National Women's History Month at Fort Stewart
The 3rd Infantry Division’s Equal Opportunity Office hosted their annual National Women’s History Month observance. This year’s keynote speaker is Navy veteran and White House Champion of Change for Women Veterans and President and CEO of Women Veterans Interactive Inc., Ginger Miller.
This year’s theme for Women’s History Observance was “Visionary Women: Champions of Peace and Non-Violence.” The observance included a reading of 2019’s National Women’s History Month proclamation from President Donald Trump, a brief skit about peaceful protest, a reading of the poem “Imagine a Woman” by Patricia Lynn Reilly.
Miller is a former homeless, service-disabled Navy veteran. After a medical discharge from the Navy in the 90’s, Miller and her family became homeless, and her husband suffered from extreme post-traumatic stress disorder for over a decade, according to her bio.
“It’s so important for me to be down here at Fort Stewart as the keynote speaker for their Women’s History Month event because women in the military are very important to me,” Miller said. “As a Navy veteran, I do anything I can do to support women in the military.”
Miller was determined to pull her family out of homelessness, she said. She worked three jobs and went to school full time, eventually earning a bachelor’s degree in Accounting from Hofstra University, and a master’s degree in Nonprofit and Association Management from University of Maryland University College. She became homeless after serving her country in the early 90’s, and “we didn’t transition well,” she said.
In 2009, Miller founded the non-profit organization John 14:2, Inc., which was instrumental in starting the first Prince Georges County Homeless Veteran Stand Down. In 2011, Miller started Women Veterans Interactive (WVI), a division of John 14:2 that focused on meeting women veterans at their points of need through advocacy, empowerment, interaction, outreach and unification, the bio read.
The mission, Miller said, is to work with those women veterans in their time of transition, so that no one falls victim to homelessness after leaving the service like she did. In fact, WVI has supported more than 3,500 women veterans since its inception, and officially became a stand-alone nonprofit organization in 2018.
“I think it’s unfortunate, but there are some women in the military that have issues surrounding military sexual trauma,” Miller continued. “You have some women that are dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder when they get out of the military, and that’s why my organization Women Veterans Interactive exists to make sure that these women have the support that they need to make a successful transition out of the military.”
The message, Miller added, is to always do your best, be open to change and always be yourself. Build those networks and stay connected to friends, family and peers. “If you’re a leader in the military, then you’re a leader forever,” she said. “Make it count.”Miller is the recipient of numerous awards for her work with veterans, including: 2019 Woman Veteran Trailblazer award; 2018 Southern Company’s Champion for Women Veterans; 2018 Northern Virginia Chamber of Commerce Lifetime Distinguished Service Honoree; 2018 Congressional Black Caucus Foundations Avoice Heritage Distinguished Veterans’ Rights Activist Award; 2017 Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall Keeper of the Community Award; 2015 Baltimore City Chamber of Commerce’s Small Nonprofit Innovator; 2014 BET Honors Sole Beneficiary; 2014 Prince George’s County, Maryland County Executive Community Service Award; 2013 Maryland Governor’s Service Award for Volunteers; 2013 White House Champion of Change Award for Women Veterans; and 2012 United Black Fund Inc. Veterans Champion Aw