Common·Unity As noted in the origin of the word, a place of common unity and as reflected by the root and the suffix of the word, community, is a certain population united by a familiar thread of interests.
Communities bring people together to advocate and support each other and as human beings, we need a sense of belonging – connecting us to the many relationships we develop. Community is where we find the balance between emotional and mental fitness. Communities are rich in resources, providing constant knowledge production, where your strengths may be someone else’s weaknesses and vice versa. Communities play an important role in every aspect of our daily lives. We see communities in our friends, our families, our employment, our neighborhoods, and in so many other places, like in sports or the artists we enjoy, even the food that we like.
Being a part of a community can make us feel as if we are a part of something greater than ourselves, encouraging us to reach for our goals, and making us feel safe and secure. Becoming a member of a women veteran’s community can help foster self-esteem, confidence, and an invaluable social network. Studies show that many female veterans have difficulty transitioning from military life to life as a civilian as many women veterans tend to feel more comfortable when they engage with other vets in their own community. After leaving the military, many women vets struggle with loneliness, PTSD from exposure to past combat or sexual trauma as a result of their military service, raising a child as a single parent, and many other challenges. Community programs help women veterans give back and help others while also enriching their own lives and building a support network in their likeness.
Women veterans are currently and will continue to be an important part of the veteran community and having the support and resources of community groups and local veteran organizations can make an enormous difference in women veterans’ wellness.
Community and support are driving values here at WVoP! We encourage you to join a new community or delve in deeper in your current communities by applying and answering these questions:
- What are your values and what values do you want to be aligned within the community?
- What is the purpose and goal of creating or joining a community?
- How often do you want to engage with your community (ex: daily, weekly, monthly, etc.)?
- How do you want to structure your community (ex: private Facebook group, Meetup, Google group, in-person meeting, dinner party etc.)?
- What do you have to offer the group and what do you want to receive? How can you share and collaborate?