Female veterans support group holds SF summit, encourages them to run for office
SAN FRANCISCO (KTVU) - The Mission Continues, a national nonprofit that helps veterans, is holding a summit specifically for women vets this weekend in San Francisco.
The event is all expenses paid for 50 female vets from across the country. One focus is encouraging them to run for political office.
"Think about where your leadership should go ...to help our government be a more effective government," said Erin Loos Cutraro, founder of She Should Run.
A roomful of women vets share a bond forming a support network. Many have served on the frontlines of Afghanistan and Iraq. Now they're ready to transition to the next stage in their lives.
"There's endless possibilities. It's given me some things to think about seriously." says Keasha Sharpe, U.S. Army veteran.
She retired from the army after 21 years. She writes children's book. Sharpe is now considering running for elected office back home in Atlanta, Georgia. She says events such as this summit ease the transition from military to civilian life.
"Sometimes, when you leave the military, you don't leave with yourself complete . But being around these young ladies . they empower you. They strengthened you. They help you get a grip on things," says Sharpe.
These vets are hear to learn about new opportunities.
Organizers say these vets have learned skills in the military that will serve them well in civilian life says Cku
that it's a natural progression to go on to serve in elected office.
"It's that commitment and that willingness...that bravery that pride. It's so much to offer the process of what we need so desperately in order for us to make a good government," says Loos Cutraro.
"Now that I'm out, the transition is very hard. I ended up a homeless veteran for four years," says Oriana Franklin, a U.S. Army veteran.
She served one year in Afghanistan. She says she suffers from PTSD.
She and others say support from female vets help them through the difficult times.
Whether they run for office themselves or not, these vets say they will look for qualified female candidates to support.