As we approached Veteran’s Day this year, I thought back over my military service and something poignant came to mind. There’s an often unsung and overlooked military population that deserves special recognition: our women veterans. 🇺🇸
Recently, I was interviewed for a study on women veterans and I was surprised at how much emotion started coming up in me as I recounted the experiences and stories that weave together the fabric of my military career.
The interview question that really stuck with me was:
“Was your experience different being a woman in the military? Was it harder?”
As much as the tough side of me wanted to say no, the truth is, the answer was yes. It was always yes.
In a male-dominated career field, did I have to be more prepared than everyone to feel confident and equal? Yes.
Did I have to balance my ability to have a beer and “hang with the guys” and simultaneously try to stay feminine without attracting the wrong kind of attention? Yes.
Did I struggle with balancing motherhood and military service without many female mentors to show how to successfully do both? Yes.
As the woman in a dual military couple, did I wrestle with having to give up my active duty career to stay home with kids in order to keep our family successful? Yes.
Did I feel lost when I left the close-knit feeling and status of my military unit and found my way as a mom and a spouse which—whether true or not—felt lower on the military hierarchy? Yes.
This I know for sure—I am not the only woman vet who has had these experiences and struggles to create balance as a military member, a parent, and a woman.
Most of the women vet population have wrestled with their struggles in silence but I hope that struggle becomes a thing of the past. I’m beyond grateful that I found a way to channel my skills and experiences into full-time entrepreneurship and giving back, which opened an entirely new way for me to serve and be a part of something bigger.
I’m determined to provide women the resources they need to find their path to prosperity and empowerment too!
On this Veteran’s Day…and every single day, I am proud of my service. I am proud to be a woman veteran. And I am proud to be working to help more women follow the same path to “empowher” themselves!
Let’s do our part to EMPOWHER our veterans and to EMPOWHER women. Here at Mission Entrepreneur, that’s what drives us. Are you in too?