Ford Motor Company is collaborating with the National Veterans Transition Services on a three-week workshop designed specifically to address the issues female veterans face as a growing number of them are returning to civilian life and a possibly uncertain future.
The Freedom’s Sisters REBOOT Workshop runs from March 9-27 on the campus of National University in LA.
Up to 25 women veterans will be able to attend free classes five days a week that focus on employment and career, personal well-being, achieving goals. Also included is a personal makeover session to ease the move back to civilian dress from military uniforms.
A report from the Disabled American Veterans in September 2014 said that the country’s nearly 300,000 female veterans face greater challenges than their male counterparts when they re-enter civilian life because they experience the rigors of deployment and reintegration differently.
As a group compared to men, women veterans are less likely to be married, and are more likely to be single parents and unemployed.
In addition to higher rates of homelessness, they also often face gaps in medical care for women’s health issues as they enter a veterans system geared toward treating males.
These issues are expected to grow as the number of women veterans increases. Women are expected to comprise 11 percent of the veteran population by 2020, up from 9 percent now.
“These brave women have served and sacrificed to defend our freedom, and yet there are few programs that address their unique needs as they return to the home front and to their families,” said Pamela Alexander, director of Community Development, Ford Motor Company Fund. “It’s another opportunity to say thank you, while also helping them make a successful transition.”
As Women’s History Month gets underway in March, Ford is providing support for the workshop in conjunction with the National Veterans Transition Services, a San Diego-based nonprofit dedicated to assisting veterans in adjusting to civilian life. The group has been running REBOOT workshops for all veterans since 2010.
“We designed this program to meet the unique needs of women, and the training builds upon the participants’ military training, skills and experience,” said Maurice Wilson, co-founder, REBOOT Workshop and retired Navy Master Chief Petty Officer. “The workshop addresses the professional, social and personal aspects of life, along with connections to community resources that could also be of help.”
Freedom’s Sisters REBOOT Workshop takes its name from Ford’s earlier support of the Freedom Sister’s traveling exhibition, which celebrated the life of women civil rights pioneers, as well as present-day women who are making a difference in their communities. Several current members of the Freedom Sisters from the Los Angeles area will serve as mentors for the women’s REBOOT workshop in Los Angeles.
Women veterans and the wives of combat veterans can learn more by visiting www.nvtsi.org/women-veteransspouses.