Serving Veterans & Empowering Women

By Kristen Johnson

On this Veteran’s Day, I am proud to report that although the Pentagon’s past official policy excludes women from many combat positions, women are continuing to make strides for equality in the armed services. As of January 1st, women are now open to apply for all 220,000 combat positions, including the Army Rangers and Navy SEALS. (CNN).

Last year, the Rangers graduated their first two female candidates. Action in Iraq led to the first female being awarded the Silver Star during combat. Currently, there are 205,000 women serving in the armed forces (15.5% of the force – the highest percentage of women serving in history). (CNN).

These ladies should inspire all of us. They are putting cracks in that nasty glass ceiling each and every day and they deserve our support.

There are many ways to serve veterans, from visiting VA hospitals, to knitting scarves for them, to donating items for them to use in places far away where they serve. But, the very best way we can serve veterans is by promoting peace. Keeping our troops safe should be a priority.

Support agencies that promote peace in the world – UNESCO, Amnesty International, UNICEF, the United Nations Development Programme, and more. Elect leaders who are committed to peace. Talk about it with family members and friends. Protest governments (including your own) who preach war and division.

Some additional ways to support Veterans:

  • Donate books to Operation Paperback (http://www.operationpaperback.org).
  • Donate funds to the USO, to provide field services and support for veterans and their families: (USO.org).
  • Make a donation to the Wounded Warrior Project, which provides services and support for wounded veterans, their families, and caregivers. (https://www.woundedwarriorproject.org).

Most importantly – practice and promote peace in your communities and your families.

Colossians 3:15 (NRSV): 15 And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body. And be thankful.

Serve all with love.

Photo courtesy of: stocksnap.io

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