Branch: USAF and NY ANG
Years Served: 2000-2009 (4 years active, 4 ½ guard)
Rank: E5 (SSgt)
Military Occupation: Weather Forecaster (1W071)
Hometown: Bloomfield, NJ
Twitter Handle: TBD
Tell us a little about you outside of the military:
- I am a pollster and strategic consultant in my day job, helping my clients understand public opinion and strategize for their brands and campaigns. I’m also a single mom (to both a human child and a fur baby ).
Why are you participating in the fly-in with IAVA?
- I want to give voice to the experiences I and so many women veterans have had during our time serving in the military and call for the systemic and policy change that is needed to address them.
How did your military experience shape you to be the person you are today?
- My time in the military was a foundational experience in my life and defines the person that I am today. I identify as a veteran before anything else. But those foundational experiences were both positive and negative. I carry forward valuable lessons and habits from my military experience, and I continue to heal from the scars of my military experience.
Which one of IAVA’s policy priorities for you believe is the most pressing? Why?
- For me, women veterans and modernizing the VA are absolutely intersectional. We cannot fully address one without also paying attention to the other. Women veterans are historically underserved by the VA, and as the proportion of women in the military continues to grow, we must urgently address this disparity.
Which one of IAVA’s policy priorities do you have the strongest personal connection to? Why?
- Certainly women veterans and modernizing the VA are the policy priorities I have the strongest personal connection to. I am a PTSD survivor as a result of MST – like too many other women veterans both before and after me. My own experience and struggles make me acutely aware of the need for culture change and policy change both within the military and within the VA to fully address the issue of MST.
More #AllStarAdvocacy videos are available in IAVA’s 2023 All-Star Advocacy Fly-In video showcase.