WHY JENNIFER IS PASSIONATE ABOUT VETERANS
When Jennifer speaks of our veterans and families and the issues, she's speaking from the heart of a Vietnam veterans wife, mother of a Iraq soldier, and mother of current soldier. Jennifer's family runs five generations deep in the military beginning with her great grandfather Willis Webster served as an officer of the (colored army) in Kansas. It served in the Spanish American war of 1898. Her father served, brother served and Jennifer was entering her junior year of Army ROTC when she met and married her current husband Charles.
JENNIFER'S WORK WITH VETERANS
Jennifer attend Chapman University majoring in Psychology with an emphasis in Marriage and Family when she was offered the opportunity to intern at the Intensive Outpatient program at Madigan Army Medical Center at Ft. Lewis, WA. Her internship consisted of 10 hours a week for 2 to 3 quarter, Jennifer did between 40 and 50 hours a week for almost 13 months. It was a growing pilot program with the department of psychiatry steadily increasing enrollment into the program. though the department consistently referred patients, the program was terminated stating too many soldiers were being diagnosed with PTSD. Relevant to the number of patients enrolled in the program, it was not too many.
the closure of the Intensive Outpatient program sparked Jennifer into taking a rare opportunity to speak with Congressman Norm Dicks in his office in DC where Jennifer told the Congressman of the situation while he was attempting to find solutions. this sparked a Congressional Investigation spear headed by Congressman Norm Dicks. Due to his retirement unfortunately, the case was closed in February of 2013 stating the individual who gave the information did not have their facts right. I ran in the 2012 election and that was my platform and made an impressive run for a first time candidate. OUR VETERANS NEED TO BE TAKEN CARE OF!
AMERICA'S SAFETY AND OUR MILITARY
Our soldiers and veterans have taken on the responsibility of keeping America safe and America needs to take care of their soldiers and families when Congress votes to take them into war. Having a strong military gives America power and strength. Knowing when and where to use that power gives American leaders wisdom. We do not have to enter every battle before us and it is not our responsibility to police the world, just make sure our military is strategically positioned to protect America against all powers, foreign and domestic that threatened the safety of American citizens.
Currently we still have troops fighting overseas and supporting missions around the globe. It is thus critical we have a well-trained military ready to meet the challenges of today and any future conflicts. For our nation to stay strong, it's essential they have the resources to keep our military strong, our nation secure, and ensure our troops have the equipment they need to stay safe and effectively doing their jobs.
Jennifer has experienced the difficulties veterans have navigating the VA system trying to acquire help and assistance, and strongly believes it is the job of the U. S. Congress to act as a watchdog to ensure our service members and families are getting the assistance, benefits, medical care, and family support they have earned. Denying that poses serious issues that are still not being fully and adequately addressed which affects society as a whole.
PHYSICAL AND MENTAL HEALTH OF VETERANS
When Jennifer speaks of the issues, she's speaking on proper treatment for physical and mental health of previously deployed veterans having PTSD and other acute mental health disorders, their spouse and family members potentially having secondary trauma. We have to take a closer look at how a previously deployed veteran's trauma effects the home which effects the community. Many spouses, and children of our veterans, active and retired, suffer secondary trauma without being aware of the trauma and its impact on the family. More services, awareness, education, and treatment is needed for the veteran and the family.
WOMEN SUFFER DIFFERENTLY
Veterans Affairs and the military have become aware that women suffer differently than men in war zones and at home. Both agencies have also become aware many families are negatively impacted by the trauma of having a loved one deployed.
By not fully addressing the issues in the beginning will cause deeper wounds and broken families. These are real issues effecting many military and veteran's families. If it is not addressed fully now, we will suffer the consequences later as we can see with our Vietnam Veterans high rates of homelessness and suicides. Current homelessness data shows more than 50% of suicides and homelessness stems from our Vietnam veterans; what will that look like for veterans and families having been deployed in war over the past ten plus years?
JENNIFER AND VETERANS
Being a Vietnam veterans wife, and on the ground community worker volunteering in the community to help veterans and families get the services they need has helped me see the course we need to take to turn this around; there are clear solutions to take care of these issues, we need a Congress willing to make sure the money allotted for these programs are used for the programs.
Veterans and spouses have earned the retirement pay and benefits they receive. It is incomprehensible to reduce benefits, reduce or not give cost of living adjustments, make veterans pay for medical benefits that were promised when they volunteered to serve our nation. Their work has been completed, congress should not retract on their agreement.
- Taking care of America first which includes active duty, veterans and families
- Keeping our boarders safe from terrorist
- Ensuring military families are taken care of by guaranteeing access to critical support services and benefits.
- Ensuring our wounded warriors receive the quality health and mental health care they need when they return home.
- Ensuring the waiting list of veterans obtaining services goes down because they have been taken care of and not because they have given up on the system
As a civilian I volunteered over 2200 hundred hours at Madigan in the Intensive Outpatient Program where we were successfully able to return many soldiers to soldier readiness.
In February of 2012, met with Congressman Norm Dicks in Washington, DC and discussed the closure of the Intensive Outpatient Program. This led to a Congressional Investigation into the closure of the program.
Jennifer made it a priority to create a small business to hire veterans and collaborate with other local businesses that believed employable veterans shouldn't be without work.
In 2014 and 2015 as Social Action Chair for Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Jennifer and her team collaborated with Pacific Lutheran University military/admissions department to host a Veteran's Summit and Resource Fair. In 2014 the focus was benefits and services for the veterans. In 2015 the focus was services available for the entire family to include various types of mental health treatment and smaller agencies to assist veterans in obtaining benefits.
Your Support is Needed
Will you financially support Jennifer in fighting for Veterans and their families?
Will you financially support Jennifer in keeping our military bases at JBLM fully ready and functioning to go where they need to go if was is the only option?
A Donation today says yes, I believe Jennifer Gigi Ferguson will not send us into an unnecessary war and will fight for Veterans, families and civilians to make this happen.
Your contribution is needed to pay for office space so we can keep our volunteers together for training and updates. Veterans and soldiers will have to place to come to find resources. Will you please donate $5.00 today.