WoVeN (Women Veterans Network) is a nationwide organization, a network of women veterans that fosters connections and builds relationships in communities. The group has a close, mutually beneficial relationship with the Texas Veterans Commission’s (TVC) Women Veterans Program (WVP). Together, WoVeN and WVP have produced seminars and workshops covering a range women veteran topics.
The events, such as townhalls and connecting with peers, have gleaned information on unmet needs and the priorities of issues.
“Some of those topics we can take to the Texas Legislature when we advocate for women veterans” said Dr. Krystle Matthews, Women Veterans Program Manager and U.S. Army veteran.
The relationship between WVP and WoVeN is on a personal as well as organizational level. WoVeN members assisted and inspired some TVC Women Veteran Coordinators to become members of WoVeN.
“Tracie Rosado is a proud Army Veteran who served in OEF (Operation Enduring Freedom) and OIF (Operation Iraqi Freedom). She is a National WoVen Consultant,” said Sharron Stewart, TVC Women Veteran Coordinator for central and south Texas and U.S. Army veteran. “When I first started volunteering with the Women Veterans Program in 2019, Tracie and WoVeN reached out to the Women Veterans Program on a regular basis to provide sound counsel when needed and to keep us informed. Tracie participates in local Women Veteran outreaches and continues to serve her community.”
Read more about WoVen and Rosado from The New York Times Magazine.
Cynthia Lendof, west Texas Women Veteran Coordinator and U.S. Air Force veteran, attended WoVeN’s National Peer Leader training in February 2020. She reflected on the experience.
“Gathered in a room were women from across the United States all, from different backgrounds, age, ethnicities and military eras. Each of us volunteered to become Peer Leaders in the hope to fashion a community or group of women veterans in our respective cities. While we had never been introduced there was a familiarity among us, a sort of covert kinship”, said Lendof. “Throughout the conference we engaged in conversations about our journey to becoming civilians once again. Navigation through careers, marriages, changing roles, newly faced co-dependency, and self-esteem affected almost all of us. We drew strength from one another. That is what WoVeN provides, an experience of support, recognition, and above all community much like the one we had when we were active duty. I encourage all my Veteran sisters to participate in a WoVeN group. WoVeN is a space to find women, peers, with shared experiences, shared vulnerabilities and challenges, shared strengths and opportunities.”
Pictured is a group of WoVeN Peer Leaders from across the U.S. including Cynthia Lendof at center.