By Steve Tawa
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The head of an organization dedicated to helping female military veterans says there is a big gap in services for them when they return to the home front.
US Air Force colonel Kim Olson (ret.) spoke today to local service providers, urging them to reach out to women vets so they can better help themselves.
Olson, head of the group “Grace After Fire,” told a roomful of women on the Drexel University campus that women face the same issues as men transitioning back from their wartime experiences to civilian life, with an added burden:
“We women have a really bad habit, ladies, of taking care of everybody else first, and ourselves last,” she said.
An Air Force pilot for 25 years, Olson then asked attendees what they think most often stops women from returning to school, from going on job interviews, or from seeking social services.
“You wanna guess? Bingo: child care! You have got to find a way to take care of her family so she can take care of herself,” Olson told the social services providers present.
And she said it’s not an issue just for returning female vets. She noted that 60 percent of women vets are married to military men.
“So if you get her well, she’ll get him well,” Olson said.