Ohio Women Veterans Conference - Celebrating Generations of Service

by Joyce Robinson

They came from North, East, West, and Central Ohio.

They represented the five branches of the United States Armed Forces: Army (“This We’ll Defend”), Air Force (“Aim High…Fly-Fight-Win”), Navy (“Semper Fortis” – Always Courageous”), Marines (“Semper Fidelis” – Always Faithful), and Coast Guard (“Semper Paratus” –Always Ready).

They Were Ohio Women Veterans! HOOAH! (I’m a female Army Veteran!)

Ohio is home to 67,000 women veterans! The biennial Ohio Women Veterans Conference is one of the largest gatherings of women veterans in the nation! This year’s conference was held Saturday, Aug. 12 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at The Ohio State University Union in Columbus.

The keynote address, “Celebrating Generations of Service,” was given by Dr. Betty Moseley Brown, the Associate Director of the Veterans Administration Center for Women Veterans and a Marine Corps veteran.

The oldest female veteran in Ohio, 102-year-old Betty Cassleman of Fremont, addressed the conference via video. Ms. Cassleman served as an Instructor of Pilots during WWII, from November 1943 thru November 1945. The oldest and the youngest female veterans in attendance, 94-years-old and 22-years-old respectively, were each given a gift.

Veterans and current military members who attended the conference found information about Ohio’s new fast track to jobs and education for veterans, services available locally through Ohio’s 88 County Veterans Service Offices and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Women Veterans programs and benefits. Workshops covered topics such as community service, employment, entrepreneurship, military retirement, money management, and health and wellness.

“The Ohio Women Veterans Conference is an awesome opportunity to meet and connect with our sisters in arms,” said Angela Beltz, chairwoman of the Ohio Department of Veterans Services Women Veterans Advisory Committee. “It’s a rare time when women veterans of all eras from WWII to present day Iraq and Afghanistan come together to celebrate progress and learn about the benefits we have earned.”