans are a little disconnected with what the military does," McMaster said. "Our veterans in particular come back with years of noble service. So we should provide them with housing or jobs, since they fought for us. That is why supporting and attending events like the Female Veteran Warriors Summit is important."

Deija Leary, a senior at Russell County High School, enlisted to the National Guard. Her mother is a veteran, and Leary said she wants to make a difference by serving our country.

"Programs that help female veterans, and warriors, motivate me to serve my country," Leary said. "It's hard to already be a female in the military since many people thought of us as being weaker. But we are now working our way up to places people thought women couldn't do. I am more than ready to serve our country."

Homeless Female Veterans and Female Veterans Resource Fair Stand Down called "She Served" will be held on April 26, 2014 at the Trade Center in Columbus, Ga.

Visit the SACVET website to look more into the Female Veteran Warriors Submit event for next Spring or for the event "She Served" at http://www.gcvret.org/

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