Manatee County Veterans Services kicks off Local Women Veterans Week Sunday

Updated: Mar. 14, 2021 at 11:07 AM EDT
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MANATEE COUNTY, Fla. (WWSB) - Women veterans will come to the forefront this week, as the county celebrates a Women’s Veterans Week.

Around two million veterans are women and the U.S. Department of Labor says women make up 10 percent of the veteran population. Contributing to that are over 4,000 of these brave veterans are in Manatee County alone.

“In most active-duty components they’re doing the exact same jobs as their male counterparts, to include combat,” said Lee Washington, Manatee County Veteran’s Service Officer. “Many times when we speak about female veterans, those of the older generation think that it’s just an admin, a support role, or something like that. That hasn’t been the case for quite some time.”

The goal of Women’s Veterans Week is to increase awareness of female veterans who play critical roles in our community. Many of them, continuing to serve in one way or another. “Veterans have come back in our community and they’re just as much a pillar in the community as their male counterparts. You will see them protecting us in corrections and law enforcement … educating us as teachers and professors at universities. Raising our next generations if they’re staying-at-home parents.” says Washington.

The veteran’s services team says unlike their male counterparts, women veterans are less likely to seek other veterans and get the support they need. They also say women are less likely to even consider themselves veterans and won’t seek out the benefits they’ve earned from service. “Just like their male counterparts, they’re also trying to acclimate being that parent again,” Washington said. “They’re going to school. They’re dealing with some physical and mental health diagnosis they may have from their active duty service.”

The campaign, which kicks off on Sunday, March 14, will consist of a daily post, categorized by those who are now protecting, educating, healing, raising our next generation, helping others plan for the future and serving those in need. You can see the county’s tribute to our local women veteran’s on their Twitter page @ManateeNeighbor and the @ManateeCountyVeteransServices Facebook page.

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