Texas Veterans Commission holds 5K run to celebrate Women Veterans Day

The Texas Veterans Commission (TVC) will be holding a Women Veterans Day 5K Run at Camp Mabry on Saturday, June 4. Krystle Matthews with the TVC joins FOX 7's Mike Warren to discuss this event.

Mike: Krystle, thanks for joining us.

Krystle: Thank you for having me.

Mike: So tell us a little bit about the event.

Krystle: Yes. So every year we celebrate Women Veterans Day on June 12. And so this year, we're actually having our event a little bit earlier. So we'll have a 5K on June 4 at Camp Mabry in Austin. And so that event starts at 9:30 a.m. We're very excited about it. And we want everyone to come- it's for active duty or veteran reservists, National Guard, family members, supporters all come out and support that event. Let's show women veterans that we support them.

Mike: What does it cost to participate?

Krystle: There is a $35 registration fee to participate in this particular event.

Mike: And what does that money go toward?

Krystle: Yes. So that money for the registration goes towards actually hosting the event and then also future training programs for women veterans.

Mike: Your position at the Texas Veterans Commission, obviously dealing with women veterans. What are the big challenges for women veterans in this day and age?

Krystle: Yes, well, so over the last two years, the major challenges we've seen is financial assistance along with employment. So anything from housing, childcare, food insecurity, those have been major things in the last two years that have hit women veterans. And so the way that we try to help is getting them connected to our employment department and our partners and then also assisting them with their emergency financial needs. Texas Veterans Commission offers Fund for Veterans Assistance, where we grant out funds to nonprofits and veterans service organizations. And so with those funds, we're able to help a lot of those women veterans that have plenty of challenges. But we also additionally try to get them employment to help, you know, moving forward in the future.

Mike: Do women veterans take advantage of services the same way that their male counterparts do?

Krystle: No, sir. And I think a lot of that has to do with, you know, really identifying as a veteran. So one of the big pushes that we have every year is to empower women veterans to self-identify as a veteran. And once they identify, then they're more comfortable getting connected with the veteran community, accessing benefits that are specifically for veterans. And so they don't. And therefore, they do miss out on some of those benefits that are available to our male counterparts.

Mike: Okay. Well, the event is this Saturday. We hope it is a big one. We have to wrap up for now. But Krystle Matthews with the Texas Veterans Commission, thanks very much for talking with us.

Krystle: No problem. Thank you so much for having me. I appreciate you.

Mike: All right.