Honoring Our Veterans

“When you’re homeless, you don’t have time to think about goals and dreams and schemes. Every day becomes another battle for simple survival,” says Alyce Knaflich, a NC woman Veteran who was homeless for nearly ten years and founded Aura Home Women Vets with headquarters in Asheville serving women Veterans in nine western NC counties.   Sadly, many women and men veterans have experienced homelessness after their service to our country. Aura Home Women Vets is building a safe temporary shelter for homeless women veterans in Henderson County to help them readjust to civilian life, but it will not be available until 2023.  Aura’s services to women veterans include help with emergency rent, car, and utility payments to prevent homelessness, help in navigating VA benefits and community resources, as well as mental health counseling and health referrals.

At the present time, Aura is assisting one woman veteran who is raising her grandchildren and whose home sustained extensive damage in the recent flooding.  We will be taking donations at the meeting and have put together a gift basket to go with the donations to assist Aura Home Women Vets clients.  https://www.aurahomewomenvets.com/

As of 2019, there are 86,575 women veterans in North Carolina, 14% (12,120) are homeless. Homeless women veterans are the fastest growing homeless population in the United States.  NC has the 6th largest female veteran population in the country.  Homeless women veterans are confronted with issues like converting military job skills to civilian employment, budget and personal finance changes in pay and responsibilities, feeling like an outcast among people without military or combat experience, and mental health and medical concerns.

November 11 is Veterans Day, a national holiday when we remember the outstanding courage and commitment to freedom of men and women Veterans, and express thanks for their service to our country and our state.  GFWCNC Resolution 015-150 encourages clubwomen to honor local veterans in our state which has one of the greatest number of military bases and veterans of any state in the US.

At our annual GFWCNC Fall meeting in Asheville on Nov. 5-6, 2021, members will be making a crafts project of luminaria tray favors to relay our thanks to the 100 Veterans at the NC State Veterans Home in Black Mountain, NC.  These will be delivered to the home following our meeting, to honor and thank the Veterans there on Veterans Day, November 11.  https://www.pruitthealth.com/microsite/facilityid364

There are 5 NC State Veterans Homes: https://www.milvets.nc.gov/services/nc-state-veterans-homes   Black Mountain, (828) 257-6800 (capacity 100); Salisbury, (704) 638-4200 (capacity 99); Kinston, (252) 939-8000 (capacity 100); Fayetteville, (910) 482-4131 (capacity 150); and opening at the end of November a home in Kernersville (capacity 120).

Veterans Day celebrates the service of all U.S military veterans, while Memorial Day honors those who died while in military service.  Armed Forces Day honors those currently serving in the U.S. military.  Women Veterans Day is recognized by several states and is observed on June 12 in the United States.  Women Veterans Day honors women who have served in the U.S. military and recognizes the unique challenges that they have faced including disparities in care, recognition and benefits that our women veterans receive.

The U.S. Department of Defense recently highlighted five important facts about Veterans Day.

  1. There is no apostrophe in Veterans Day, because it honors all veterans and is an opportunity to thank living veterans for their sacrifices.
  2. Veterans Day and Memorial Day are two distinct holidays celebrated in different ways.
  3. Veterans Day was originally called Armistice Day to commemorate the end of World War One.
  4. After World War Two and the Korean War, Congress changed Armistice Day to Veterans Day which is celebrated on November 11.
  5. Veterans Day is celebrated worldwide in different ways. For example, Canada, Australia, and Great Britain have Remembrance Day in November honoring vets in their countries.

Clubwomen are encouraged to search out women veterans in your community, as well as organizations that will partner on services to all veterans.  Your members can contact these organizations to offer services most needed by their veteran clients or residents.

Invite women veterans to join your GFWC club.

Combat Female Veterans Families United, Sandra Robinson or Phyliss Abbott 919-637-7679

[email protected]

https://www.cfvfunited.com/ Greensboro

Women Veterans Support Services, Patricia Harris 919-276-5083

[email protected]

https://www.wvss-nc.org/wp/ Raleigh

For more information contact Lois Nixon, GFWC-NC Civic Engagement & Outreach Chairman








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