DUNCANSVILLE, BLAIR COUNTY - America now has 1.8 million female vets and here in Pennsylvania, we have more than 63-thousand.
At a gathering on Saturday, at the Duncansville VFW, some had served stateside in the Korean War era. Others like Cathy Walter-Lloyd, were deployed in more recent conflicts, like Iraqui Freedom. She now deals with PTSD.
Another female vet talked about previously being homeless. And one of the latest concerns to become more public? "I think military sex trauma is something nobody talked about, but then, in the last few years, they have brought it up to an awareness that it needs to be discussed and filed," Sandy Showalter says.
As the Women Veteran Chariman of the Pennsylvania VFW, she helped organize the Second Annual Women Veterans Retreat, a 3 day event in Balri County.
"There's a lot of circumstances we maybe have had in the military that we may have just put bhind us and think that just happened to me," she says, "and when you come to an event like this, you're just 'wow, they're talking about me.'"
Main focuses of the event were help and healing for female veterans. One speaker that drew in her audience --Dr. Katharine McCorckle who's developed health and wellness programs for women veterans and their families.
She says,"they expect more of themselves in some ways I think than civilian women do, because their military training has been, as one of the other speakers was say, 'suck it up and move on.'"
She says programs like this women's retreat help because women vets just want to heal with other women.