MIDLAND, Texas (Big 2/Fox 24) – Texas has the largest women veteran’s population in the country, and the number continues to grow. The State of Texas was also the first state to pass a law to make June 12th Women Veterans Day.
Despite the largest number of female veterans in Texas, there are still many, especially in our area of the Permian Basin, who may not know about the plethora of resources available to them.
“You do not have to be in combat. You do not have to serve for two years. You merely signed your name on the dotted line, and you take the oath and ship off. And if you look at the definition of what a veteran is, that is a veteran. There is nothing about combat there; it is a duty to serve our country. And for women, most importantly and we forget we volunteer. There is a calling for us, we are not part of the selective service, and we are not part of a draft system. And you see it even going into the VA, we sit in there and get our services, and we are waiting on our husbands, and to this day I still get called Mr. Massey when I make my appointment and yes, I get frustrated with them.”Geri Massey, Veteran and Co-Founder, Women Veterans of West Texas
Cynthia Lendof, a veteran and oversees the West Texas Outreach for the Texas Veteran’s Commission, said West Texas has some of the state’s ruralist areas. It’s essential to have access online and noted that the pandemic has helped connect her to more women veterans because the likelihood of running into them in your town is slim.
“I lived in Lubbock for about three years and even then I hardly saw women veterans, and when I did, it was an immediate connection. Being able to connect to women veterans online was essential. Even having someone say Happy Birthday to me, seems small, but it means the world when you are out alone and you don’t have much family. I was all in Lubbock all by myself. And to have that network, it is so important to us.”Cynthia Lendof, Veteran and West Texas Outreach, Texas Veteran’s Commission
Lendof was one of the four female veterans Big 2’s Amanda Mason spoke with. These women have made it their mission to connect women veterans with the resources they need and deserve. All the women on the call want veterans to know that you are never alone and that they are here for you.
“It’s important that women in the Midland-Odessa area need to know that their service qualifies them for benefits, and you can call me or call any one of us, any one of us, on this call. They have a mecca of resources they need to take advantage of.”Cynthia Lendof, Veteran and West Texas Outreach, Texas Veteran’s Commission
Whether you need to be connected to resources or are interested in starting a chapter/support team of Women Veterans of West Texas in the Permian Basin, you can reach out to anyone one of these women.
- Gerry Massey
- Co-Founder of Women Veterans of West Texas and Commander of the WVOA (Women Veterans of American) Big Country Chapter 49.
- (325) 660-6030
- Sherry Byard
- Veterans Employer Liaison/Coach, Texas Veterans Commission and Co-Founder, Women Veterans of West Texas
- (325) 627-3086
- Cynthia Lendof, USAF Veteran
- Women Veteran Advocate and Coordinator, Texas Veterans Commission.
- Stephanie Perez
- Employment Advisor, Texas Veterans Commission