AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - One local woman is on a mission to help other women in the area who were once married to active duty service members and are no longer receiving benefits.
The Veterans Resource Center Program Coordinator Shyla Dubois wanted to make sure there was help available if needed for women married to veterans. Dubois is now trying to find women in all 26 counties of the Texas Panhandle who can identify as someone who was either previously married to an active duty service member, is a surviving spouse, or a female veteran.
“As I was looking at my research, I just couldn’t find anything,” said Dubois. “I really don’t think that there’s any other agency or anyone else really looking at that population. Many of those spouses sent their active duty service member to war many times and they have children while their spouses were deployed so they did a tremendous service for our country too.”
Dubois reached out to a West Texas A&M professor for help.
“I told her that I had this graduate class and I was looking for a project for them and she came up with an idea,” said WTAMU Assistant Professor of Media Communication Dr. Nancy Garcia. “She said, ‘You know what, we have this Veterans Resource Center and they need help. We really need to get more data and we just don’t know how to do it.'”
Garcia’s students then created a survey to help identify these women and their needs.
“Part of our task is saying, okay, this is the information that we need and [we’re] coming up with the best way to ask those questions in order to get that information,” said WTAMU student consultant Alyssa Paschel.
The survey will be distributed next week and after a month, the students will collect the data and show the resource center what needs were listed.
“We’re here to help the community,” said WTAMU student consultant Jacy Brown. “It’s gonna be exciting to see what the response is and the next steps for the resource center.”
If you would like to fill out a survey and receive benefits, you can call the Family Support Services Veteran Services when the surveys are available next week.