By Wanda “Sistah Soldier” Petty, President & CEO, SHE VET, iNC.
After transitioning, joining the military could seem like it was the natural part. It’s the return home that feels out of place. I remember feeling like I wanted to share my thoughts and provide ideas. Instead, I concerned myself with whether it was OK for me to say what I wanted to say or do what I wanted to do and be who I desired to become. Initially, I was so afraid of just making my own decisions that wearing fashionable clothes made me feel out of sync. So, I started with small steps. I remember the first thing I did was use blue ink instead of black and sampled polishing my nails with a bolder color nail polish.
About a year later, I felt like true liberty was getting my nose pierced. I took that venture, but something on the inside of me continued to burn, and I felt like there was an urge to say more, do more, and even become more. I heard journaling would enable me to get what was on my mind out into the atmosphere and elevate my freedom experience. So, I began to journal.
It took a long time to learn how to express myself. Having direct access to coaches and a variety of programs offered to veterans that can make a difference is necessary. It’s essential for anyone seeking to find their voice after being in a culture, institution, or a mindset of pleasing others, to find themselves. That’s why SHE VOICES and She Served-She Matters has created The SHE VOICES Coalition. A common platform for television radio and print designed for women veterans and women in the military community to sound her voice. The partnership includes allies who can provide supportive services for women veterans and women in the military community to live fully expressed.
We know what it’s like to feel unheard and to have the liberty to pursue our freedom because it matters. As women of the military community, it’s now time for us to state our claim. If you are a professional service provider interested in becoming a supporter and partner, or a woman veteran/woman in the military community who desire to sound your voice contact us at www.shevoices.org. She Served, She’s a Veteran, She Matters and She Has a Voice!