BMW of North America salutes female military veterans during a Nov. 12 brunch at The Park at 14th in northwest D.C. (Roy Lewis/The Washington Informer)
BMW of North America salutes female military veterans during a Nov. 12 brunch at The Park at 14th in northwest D.C. (Roy Lewis/The Washington Informer)

In recognition of Veterans Day and Month, BMW of North America stopped by D.C. for the “Women Who Pay It 4ward” Honors Brunch Series, to celebrate outstanding female military veterans who often go unnoticed.

The Nov. 12 event at The Park at 14th in Northwest saluted four of the nation’s most honorable female veterans, including Ginger Miller, a Navy veteran and founder and CEO of Women Veterans Interactive (WVI), a company dedicated to advocating and aiding long-serving women in the military.

“When my husband and I transitioned out of the military in 1992, we didn’t transition well,” Miller said. “He was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, we were both unskilled, I was an early mother and wife, and we ended up being homeless, after serving our country.

“My vision for WVI was a ‘come to Jesus’ moment. I woke up after we finally found residency, thinking about all of the things that I had accomplished and done, and it wasn’t until I finished my list that I realized I was a ‘Woman Veteran’ and that’s when I started WVI and it took off. Three out of five women who serve the military end up being homeless and I decided that as long as I live, this would not happen again, not on my watch, not for any female veterans.”

The event, hosted by Deshauna Barber, a U.S. Army Officer and Miss USA 2016, also honored Jas Boothe, a cancer survivor and founder of Final Salute, the only D.C. shelter that provides housing for homeless female veterans and their children; Kelly M. Cruz, senior human resources specialist; and Mary Lowe Mayhugh, a retired colonel of 37 years.

During the event, BMW also presented a check for $2,000 to SWAN, a nonprofit organization that supports, defends and empowers servicewomen of all eras through advocacy initiatives and innovative community programs.

“This event has been so wonderful and so inspiring to women — continue to ‘Pay it Forward’ and keep inspiring,” a SWAN representative said in accepting the donation.

Lauren M. Poteat

Lauren Poteat is a versatile writer with a strong background in communications and media experience with an additional background in education and development.

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