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Muskegon honors women veterans at city commission meeting

Mayor Ken Johnson read a proclamation recognizing April 26 as Women Veterans Day in the City of Muskegon.

MUSKEGON, Mich. — In front of a packed house at Tuesday night's Muskegon City Commission meeting, a handful of women veterans stood as Mayor Ken Johnson read a proclamation recognizing April 26 as Women Veterans Day in the city. After the proclamation was read, the women received a standing ovation from everyone in attendance.

"Today we are just super excited to know that the City of Muskegon recognizes the many women veterans across the country and here in Muskegon," said Henrietta Hadley, a representative of WINC For All Women Veterans.

"We have some women sitting here today that have served our country for 32 years, right here in this room and decided to make Muskegon their home."

Around two million women living in the U.S. are veterans. Many of them experienced sexual trauma during their time in the military. Many of them deal with the effects of that trauma in isolation. Suicide rates among women veterans is higher than it is among male veterans. 

But WINC was started in Muskegon by a woman named Zaneta Adams, who had a vision for how to give women veterans more prosperous lives. Heidi Zellar, who also spoke Tuesday night, knows how big of an impact WINC has made.

"I know that when I got out after Desert Storm, I didn't know anybody. I lived alone for 25 years and through Zaneta Adams work and through WINC, I know that I'm never alone. And I know that no woman veterans out there ever has to feel alone. And I want to thank the City and Muskegon for doing it for doing it," she said.

At the state and national levels, Women Veterans Day is held on June 12.

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