By Neil Hebert | WEAU
There are roughly 1,300 female veterans in the Chippewa Valley and there is now a group specifically made for them.
The Sierra AMVETS Post 2017 is the first female-oriented post in the State of Wisconsin.
The post’s goal is to help female veterans in the area with a variety of things: medical issues, finding employment, and other things they need help with. The post was chartered into existence today and the sky is the limit.
The post currently has only 12 members, but Denise Wenz, the post commander, says it will hopefully grow throughout the years. A big reason for the creation of the post is that female veterans face the same issues as male veterans, but they’ve never had something like this to help them find out how to deal with issues they’re facing back in the states.
“We have ladies serving in combat roles now and pretty much doing everything men are doing,” Wenz said. “When they get out, they just kind of fade into the background and they don’t necessarily know how to go about staying connected.”
Women veterans have the same benefits as men do, but Wenz says they typically don’t know that.
“A lot of the ladies when they get out, they don’t realize what kind of benefits they have and how to get those benefits,” Wenz said. “Hopefully, we’ll be kind of a bridge for the ladies who need benefits.”
Mike Hanke, who was in the military for over 20 years, says this is new territory for women veterans and will hopefully get them the help they need.
“That’s going to break grounds,” Hanke said about the post. “That’s going to hopefully lift some glass ceilings and give answers or give aid or give assistance or build bridges to other veterans similar to Denise or female veterans in the Chippewa Valley.”
The post will be meeting at Marc-On Shooting in Lake Hallie free of charge: a gesture that means a lot to the veterans.
“They’re veterans and they’re kind of looking out for us fellow veterans,” Wenz said.
The post will continue to host their meetings on the last Thursday of each month at Marc-On Shooting until they outgrow the space.