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Women Veterans: A Story of Friendship

July 6, 2017

Barbara with actress Sharon Stone

Barbara Racine- I call her “Raisin”- she said everyone did while she was in- had seen one of the flyers for Women Veterans Alliance meeting that  I put up at a senior center in Oakland.

She called and told me she’s 87 and couldn’t drive at night, but would love to come. That women aren’t represented enough when it comes to Veteran events -especially in the senior facilities around here where she’s a BINGO regular.

I asked her if she would like to get breakfast that weekend, she said yes.

She brought all sorts of amazing pictures of her service and some mini flashlights she wanted to give to all the women vets that she had personalized with a veteran insignia and patriotic stickers. They were quite a hit actually.

The next meeting, I picked her up and she brought all her old pictures, told some stories, and urged us to register with the Women’s Memorial in DC.

I had mentioned something about the VA Clinic, and she told me she had never been. I was concerned since I knew she wasn’t in the best health and she had mentioned filing for state disability.

I thought well. I’m registered with the VA, I could take her- so I offered. She graciously accepted.  Early the next week, I took off work in the morning and picked her up. Before we even left. I told her to bring EVERYTHING- and she did! hahaha.  The VA staff at the registration counter showed each other her documents. said it had been decades since someone came in with a Carbon Copy of a DD214! : ) She got all sorted out, and was so grateful.

I picked her up before every meeting until recently, now we either go to BINGO, go to a movie, or just get lunch. She brought me all these little trinkets of Oakland A’s (she works’s at the stadium where the Oakland A’s play) merchandise- since I happened to tell her I’m a fan. Very sweet.

I got us tickets to Wonder Woman, and we were both like kids on Christmas. We could stop talking about it afterwards at lunch. How great it was to see her fight, fight, and win.

and that’s it! That’s our story so far.

 

Written by: Nicole Aleksandrowicz, Coast Guard Veteran

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