The Oklahoma Department of Veterans Affairs, with support from the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission and Department of Veterans Affairs, hosted the first annual Women Veterans Benefits & Resource Fair at the Del City, Oklahoma community center.
Coral Porch, Commander, Oklahoma State VFW, Veronica Jackson-Patrick from VA’s Veterans Experience Office and Lisa Mussett of the Oklahoma state Department of Veterans Affairs at the First Annual Women Veterans Benefits and Resource Fair in Del City.
The goal of the event was to identify and assist women Veterans with eligible state, federal and community partner benefits.
Support for this event included:
More than one hundred women participated in the inaugural event, with 70 checked in at registration, 20 registered vendor tables, operated primarily by women Veterans, and 16 women Veteran event staff and volunteers! A very diverse group of women Veterans were served at this event.
Among those helped were homeless women Veterans, women Veterans who had no previous compensation claims (filed for the first time), military sexual trauma survivors, multiple state Veteran registry enrollments and direct behavioral health referrals to Oklahoma City Vet Center. VA Welcome Kits and MISSION Act brochures were provided to attendees by the Veterans Experience Office.
According to Lisa Mussett of the Oklahoma Department of Veterans Affairs, this was a “historic event… and a resounding success”.
The goal is that this would be the first of many annual events to increase awareness and access to benefits and services for women Veterans, with the possibility of a Veterans Experience Action Center next year. This next evolution in Veteran support will bring together VA staff, Veteran service organizations, community service providers and other government partners; to provide services, resources, and information directly to a much larger population of women Veterans.
Veronica Jackson-Patrick is a current employee of the VA’s Veterans Experience Office. She has been married to her husband (a retired combat Veteran) for over 26 years; they have 4 children and a beloved mini Yorkie named Tucker.