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Journalist Alex Quade to speak at Women Veteran Summit

Veteran conference will be interactive and hands on

Military journalist Alex Quade in Nasiriyah. Courtesy photo

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Women veterans take center stage in downtown Tacoma for a day of wellness, sharing, learning and bonding.

The 2013 Women Veteran Summit will be held Saturday, June 29 at the Greater Tacoma Trade and Convention Center. The conference will feature guest speakers; breakout sessions covering a wide variety of topics important to women veterans; networking and sharing opportunities; exhibits and services. Admission is free, but registration is required. Lunch will be provided at no cost, and parking at the event center is $10. Doors open at 7 a.m.

Event organizer Mary Forbes and her team are honored to offer the conference again this year and can't wait to get underway.

"We had a blast last year," she said. "This event provides conversations for women veterans that really resonate."

Forbes noted that the aim is not to talk "at veterans." Rather, she said, "we are inviting them into the conversation. We are here to help empower women. With this year's added focus on wellness and health, we are sharing the message to be proactive and for women to advocate for their own health and for others."

Resources for behavioral and mental health and other wellness issues, as well as employment and education information, will be available.  Additionally, there will be opportunities for a little personal pampering with massage, hair and nail services available onsite.  Five classrooms will be running at a time, and each class will conclude with a networking opportunity in which participants will be able to ask questions and learn about more ways to take action.

The master of ceremonies and special guest presenter is award-winning military journalist Alex Quade, who is returning to her home state to take part in the conference.

"Women veterans should be pumped about this conference," Quade said. "I sure am, because it offers an unbelievable amount of resources and tools for women.  This conference is different than all the others out there, because it's truly interactive and hands on."

The event will have something for everyone.

"Women will be able to talk one on one with wellness experts and healthcare providers," Quade said. "There is a topic offered, literally, for every single person's interests, regardless of their age.  Professionals with expertise in leadership, mental health, small business, wellness, V.A. benefits, education, employment, transitioning, and finances - you name it and they've got it there, all under one roof." 

Though it will be packed with valuable information, the conference will also be fun, Quade added.

"This is about celebrating women veterans and all they can offer to our communities," she said. "This will not be some stuffy, ‘death-by-Power-Point' situation."

Quade knows a little something about veterans. After completing her education at the University of Washington and interning at KING-TV in Seattle, she went on to an award-winning career as a war correspondent and has worked for both CNN and FOX. Her video stories about U.S. Special Operations have appeared on "The New York Times" online, "The Washington Times," and

Quade believes strongly in supporting female veterans, because she has "walked side by side" with them and witnessed them in action, on deployments and downrange, throughout the world. She has also seen women veterans provide critical humanitarian assistance during the hurricane devastation in New Orleans.

Though she no longer lives in Washington, Quade makes a special commitment to come back each year to help with the Women Veterans Conference as its master of ceremonies and speaker, because to her, it's of the utmost importance.

"This conference will be all about moving forward, looking ahead and empowering yourself to take action," she said. "Veterans will get information from other women who have ‘been there, done that.' This is about honoring the past, but also about seeing how far women veterans have come, how many challenges they've weathered and what amazing things they can do ahead."

To learn more about the conference and to register online, visit the Washington State Department of Veteran Affairs website.

LINK: 2013 Women Veteran Summit feature story

LINK: Brig. Gen. Halstead to speak at 2013 Womens Veteran Summit

To see what's next for Alex Quade, here's a sneak peak at her next documentary. ...

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