Soon, the first ever in the state of Texas “women veterans only” American Legion Post will be right here in Wichita Falls.
They said because many females can face traumatic events while serving, and many say they are not comfortable with being part of a coed organization.
“I joined because I always wanted to serve my country,” an Army Veteran said. “when I was going through my AIT for the Signal Corps, unfortunately, I was raped.”
The retired army vet asked to remain anonymous, the incident she described happened just 2 years into her 18-year military career.
She said, “It was reported and was basically unfounded because it came down as a he said, she said.”
Despite that traumatic event, she continued to serve.
Wichita Falls Veterans Affair Officer, Mandy Patlan said, “A bunch of my clients, female veterans, they deal with a lot of military/sexual trauma, a lot of sexual harassment”
Patlan said she sees cases like this way too often, which is why she is working with District 13 Commander, Chris Holt to create a safe haven for female veterans right here in Wichita Falls.
Holt added, “I was actually talking to a couple females veterans that were not part of the American Legion and I asked them why and they just said that they did not feel comfortable going into a male dominated organization.”
He also said current American Legions, do provide assistance for female veterans, however, with this one, veterans like her would find someone they can better relate to.
“It’s something in the military, especially overseas you are a close knit community, you rely more on each other, to a degree you kind of talk a different language,” the army vet stated.
Which is why she said an all female American Legion would bring other female veterans forward and allow them to not feel alone.
Although the project is still in its infancy stages, officials said they hope to have this post of the American Legion up by January 1st.
They are still searching for a location and more members. To have an American legion, they need 15 members and currently they have six, and of course, they are encouraging local female veterans to sign up.