More than 80 attendees watched a Habitat for Heroes presentation that really brought home the struggles of women returning from combat at a recent annual dinner hosted dinner held by Soroptimist International of Greater Santa Clarita Valley, Soroptimists International of Santa Clarita Valley and the Zonta Club of Santa Clarita Valley, said Sue Reynolds, president of Soroptimist International of Greater Santa Clarita Valley.
”It was more of an awareness raiser,” Reynolds said. “I think that we were appalled to hear the struggles of women returning from service to our country, and excited to try to help put resources in place.”
The presentation was given by KHTS AM-1220 radio station co-owner Carl Goldman, and contained information that helped shed light on the physical and emotional toll put on women involved in our overseas conflicts.
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The timing of the presentation was particularly apt in light of the fact that Department of Defense officials recently agreed to expand women’s role in combat.
“The PTSD for the women themselves and for the families, and the abuse is horribly rampant,” Reynolds said, regarding a few of the takeaways from the informational dinner.
Approximately 1-in-8 women returning from combat suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, according to the presentation, and 80 percent of rapes that occur within military ranks go unreported.
The dinner definitely opened eyes and encouraged the three women’s groups to take part in the Habitat for Humanity San Fernando/Santa Clarita Valleys’ special program Habitat for Heroes by offering a day of service, Reynolds said.
This year, the program is adding 87 homes for veterans in a first of its kind Veterans Villages community, which will feature homes exclusively for military veterans.
It’s a section of the valley that the women’s groups were happy to help out, Reynolds said.
“It’s wonderful that Zonta Club and both Soroptimist clubs could join together to help these women and their families,” she said. “Especially in light of their service to our country.”
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