Military Monday: I Rock the Boots

Today’s Military Monday post highlights a new organization to hit the scene.  It may be new but it is filling a void that I think is important.  The acknowledgement of female veterans, and the unique issues they seem to be facing needs to be acknowledged more.  I think with organizations like I Rock the Boots, Ms. Veteran’s America and Final Salute, the time to change that is now.

Logo Shirt, available here

Michelle, founder of I Rock the Boots is a proud Army Veteran and the spouse of USMC Veteran.  With an exceptional military career behind her, that doesn’t mean the boots came off for Michelle.  Exactly the opposite.  She has sought to create a legacy for female veterans, and she is “dedicated to creating a brand to represent who they are, one that gives back to the women veterans that need to be reminded of their strength.”  With a stellar support of veterans, spouses and military supporters, I Rock the Boots is ready to make their mark not only as a clothing line but as a community of support.

Visit their website to check out more of their great shirts, their “Featured Hero” section (and submit your own hero), as well a list of resources.

I Rock the Boots has also partnered with Mana House to reopen their female wing, which  had previously been shut down due to lack of government funding.  This amazing organization provides, transportation to the VA or job facilities, assistance in searching for and obtaining jobs and support.  This is a peer run group of homeless and formally homeless Veterans.  You can learn more about Mana House by visiting their website.

Spread the word about #irocktheboots


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Ms Veteran America Pageant – Celebrating the Women Behind the Uniform

In two days here in Northern Virginia, twenty ladies will take the stage to compete in the second annual Ms Veteran America Pageant.  These ladies, covering all branches, will be representing female veterans everywhere.   They will be trading their uniforms for ballgowns, to show that they are not only strong service members, but graceful and confident women.  Last years winner, Denyse Gordon, will be joined by other special guests – Jas Booth, an Army Veteran and 2013 CNN Hero; Vernice “Flygirl” Armour, the first African-American Female Combat Pilot and Michele Jones, the first woman Command Sergeant Major of the Army Reserve.

The pageant has chosen as the beneficiary of this year’s pageant, and one of the focuses of the 2012 Ms. Veteran America, is Female Veteran homelessness.  Final Salute, Inc is the chosen organization, which was founded by Jas Booth in November of 2010.  According to the VA’s 2012 Women Veterans Action Report, “While the overall number of homeless Veterans is declining, the number of homeless women Veterans is increasing.  Women Veterans are the fastest growing segment of the homeless population and are at a higher risk of homelessness than their male counterparts.”  Having been in that very situation herself, Booth, knew that those statistics were simply unacceptable.  Factors for homelessness include issues of PTS and depression, which are seen more often in female veterans seeing help, according to the action report, but also physical injuries.  “IEDs don’t discriminate,” Booth said, “and neither should we.”  This whole idea of women not being in combat is ridiculous, at least on this front.   Women travel armed in Humvees, they are IN combat.  Booth, an Army Veteran and CNN 2013 hero, has experienced so much her life.  She is also a mother, cancer survivor and Katrina survivor.  After she found herself facing the very real possibility of homelessness, the seed that would become Final Salute Inc was planted.  Finale Salute was created to meet a need that just wasn’t being met, and was barely acknowledged.   Women have been serving since the Revolutionary War, but programs that specifically address issues of female veterans, or just make a point of acknowledging female veterans, are extremely lacking.   Final Salute seeks to meet those women right where they are, by providing valuable support, financial assistance, as well as transitional housing.

I urge to read more about Jas Booth, Denyse Gordon and the others involved in the Ms Veteran American Pageant.  You will also be able to watch the event, as it will be streaming live, via LiveStream!

Follow along on Twitter and Facebook as well.

Grab a box of tissues and watch the trailer for last years pageant

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