The Richard I. Bong Veterans Historical Center in Superior is bringing together resources to ensure wellness for area veterans.
The Veterans Wellness Fair runs noon to 5 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 28, at the Bong Center. Following the fair at 6:30 p.m., author Ames Sheldon present "Women at the Very Heart of the Great War."
"We were recently contacted by the Wisconsin Department of Veteran Affairs about our speaker program and they wanted to get involved," said Hayes Scriven, director of the Bong Center. "They wanted to help promote the program but also allow an opportunity for area veterans to learn about their benefits, or other programs in the area that they can utilize."
Programs for veterans include:
• Veterans Outreach Recovery Program and Women's Veterans by the Wisconsin; Department of Veterans Affairs;
• Douglas County Veterans Service Office;
• St. Louis County Veterans Service Office;
• Minnesota Assistance Council for Veterans;
• Twin Ports VA Outpatient Clinic;
• VA Suicide Prevention;
• Duluth Veterans Center.
"I looked forward to meeting many of our Veterans that live in the northwest part of our state, in particular, women who have served in the U.S. military," said Tiffany Koehler, women veterans state coordinator for the Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs. "There are approximately 30, 000 women veterans throughout the state. With 1,300 who live in this region and 378 of those ... residing in Douglas County.
Sheldon's presentation focuses on the many roles American women played in World War II. Especially those who went over to France to serve as nurses, telephone operators, doctors, truck drivers, chemists, translators, ambulance drivers and hospital directors.
She will read from primary sources about some of their experiences, and talk about her research process and her historical novel "Eleanor's Wars," which features an American woman who drove an ambulance in France and who later worked as a nurse's aide at Halloran Military Hospital on Staten Island during World War II. It was recently awarded the Benjamin Franklin Gold Award for "Best New Voice in Fiction."