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Olson: Female Veterans Face Steep Climb

Olson: Female veterans face steep climb back to employment when they return from war

By Kimberly Olson
Special to the Star-Telegram

Sara was living in her car in the parking lot of a local grocery store -- certainly not the place that this military veteran thought she would find herself after returning from two tours in Iraq. Unfortunately, hers is a story that unfolds for some women veterans.

If you met Sara today, you would scarcely believe that just four months ago her car was her home and that she was wondering where she would get her next meal. What happened during those four months was that Sara experienced outreach from a fellow veteran and found meaningful work.

Those of us at Grace After Fire who interact daily with veterans quickly discover a powerful truth: Work makes them well. After years of constant deployments and relocation, most veterans want work that sustains a family and is in a place where they can put down roots. Our veterans are smart, brave, tenacious and experienced men and women, and they don't want or need a handout. "Let me earn my way," or "I can do it myself" are common refrains.

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