Honoring our Sheroes: Women in the military

honor_sheroes_women_in_military_bThe Music City (Tenn.) Chapter of The Links, Inc., in partnership with the City of Life Community Development Corporation (CDC), hosted a community event to honor and support women in the military and women veterans on April 27. The event, ‘Honoring Our Sheroes: Women in the Military,’ was held at Cathedral of Praise Church of God in Christ, 4300 Clarksville Pike, Nashville, Tenn. 37218.

Women have served in the military from the American Revolution to the present; however, women have been historically underrepresented in being recognized for their accomplishments. Current statistics illustrate that women make up 15% of active duty and 18% of Guard/Reserves service members. Based on the upward trend, the number of women in the military and women veterans is expected to double in the next decade. Our women veterans face a number of challenges that include financial instability, post-traumatic stress disorder, homelessness, and drug/alcohol abuse.

To better serve this community, the Central Area of The Links have committed themselves to recognizing, honoring, and providing services for military & veteran women. Under the leadership of Glenda Masingale Manson, 19th Central Area Director, the Programming Team of the Central Area launched an initiative titled ‘Honoring our Sheroes: Women in the Military.’

The Initiative’s commitment is for five areas of support are as follows: 1) education; 2) employment; 3) housing/homelessness; 4) transitioning; and 5) wellness/domestic violence.

As a Central Area Chapter, the Music City (Tenn.) Chapter of The Links organized this event to recognize these Sheroes in our local community and to provide Sheroes with home and personal care packages such as toiletries and household supplies.

The program highlighted the personal journey of two women veterans, Jackie Pair, SGM, USA Retired, and Phadre Johnson, CWO4, USA Retired. Ten Sheroes were recognized and honored with home and personal care packages. Jackie Pair spoke about her experience in the military coupled with challenges she faced during her transition back to civilian life. She greatly benefited from the involvement with organizations that provide support for veterans. She also provided information about useful services and resources available to veterans. Phadre Johnson added her perspective by speaking about her experiences and praising the ability of Sheroes to persevere and overcome any challenge.

The event concluded with a reception for all attendees. In addition to the Sheroes and speakers, members from the Music City (Tenn.) Chapter of The Links board members for the City of Life CDC, and community friends and supporters were in attendance. The program was organized under the leadership of Lueatrice Green Lovett, president of the Music City (Tenn.) Chapter of The Links, Incorporated and Misha Maynard, executive director of the City of Life Community Development Corporation.

Support and donations for the Sheroes program came from the Music City (Tenn.) Chapter of The Links, the City of Life Community Development Corporation, Bishop Jerry Maynard, Sr., pastor of Cathedral of Praise Church of God in Christ, KGV Foundation, Mrs. Lueatrice Green Lovett, the Witherspoon Family, Walmart-100 Oaks, the Department of Veterans Affairs, Operation Stand Down TN, TN-HUD VASH, and Woods Photography.