Female veterans in South Carolina can still register to participate in an event honoring them in two weeks.
U.S. Sen. Tim Scott’s office is holding the recognition at First Baptist Church in Columbia on November 11. Participating female veterans will be presented with a Senatorial Certificate of Appreciation and a lapel pin, so they are encouraged to register prior to attending.
“I wanted to take the time, stop and say, ‘thank you’ to the women who are willing to put it all on the line so the rest of us could sleep in peace and live in a country where liberty and justice for all is real,” Scott said. The idea for the Veterans Day recognition grew from the success of his Women in Leadership events.
The keynote speaker will be combat veteran and U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa. The Iowa senator served more than 23 years in the military and retired as a Lieutenant Colonel in the Iowa Army National Guard. She helped pass laws designed to protect female veterans,such as the Military Sexual Assault Victims Empowerment (SAVE) Act, Female Veteran Suicide Prevention Act, Veterans E-Health & Telemedicine Support Act of 2015 and the Prioritizing Veterans’ Access to Mental Health Care Act of 2015.
“Thank you so much for your dedication and your service to the country,” Scott said to potential participants. “Please come out and let us celebrate you.
Female veterans face a variety of issues, one of the most serious being mental health and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. According to statistics from the Veterans Administration, female veterans are twice as likely to commit suicide as civilian women. Since 2001, the VA says the age-adjusted rate of suicide among American female veterans has increased by 85 percent. Since 2005, the VA has reported a 154 percent increase in the number of women veterans accessing its mental health services.
“We’re going to have a lot of enthusiastic supporters who thank God that there are people like you willing to do everything to keep us safe,” Scott said. “We don’t say ‘thank you’ enough.”
Scott said he has two messages for South Carolina’s female veterans.
“One of appreciation the other of continued service,” he said. “We are a nation that has to honor our promises. Promises made and promises kept and so for the veterans out there we should be sending a very strong clear signal that we are here to serve you for you have already served us.”
Scott says female veterans make up almost ten percent of the country’s 22 million veterans. The number is expected to grow substantially in the coming years. South Carolina is home to more than 43,000 female veterans.
Veterans’ families and members of the public are welcome to attend.
Can’t wait to see y’all in Columbia next weekend to honor South Carolina’s 43,000 women veterans! @SenJoniErnst and I will be at @FBCColumbiaSC at 10am on November 10th. The event is open to public, but be sure to RSVP here: https://t.co/cDH4i5LNGA pic.twitter.com/VgYyzzz1dD
— Tim Scott (@SenatorTimScott) October 30, 2018