RSFH teammate launches “She’s the Veteran” group for female veterans

The following was written and submitted by Brooke Jackson Kahn (pictured above), a PA-C with RSFH neurosurgery.

I came to Roper St. Francis in the summer of 2019 to join the neurosurgery team. I practice as a physician assistant and have been in the neurosurgery field since I graduated PA school in 2017.

I started on active duty in the Army in 2009 and eventually transitioned to the US Army Reserves. I was enlisted as a combat medic for eight years and served a tour in Iraq for Operation Iraqi Freedom. After graduating PA school in 2017, I took my commission as an officer in the US Army Reserves and continue to serve in that capacity today.

I recently have started a women’s veteran community, “She’s the Veteran.” The concept started my senior year of PA school when I was doing research for my capstone/thesis. I decided to focus on “PTSD is both underdiagnosed and undertreated in the female veteran.”

There has long been so much misperception that women veterans never served on the “front lines” of combat. This couldn’t be further from the truth! In fact, women have served on the front lines long before it was ever recognized and signed into law.

My goal is to empower women veterans through a variety of avenues such as having events to support networking and comradery. That means:

  • Continuing to have resources available and adding to the website consistently for ease of finding them
  • Bridging the gap between knowledge of resources and how women veterans can qualify for them
  • Educating both the community and fellow veterans.
    • Until the perception that a veteran is only a male, we will never get the resources and support we need to take care of our women veterans. Not all male veterans even fully understand what jobs women veterans can have in the military and what branches.
  • Inspiring younger women to join the military and do whatever job they want to do.

This is not a men’s only club anymore. Women are highly qualified and can do most any job in any branch these days. The message needs to be set for our youth that they can accomplish ANY goal in life without worrying that their gender will hold them back.

Hopefully, we can also inspire women veterans to get the education they want or finally starting that business they’ve been dreaming of.

While there are some FANTASTIC veterans groups here in the Lowcountry, none of them are solely for us women veterans. I think it’s time we are able to let our hair down and take off the many hats that may keep us from taking time for ourselves.

It’s a tough world out there as a woman veteran. So many times, we are invisible or misunderstood. Even my own “godmother” told me I would never get married or have kids because I chose the wrong career. I am happy to say both wonderful things have happened for me! This just goes to show that support and understanding of why we want to serve our country isn’t always met with the support we deserve.

I am truly hoping in some small way, I can lead the change for that! Joining the Army was and continues to be one of the best decisions I have ever made in my life and it makes me who I am today.

I am hoping to grow our community starting with the amazing women veterans here at the Roper St. Francis Healthcare. This includes providing information about opportunities we have with “She’s the Veteran.”

Our first event is a surf and yoga camp in partnership with the Warrior Surf Foundation on April 11. Spots are limited so any woman veteran can reach out to me to reserve their spot. The cost is FREE and no experience is necessary.

We also are planning a fun weekend in June to celebrate Women Veterans Day on June 12.

I am looking forward to meeting other women veterans!

 

Comments

  1. I must say that I am not a veteran but, I support you 100% behind this and wish you the best on your journey. It is true that many veteran women do not get the appreciation that they deserve. On behalf of the Roper Family, I personally would like to Thank You for your service!

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