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Chloe McFeters Interview of Mea Williams, Grace After Fire President/CEO

Read the full article on Chloe McFeters website:

Here's a small excerpt from the interview...

CM: Through your work, what have you come to believe are the biggest challenges that some of your fellow women Veterans face after separating from the military?

MW: What I have come to learn about some of the greatest challenges that my fellow women Veterans face is that after leaving the military and reentering their communities as veteran citizens, many women veterans face the challenge of finding a sense of belonging. It's hard sometimes to go back into a community where the people have not served and don't quite understand the mindset of those who have served. Sometimes it is just hard to fit in or to feel that sense of "belonging" in a place that is unfamiliar.

When a women Veteran leaves the military, she is fighting quiet "wars" inside, and she doesn't always know how to express or explain that to someone who has not experienced the same thing. When it comes to the foundation of the military, I like to refer to the three "S Pillars": Structure, Systems, and Support. Service members soon come to know, appreciate, and rely on that structure, system, and support. For example, in thinking about structure, a woman serving in the military knows exactly what each day is going to look like, from what she wears, to when she eats, to the flow of work for the day ahead. There's always a plan for the day, and you know the plan. Then there are systems, the military's way of sorting and maintaining things, rules, policies, and procedures, a structure that each day is built upon. And then there is support. In the military you have your command, your brothers and sisters in arms. We may not always agree while in uniform, but when you are in service, you certainly are going to have folks there who are accountable for you, and you for them, and you and they will be there for each other in time of need. At least that is what is taught and is expected to happen. Without those pillars in place, some Veterans tend to lose their sense of direction and belonging.

Other challenges include: finding a sense of purpose, identifying a career that fits the skills learned and practiced in the military, and finding a support system of people who "get it."

Read the full article on Chloe McFeters website: