Challenges Facing Female Veterans

Women veterans who have completed their military service face various issues when they return to civilian life. This panel discusses some of the unique challenges facing female veterans and the ways organizations throughout New Jersey are working to addressing these issues. Guests include Alba Pagan, Veteran and Director, Military Affairs, Cornerstone Family Programs; Marcy Felsenfeld, Senior Program Officer, Healthcare Foundation of NJ; Janine Decker, Women Veterans Program Manager, VA New Jersey Health Care System and Torie Fisher, Veteran and Owner, Backward Flag Brewing Company.

12/9/17 #3030






"Welcome to Caucus. I'm Steve Adubato. So what can, and what is being done, to support female veterans? Here in our studio to discuss some of the biggest challenges facing female veterans, we're joined by, Alba Pagan, who is a veteran of the U.S. Navy and Director of Military affairs at Cornerstone Family Programs, Marcy Felsenfeld, Senior Program Officer of the Healthcare Foundation of New Jersey, Torie Fisher is a veteran who served in Iraq, and owner of the Backward Flag Brewing Company, Janine Decker is Women's Veterans Program Manager at the VA, the Veterans Administration New Jersey Health Care System. I want to thank all of you for joining us to talk about the challenges facing female veterans. And a couple things right up front. Marcy, we've had this conversation with you and your colleagues at the foundation for a long time, you've been helping to support a lot of what we've done in this regard, a million dollars plus that the foundation has provided to support veterans efforts. Why would it be different for female veterans in terms of what they're facing when they come back? Female veterans in the military are part of a minority. So as a result, many of the services that are available to veterans are... target a different population. Some female veterans have faced trauma, both in the military, and even before. Some have faced a sexual trauma. Right. Which becomes significant. I mean even in today's news, talking about men holding power over women. By the way, excuse me, we're taping this program in the midst of an ongoing scandal, crisis, where a lot of women have been hurt by Harvey Weinstein, a movie mogul, but this issue in the military is even more powerful? Certainly. I mean when you're working with... I shouldn't say "even more powerful". When you're working within... This is very powerful. ...a hierarchical organization, and certain people hold power over you, it can become the source... the source of abuse. It's so interesting, as we were thinking about this, as we were getting ready with the program, and we did a program about veterans overall,and the issues that are faced, and they're facing, and I thought, "it's different for women" but I'm not sure exactly how. Talk to us... how it was different for you, because men face a whole range of issues as well. Anxiety, depression..."