EAU CLAIRE, Wisc. (WEAU) - Women veterans from World War II, through the Iraq war gathered at the American Legion Auxiliary Sunday to share stories and learn about available resources.
“Women don't like to ask for help, so that's why we want to come in a comfortable situation, a stand down situation and just see what they may need. It might be as simple as a haircut or trip to the dentist,” Jane Dale, the Legion treasurer said.
The fourth Stand Down event offered help with paying bills, household items and housing, connecting women who share a common bond through serving their country.
“It started in the winter of 2011, where it came to mind that they are living in cars, under the bridge, they don't have any jobs, because of the economy. So we thought we should do something to help them,” Dale said.
“These ladies, they provide as much services as they possibly can. Counseling, mentoring, being there for somebody to talk to is huge. It really does help,” Sgt. Andrea Wahl of the Army National Guard said.
“We haven't had that type of support in our community towards us,” Vietnam War veteran Marty Wilson said.
“As a woman, there are many challenges, especially coming back from war.” “We definitely had to deal with our children transitioning with us coming back,” Wahl said.
For some, it’s a history lesson, learning what others went through and how times have changed.
“Now they're going overseas, and we weren't allowed to go overseas,” World War II veteran Lorraine Beaudin said.
“It's hard for me to even grasp that they didn't get this opportunity. Because it's always been there for us. So it's just nice to hear their stories,” Staff Sgt. Clarissa Zimmerman of the Army National Guard said.
“Everyone keeps moving forward and opening up more doors for women and I’m glad we're a part of that,” Sgt. Beth Hanaman of the Army National Guard said.
“We have all eras and anybody can be down on their luck and that's who we want to serve. They served us by serving their country and now we want to do something nice for them,” Dale said.
To learn more about other resources out there that help women veterans contact Jane Dale at 715-834-7778.