Women Veteran Athletes Celebrated for Women’s History Month

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This March, Women’s History Month, Team Red, White & Blue is proud to partner with the Department of Veteran Affairs’ Center for Women’s Veterans, on the Women Veteran Athletes Initiative, presented by Comcast NBCUniversal.   Launching March 1st, the initiative will showcase women veterans, including many Eagles, in a powerful photography exhibit photographed by award winning photographer and veteran, Stacy Pearsall of the Veterans Portrait Project.

While we know women have volunteered to serve in the U.S. military since the American Revolution, many still do not immediately recognize the numbers and impact of women who have served. Today women make up about 20 percent of new recruits and almost 280,000 women have served in the Post-9/11 era.  A trend developing today is the number of male veterans is expected to decline by 2020 while the number of women veterans is expected to grow dramatically, to 11 percent of the veteran population. As such, we recognize the opportunity to showcase the strength, diversity, and resilience of women who serve our country.

“Today’s women Veterans are a trailblazing group that is increasing our country’s understanding of the changing face of its military simply by sharing their stories,” said Carol Eggert, Senior Vice President for Military and Veteran Affairs at Comcast NBCUniversal and retired U.S. Army Brigadier General. “Comcast NBCUniversal is honored to support this creative initiative that presents the stories of these women Veteran athletes and the strength they exhibit through athletic pursuit.”​

This project will celebrate these women and the role physical activity has played in their lives. Through this collaboration, we showcase the power of sport and its role in increasing Veterans’ life enrichment through enhanced physical, mental and emotional health. 

Women Veteran athletes representing all branches of the armed services featured in the initiative include:

• Ardrena Bailey, a U.S. Army Veteran

• Ivanna Brown, a U.S. Air Force Veteran

• Candice Caesar, a U.S. Army Veteran and Eagle

• Bernadine Donato, a Veteran of the U.S. Navy and Air Force and Eagle Leader

• Mila Dimal, a U.S. Navy Veteran and Eagle Leader.

• Cami Gage, a U.S. Air Force Veteran

• Indira Glennon, a U.S. Army Veteran and Eagle Leader

• Sarah Holzhalb, a U.S. Coast Guard Veteran and Eagle Staff and Leader

• Angela Madsen, a U.S. Marine Corps Veteran

• Judi Roberts, a Veteran of the U.S. Air National Guard

• Elyse D. Ping Medvigy, a U.S. Army Veteran and Expedition Leader,  USX Mt. Denali expedition in partnership with TRWB

• Star Cathcart, a U.S. Marine Corps Veteran and Eagle Leader Fellow

• Rupa Dainer, a U.S. Navy Veteran and Eagle

• Aron Lanie, a U.S. Army Veteran and Eagle Leader  

• Angel Cueller is a USMC Veteran and Eagle Leader

The displays, which include photos of the women in and out of uniform, along with a brief biography, will be featured online and at the following VA facilities in March, after which the displays will travel to additional facilities:

• Albany Stratton VA Medical Center, Albany, New York

• Anchorage VA Medical Center, Anchorage, Alaska

• Atlanta VA Medical Center, Atlanta, Georgia

• Dayton VA Medical Center, Dayton, Ohio

• El Paso VA Medical Center, El Paso, Texas

• Bruce W. Carter VA Medical Center, Miami, Florida

• Minneapolis VA Health Care System, Minneapolis, Minnesota

• VA Portland VA Health Care, Portland, Oregon

• VA Sierra Nevada Health Care System, Reno, Nevada

• Sioux Falls VA Health Care System, Sioux Falls, South Dakota. 

We are grateful for additional support from the Semper Fi Fund and the Veterans Canteen Service.  Visit www.teamrwb.org and  www.va.gov/womenvet for more stories and discussion throughout March.  Join the celebration by using #WomenVeteranAthletes #SheIsStrong

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