And Now, a Story From a Female Veteran
Sure, Veterans Day was a couple weeks ago. This is a powerful story any day.
Heidi served in the Navy. I met her at an Andrew Yang rally earlier this month and while what she told me didn’t quite fit neatly into the bigger story I had to write about Yang, I think her story is important for you to read on its own. Here now, the day after Bernie Sanders said it’s time to bring our troops home from Afghanistan, is our brief exchange, condensed and edited for clarity.
Heidi: I got out of the military by the skin of my teeth, you know? I had trouble for a long time after that. It’s actually really common with women veterans that they have a harder time leaving the service.
Drew: Do you mean in terms of rejoining the workforce?
Heidi: It’s being accepted as veterans. They still don’t see women as veterans. And then when we get into the workforce, we’re different, you know? We are as stigmatized as the male veterans, but it’s another added layer of being a woman veteran.
Drew: What’s your personal experience with that stigmatization? Can you give an example?
Heidi: I hit a speed trap. I got pulled over by a cop and he lectured me. I had veteran plates on my cars. He had never served and he lectured me for speeding in my husband’s vehicle with veteran’s plates. I sat there and I listened to him and I was like, okay. Then when he finally stopped talking, I said, “Sir, I’m a veteran, not my husband.”
Drew: And what did he say?
Heidi: He said nothing. They don’t turn around and then all of a sudden act nice. It’s not okay! You are the veteran, but you’re a woman and they want you at home. I got the ticket.