The City of Jacksonville’s Military Affairs and Veterans Department partners with Northeast Florida Women Veterans, Inc., to celebrate Women Veterans Recognition Week, June 4 to June 11.
The annual event, now in its ninth year, was founded by Dee Quaranta, CEO of the Northeast Florida Women Veterans, Inc. The Jacksonville native created the week as a way to pay tribute to the accomplishments of female veterans, particularly the trailblazers of WWII and the Korean and Vietnam Wars. The event also serves to inform the public of the challenges women in the military face, both during and after their military careers.
Serving women on active duty, the National Guard and/or the reserves, the organization helps members to transition into civilian life and become self-sufficient. Programs include support and career services as well as advocacy and community awareness programs that highlight the challenges and accomplishments female veterans face at local, state and national levels.
Amanda Conley, a social worker for Northeast Florida Women Veterans, describes the small non-profit that serves all women’s veterans regardless of their length of time served or discharge status, as a resource center to ensure that each woman “has a voice.”
“Advocacy is the primary resource that ties us, the Northeast Florida Women Veterans, into Women Veterans Recognition Week,” she said. “The Week educates and connects women veterans with resources available in the community while connecting women veterans with each other.”
Determined to ensure that women veterans are not the forgotten population often described as invisible, Conley stresses the importance of connection.
“This helps us to self identify as veterans,” she continued. “With Jacksonville having the largest concentration of women veterans in our state and Florida having the largest concentration of women veterans in the country, Women Veterans Recognition Week serves to educate this huge population that we’re here.”
A myriad of ceremonies and activities begin with a uniform display in the City Hall Atrium. Also for the first time in the event’s history, The Florida Department of Veteran Affairs will kick off the week with its statewide conference on women’s veterans health and benefit resources. The week culminates with a gala honoring women veterans who’ve paved the way for other female veterans.
Conley described the week as an exchange of ideas between old comrades as they share war stories.
“Women Veterans Recognition Week not only connects women veterans with each other, it helps women veterans get back what we may have lost when we left the military,” she concluded.
“Women veterans have played an integral part in protecting this country alongside their male counterparts, and have made immeasurable contributions,” said Mayor Curry. “I encourage all citizens to recognize the courage, honor, and dignity with which women have served and continue to serve in Jacksonville.”
Please visit forwomenvets.org for more information.
Women Veterans Recognition Week
Saturday, June 4:
State of Florida Women Veterans Conference from 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., Southbank Hotel at Jacksonville Riverwalk
Paint N Sip N Fun from 6 p.m. – 8 p.m., at the Tabula Rasa Brewery
Sunday, June 5:
Women of the Wall Ceremony from 3 p.m. – 4 p.m., at the Veterans Memorial Wall
Monday, June 6:
Opening Ceremony/Proclamation from 10 a.m. – 11 a.m., at City Hall at St. James
State of Florida Health & Benefits Resource Fair from 11 a.m. – 7 p.m., at The Salem Center
Tuesday, June 7:
Mental Health Summit from 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.,at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena
Wednesday, June 8:
Women, Wealth & Wine from 6 p.m. – 9 p.m., at the Breezy Jazz House
Thursday, June 9:
Lunch & Learn “Let’s Talk Balance of Work and You” from 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m., at The River Club
Saturday, June 11:
Women Veterans Recognition Gala from 6 p.m. – 10 p.m., at the Southbank Hotel at Jacksonville Riverwalk
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