Hurd on the Hill: Highlighting Community Heroes
Down in Boerne, Texas, there is a very special group of women with hearts of gold who dedicate their time to serving female active-duty military members, veterans and their families. Last week I had the pleasure of spending time with the Pink Berets to learn about their philosophy, their mission and the good work they do helping female veterans in our community. We shared a lot of great stories about service to our country, and they also shared with me firsthand experiences of the struggles with Post Tramautic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Military Sexual Trauma (MST) and Combat Stress Trauma and how the Pink Berets are helping women overcome these challenges.
The Pink Berets provide resources to female active-duty military and veterans through rounded therapeutic approaches they call Operation Revival Survival Recover. With volunteers as the lifeblood of the organization, the Pink Berets are able to offer peer counseling, mentorships and non-traditional therapies like equine and culinary therapy. Both of these provide a whole new and different setting and environment to treatment. Learning about what goes into these therapies and seeing them in effect was an incredible experience and helped further my understanding of these important issues.
The core mission of the Pink Berets is to give women a safe place to receive support and to meet other women who share similar experiences. They are succeeding. The women of the Pink Berets are pillars of the Boerne community and they are making a lasting difference. They are caring, honest and willing to go the extra mile for the women veterans and active-duty military in need. I was excited to hear of plans to expand their coverage by opening a new office at San Antonio College at the Victory Center.
I am proud to represent in Congress over 4,600 active-duty military and 45,000 military veterans across 29 counties and two time zones of TX-23. Texas is home to more women veterans than any other state, and we need to make sure they are provided for – both during their service to our nation and when they return home to our Texas families. The Pink Berets are great partners in that effort and I will carry their insight and experiences with me as I vote in the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Subcommittee in Congress. I have been proud to fight for these women and related programming, healthcare and services earned by those who wore the uniform.
Each year around Thanksgiving and Christmas, I am reminded of the sacrifice veterans and active-duty military have made for the United States of America. During my nine years as an undercover officer in the CIA, I served shoulder to shoulder with these brave men and women. Thank you for the sacrifices you have made to protect the freedom of our nation. You might ask yourself, how can I help the women veterans I know with their struggles? Tell them about the Pink Berets. Make sure they have the information about your local women veteran organization. As the holiday season continues, I encourage you to help your community by helping others and recognizing our women veterans. Together we can make a difference.