My name is Heidi Z. (SSG, army) and I found WINC at a very low time in my life. I had been recently diagnosed with PTSD by a civilian psychotherapist. I was seeing her for anger, rage, anxiety, depression, and it all stemmed from situations that happened in the army. I had heard about a women veteran, only, meetup, at a local restaurant and to attend a play (not really my style, the play part). I had the greatest time meeting female veterans and for the first time in years, I didn’t feel alone. Just knowing I have a group of people, just like me, that I can contact or get together with has made me feel worthy of being a female veteran; which in turn, has given me the confidence, and has rebuilt my self-esteem, to go out and attend public functions again. Being involved with WINC has given me a new lease on life. Heidi L. Z.
My name is Toni J., a disabled US Army Veteran. I am a newly married, 36 year old mother of now 3 children, one of which is a new step daughter to me. I was introduced to WINC on the evening of my wedding, just this past October 2016. I could not believe my ears with what WINC does for women veterans! I was able to take my first women’s retreat in December, and met some amazing, strong women. Going on this trip immensely improved my self-worth, confidence, and most importantly my self-esteem. I prefer not to go into detail about the reason for my disability status with the military, but something I will say is that it is the reason for my feelings of low self-worth and confidence, which has in turn affected my self-esteem over many years. During the retreat I was offered free ski lessons-which initially just that alone I was excited for a FREE trip. That trip to me though was life changing! I did not walk away with having the title of a ski-expert, but the accomplishments I made personally have forever changed me. I was also able to leave my new husband alone with our children for those precious few days, and gained confidence and trust in him and in my relationship that I never thought I would be able to feel. The trip was not one that would have ever done on my own, nor would I have been able to afford it being from a middle class income group. I used to view military organizations as quite negative, that they were not truly there to help veterans in need unless they met certain income guidelines or were homeless. WINC has given me a new high hope of veteran organizations, all the while introducing me to women who have gone through circumstances like my own.