Unsung Heroes: America’s Servicewomen
A new book about veterans depicts the lives of women like Jaspen Boothe and many more.
(NAPSI)—The numbers are staggering: Women make up 1.8 million veterans. The average age of women veterans is 48 years, compared to 63 years for their male counterparts, and their issues and needs are very different, something that is oftentimes going unnoticed.
Consider the case of Jaspen Boothe, or “Jas” as she’s called. She’s but one story in a new book, “Portraits of Service: Looking into the Faces of Veterans,” published by Patton Publishing. The book, by photographers Robert Miller and Andrew Wakeford, presents vignettes on a cross section of living war veterans who have made personal sacrifices and, in many cases, have undergone the horrors of combat. It is a touching and powerful collection of photo essays that capture the fears, emotions and unique stories of all who serve in the military.
Boothe endured two catastrophic events in her life.
In 2005, she was a single parent with a civilian job living in New Orleans while serving in the Army Reserves. That spring she received her orders to deploy to Iraq. She left her civilian job and then endured what for many might be the end of the road.
First, her home was destroyed during Hurricane Katrina and she lost everything. As if that’s not devastating enough, she learned that she had cancer. In a cruel twist of fate, she learned that when her cancer treatment was completed, the full-time military pay that she was earning would be terminated. Homeless and with a young son, she could no longer turn to the military for support and care unless she stayed in the Army Reserves.
Fortunately, Boothe’s story has a happy ending. Her cancer went into remission, she found a job and later moved to Washington, D.C. Not content to just live her life out peacefully, she supported fellow female veterans by starting a nonprofit agency to support female veterans, called Final Salute, which provides safe and suitable housing for homeless female veterans and their children.
“Portraits of Service” honors a broad cross section of veterans from five different wars. They are young and old, active and retired, male, female, of every race and representing all military branches. Each story is told with a common theme of putting one’s life on the line for freedom and people giving their lives to their country.
Helen Patton, granddaughter of the late General George S. Patton, is the founder of the Patton Foundation, sponsor of the book’s publication. The Foundation supports soldiers, veterans and their families by helping them mend, heal and reintegrate into their families and communities.
The book is more than a keepsake, says Robert Miller; it is an enduring account of the men and women in uniform who serve and protect our ideal of freedom. “Their stories must be told and revered for generations to come.”
The Patton Foundation will donate a portion of the net profits from the sale of “Portraits of Service” to benefit veterans and their families through organizations such as Final Salute Inc., Wounded Warrior Project, the National Military Family Association and the Gary Sinise Foundation.
Copies of the book are available on www.Portraitsofservice.com and www.Amazon.com.