Photo by Sgt. Destiny Mann, 450th Civil Affairs BN Airborne/U.S. Army

Women veteran athletes featured during Womens History Month

Jonathan Kaupanger
March 14, 2018 - 11:04 am

Showing strength, diversity and resilience of women veterans is the focus of a new art exhibit at select VA medical centers this year.  The Women Veteran Athletes Initiative is a retrospective featuring women veteran athletes from all branches of service and is just one way the VA is celebrating Women’s History Month, this year.

“With this effort, our goal is to increase awareness of women Veterans, both in VA and in the public, and to encourage women Veterans to choose VA to support their health and wellness goals,” said VA Secretary David J. Shulkin.

“We want to of course raise awareness of women as veterans,” said VA’s Center for Women Veterans director, Kayla M. Williams.  “We also want to make sure that women veterans, when they come into a VA medical center and see the display, feel more welcome by seeing their experiences reflected back to them.”

You can find the 10 VAMC’s where the exhibit will be featured here, but you don’t have to travel to find out about these incredible women veterans. Only one portrait of each veteran is featured at the medical centers, but the Center for Women Veterans website has more of each person and the link to the site is here

“I’m super excited that our photographer, Stacy Pearsall of the Veterans Portrait Project, herself a women veteran, she was in the Air Force and her work is just absolutely amazing,” said Williams.  “It has been featured in Parade Magazine, displayed at the National Portrait Gallery, and her black and white images are just absolutely incredible and do a terrific job of highlighting these amazing women.”

One of the women veterans featured is Candice Caesar.  Caesar, an Army veteran, was medically retired due to an accident that left her paralyzed. Showing her strength and resilience, she vowed to run again and since her accident in 2002 has managed to finish 25 marathons in different states around the country.  She has a goal of finishing at least one marathon in all 50 states by 2020.

“Service and sacrifice have been hallmarks in my life,” said Caesar.  “I am blessed to be able to inspire and motivate others through my determination to succeed.”

The exhibit in the medical centers will stay up through the end of March.