Rhode Island Women Warriors Coming Home: Finding What Works
Wife and mother. Soldier and veteran. How can these descriptions apply to the same person?
Today, women are in combat. When they return, service women experience unique challenges their male counterparts do not.
Each story is as unique as the woman herself, yet there are common themes that unite her story with those of other returning warriors, men and women: emotional, mental, and physical support around housing, education, employment, health care, and legal issues.
Explore the personal experiences of RI women veterans, as well as the successes emerging from statewide coordination by RIServes of dozens of independent organizations, working together to overcome fractured access and siloed delivery of programs and services to veterans.
It's what works for Rhode Island Women Warriors.
Brutalities witnessed and experienced during deployment can leave scars. Years later, memories may resurface unexpectedly and trigger the need for medical and mental health support and treatment.
Cecilia’s story traces her journey over the span of years to and back from her crisis point. Today, with the help of VA providers, Cecilia manages her PTSD, and is rebuilding relationships, while helping other veterans connect with their college education services in her role at the Community College of Rhode Island.
Physical fitness can be a challenge outside the rigors and competitive routine that are integral parts of military service. Jenelle's story shares insight into how she is adapting to civilian life and finding the medical coverage and healthcare services she needs.
Jenelle served in the Navy and is now a civilian contractor for the Coast Guard. When she discharged she had difficulties with healthcare and physical fitness. Upon connecting with the VA she’s been able to see a nutritionist and is trying to lose weight she’s gained since she left.
The camaraderie that develops during tour of duty with fellow soldiers - thrust together into a single experience having come from different backgrounds, different home towns, different family situations - forges strong and enduring bonds. But what happens when the tour of duty comes to an end and that cohesive group scatters to their homes across the country? The adjustments can be challenging.
Laura graduated from Rhode Island College in May 2018 and is now working full time at Naval Undersea Warfare College. She was actively involved with the Student Veteran Organization (SVO) and was chapter President of the SVO her senior year. She was an outstanding student and a great leader in terms of Veteran services on campus. Laura is married now and owns a home she was able to purchase with assistance from the VA.
Three stories will launch online through social media. The project also includes a documentary with five profiles produced for television and broadcast on the Veterans Day weekend, November 9 at 8 p.m., November 10 at noon and 11 p.m., and November 11 at 7 p.m.