Who better to lead the first NVF Women Vets Kickboxing event than our own USMC veteran Leaphy Khim, Women Veterans Outreach Coordinator? “Being fit and having the support of a community is an important part of wellness,” she said. “We put this event together to do both those things.”
The NVF partnered with Foxy and Fierce Kickboxing Bootcamp in Hollywood. The event opened with networking as participants filled a “goodie bag” with pamphlets and flyers on women veterans’ resources and benefits. They chatted informally over hot coffee and snacks, then Khim spoke to them about the NVF’s mission, highlighting our focus on female veterans. Too often, women veterans lack support because they don’t self-identify as veterans. This can lead to a downward spiral as they try to re-enter the civilian world. Heads nodded in agreement as Leaphy talked about a loss of identity after leaving the military.
And then the fun began. Leaphy led them through a strenuous 45-minute workout that included punching, kicking and a partner/team- based workout. Khim believes that the partnering/team component helps build the same camaraderie experienced in the service. After the workout the women sat together in a circle on the floor, stretching and cooling down. Each woman in turn told a little bit about herself, her challenges, and the changes she hoped to achieve from this experience. None of the women had known each other before the event, but afterwards, these vets felt connected to each other. Flush from the event’s success, Leaphy’s already planning the next class.
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The worst part of war should not be coming home.