By Chris Bavender
The Noblesville American Legion Post No. 45 is sponsoring a women veterans’ information fair Oct. 2. The Saving Our Sisters event starts at 5 p.m. at Federal Hill Commons.
The goal is to connect with female veterans who “survived the military jungle, continued on to civilian life and lived to tell about it,” said the event’s organizer, Fay Eichelberger.
“There are many women veterans in the local area who are not aware of the services available to help them when and if they need assistance. Many women veterans think that the VA health care system is just for old, male veterans,” Eichelberger said. “But with the increase in numbers of women veterans, that assumption must be changed. Also, there are many mental health agencies available for women veterans who suffer from PTSD, agencies for homeless women veterans, some who are trying to raise families and more.”
Eichelberger said the American Legion, as a service organization of veterans helping veterans, is one avenue to get information of available services out to female veterans.
The event will feature vendors, agencies that offer services for veterans and female veteran speakers sharing their stories and answering questions. But finding female veterans willing to talk about their time in the military can be difficult.
“Most are pretty reticent. We are looking for as many as are willing to speak about their experiences (as possible),” Eichelberger said. “What they may have had to deal with, how they overcame whatever they had to deal with, how they survived and what resources they used to overcome their obstacles.”
Eichelberger said female veterans tend to “get lost in the shuffle” and she hopes the Saving Our Sisters fair will change that.
“For example, my husband and I are both veterans, but he’s the one people gravitate to as ‘the veteran’,” she said. “I know that many women veterans do not want to go through the hassle of getting disability because they’re afraid they won’t be listened to or considered. This is one area we definitely hope to change.”
The Saving Our Sisters fair will feature music and guest speakers, a Light the Night event at 9 p.m., followed by a presentation of checks to charities and attendees.
For more or to become a speaker or sponsor, contact Eichelberger at email@example.com, or Taylor Munoz at TaylormLmorris@hotmail.com.