Third Annual Women Veterans Summit Includes Networking, Inspirational Speakers and Discussions on Military Sexual Trauma
NASHVILLE – Tennessee Department of Veterans Affairs Commissioner Many-Bears Grinder hosted the Third Annual Women Veterans Summit today in Nashville. The annual event was co-sponsored by the Women Veterans of America Chapter 20.
More than 150 attendees participated in the networking, educational and information event. Speakers included State Representative and U.S. Air Force Veteran Courtney Rogers (R-Goodlettsville), Director of the United States Department of Veterans Affairs Center for Women Veterans in Washington, D.C. and U.S. Army Veteran Elisa Basnight, as well as motivational speaker and Marine Veteran Dr. Betty Moseley-Brown addressed attendees on Saturday. Lynne Hutton-Smith also shared her compelling story of rescue by American forces in Kuwait moments before she and her two-year old daughter were to be executed by Iraqi troops. On Sunday, attendees will hear from Director for the Center for Minority Veterans in Washington, D.C. and U.S. Air Force Veteran Barbara Ward.
Marine Veteran, Country Music Artist and Wounded Warrior Project Spokesperson Sal Gonzalez shared his inspirational story of recovery after a life-changing combat injury he endured while serving in Iraq.
This year’s theme is “Unshakeable Foundation, Unstoppable Force”. According to the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, there are more than 52,000 Women Veterans in the state of Tennessee.
“Although there are more than 50,000 women Veterans in the state, many of our attendees say they feel alone,” Grinder said. “This is an opportunity to help this population of Veterans to connect, network and ensure they know about the progress made to serve women Veterans.”
During the Summit, Shawn Wilson was named Tennessee Woman Veteran of the Year 2014. Wilson served 21 years in the U.S. Navy. The Matthew 25 employee also serves on the Governor’s Council for Armed Forces, Veterans and their Families and is also a member of WAVES National, Women Veterans of America, Disabled Veterans of America, the Fleet Reserves Association and is the only woman on the Executive Committee for American Legion Post 5.
For more information, visit the women veterans page on the department’s website at http://www.tn.gov/veteran/womensvets.shtml, facebook.com/myTDVA or stay up to date by following the department on twitter @TNDVA.