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2013 Women Veterans Conference

Women in the military - honoring the past and driving into the future

Renowned war reporter Alex Quade following up with an Apache helicopter crew following an operation in Afghanistan. Courtesy photo

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With more than 60,000 female veterans in Washington state, it should come as no surprise that the upcoming WDVA's 2013 Women Veterans Conference is poised to host more than 500 attendees, comprised of both veterans and active-duty female servicemembers.

The theme of this year's conference, which will occur Saturday, June 29 at the Greater Tacoma Convention Center, is "Women in the Military - Honoring the Past ... Driving into the Future."

"In my view, military men and women are some of the most resourceful people I have ever met ... especially the women. They know how to fix a problem. They know how to adapt to changing environments. They know how to build rapport and just because a woman is no longer serving in the military, doesn't mean she's not up to the challenge to make a great future for herself and her family," explained seasoned war reporter Alex Quade, who will serve as the event's emcee for the second year in a row. 

Quade, a Washington native and University of Washington graduate, has been working to tell stories from downrange through various news outlets, from CNN to The New York Times. She strongly believes in supporting these female veterans who she has "walked side-by-side with" from New Orleans' humanitarian efforts to deployments in Afghanistan.

"Your mission can't be defined as what you perceive your gender is capable of doing ... because that is by far the most difficult roadblock to overcome," Quade offered. "For me, as a lone, female embedded reporter covering combat missions downrange, it was always about jumping in, doing what needed to be done and not taking ‘No' for an answer ... which I know women veterans can relate to."

"The conference will be all about moving forward, looking ahead and empowering yourself to take action," she continued. "Veterans will get information from other women who have ‘been there, done that' ... like the WASPs (Women Air Force Service Pilots) from World War II, who'll be joining in on a workshop in the afternoon."

The resource-filled day will commence with registration from 7-8 a.m. and then continue with a series of panel discussions on the following topics: leadership, wellness, finance, employment small business, mental health, education, intro to VA benefits and transitioning. There will also be a large number of vendors, exhibitors and opportunities for wellness, from free massages to relaxing manicures. Representatives from technical and community colleges, as well as other higher education, will also be on hand to answer questions and assist attendees. Finally, a Fatigues to Fabulous runway show, featuring several female veteran volunteers who received complementary makeovers, will close the day between 2:30 and 3:20 p.m.

"This is the only opportunity like this ... for women military veterans to come together to be inspired, motivated, and learn how to really truly take care of themselves so they can make their next transition," explained Quade. "It addresses every possible resource that a woman would need and, while this conference is geared toward veterans, this is actually something that every woman would be interested in ... our women veterans will just be getting the extra hints, tips and head-start to face different life changes and challenges ... to thrive."

While there is no cost for the summit, lunch or runway show, parking does cost $10. For more information or to register, call (360) 725-2227 or visit

LINK: Brig. Gen. Halstead to speak at 2013 Womens Veterans Conference

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