By telling veterans’ stories – stories of success, of overcoming challenges, of pride in their service – Empower Our Vets draws attention to the power and strength of the men and women of the armed services. Recently, they featured our own MSgt. (RET.) Kristine Hesse, a 24-year Air Force veteran.
After her retirement, Hesse worked with The Mission Continues, an organization that deploys veterans in communities. Kristine knew she wanted to work with veterans after she completed her degree in social work. She was paired with the NVF, where she created an outreach program targeting women veterans. Hesse served as its Director until last August, and now serves on the NVF Advisory Board. Still active in the veteran community, she’s exactly where you’d expect to find her—out in the field working with veterans and their families as part of the Steven A. Cohen Military Family Clinic at USC.
Empower Our Vets put it this way: “MSgt. Hesse has made it her mission to provide support to transitioning service members with a focus on the specific challenges that female veterans face.”
You can view the video on our website: www.nvf.org/outreach
When taken as a whole, media and imagery of US veterans tends to focus on the extensive challenges they faced while serving, and the continued challenges when they return home. While these stories are very important to tell, the narrative of success and pride is just as powerful – if not more so. Telling these stories educates non-veterans about the power of service and, more importantly, provides hope and knowledge to other veterans who might be struggling with the issues many face when returning home.
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The worst part of war should not be coming home.