Veteran’s Day & Minorities



We, as a nation, are indebted to the courageous men and women that everyday sacrifice their lives, families, safety and security for us.

Veterans are the ultimate heroes that are willing to give their lives so we and our children could continue with ours.   For that, we are inmensely grateful.

With the recent news about the VA Hospitals and their management; we all are a bit more familiar with the challenges our veterans face when they return from their assignments; however I just learned about two interesting issues that I want to bring to your attention today VETERAN’S DAY.

a) VETERAN WOMEN  are much more likely to be unemployed and homeless than their male counterparts.   Here’s a link to an initiative by the Dpt. of Labor.  First Lady Michelle Obama is also focusing on the issue; which is how I learned about it.  While unmployment for veteran males has gone down significantly, is not the case with veteran women.   Read an article published by Redbook Magazine that sheds light on this matter

b) MANY VETERANS HAVE A HARD TIME MANAGING THEIR CHRONIC CONDITIONS  when the veteran’s literacy level is low and / or the recommendations are not culturally competent.   A big advocate working to reduce these issues is  Ms. Jawel Lemons, RN, MS, FNP-C who works at the VA Medical Center in Augusta and remembers her own father struggle with understanding labels of medication (he had a third-grade education) “I thought, ‘If he wasn’t living with me, what would he do?’” she says. “That’s when I came up with the idea for the labels.”   Nurse Lemons realized that many of the “non-compliant” patients she saw just did not understand medical indications and so she put together a system of pictures (i.e. a rooster picture would mean take it in the morning) that helps veterans take their medication as prescribed.

Lemons is also empowering minority veterans (about 20%) with culturally competence information.  She mentions most of the dietary recommendations have been designed for caucasian males that are just not relevant to African-American, Hispanic and Asian individuals that incorporate other foods and preparations in their regular diets.  This is another example in which some veterans were labeld “non-compliant” when simply they were just not able to overcome cultural differences.

Especifically in Georgia, a report by the Georgia Center for Non-Profits (56% of respondents were African-American) show that 57.7% of local veterans have experienced homelessness after their departure from the military.  None of the non-profits currently serving veterans focus on Latino/Hispanics.

CLICK HERE to find resources in Georgia to serve veterans.

To learn more about Minority Veterans, click here

Published by

Gilda (Gigi) Pedraza

Executive Director and Founder Latino Community Fund (LCF Georgia) Social Entrepreneur, Community Advocate, Latina, Mom, Wife. Lover of Life.

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