VFW President Announcement

Published by The Bee News

July 3, 2022

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Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Auxiliary, Department of Arizona President, Johnnie DeBoard, has selected Peoria,Arizona-based HEAL HER Art as her special project for her 2022-2023 Presidential term. HEAL HER Art is an art wellness program for women veterans. “I wanted to bring attention to the needs of women veterans and support an organization that is making a difference in their lives”, said President DeBoard.

Women currently represent 16 percent of the U.S. military. Upon leaving the military, women veterans are more likely than their male counterparts to be divorced, a single parent, unemployed and to have suffered military sexual trauma. “A central role of the VFW Auxiliary’s mission, and my personal passion, is to help veterans,” said DeBoard. “By raising funds for HEAL HER Art, we are supporting one of the fastest growing U.S. veteran populations,” DeBoard continued.

“We are excited to be working with the Department of Arizona VFW Auxiliary—the support of their 51 Auxiliaries throughout Arizona will help us reach and serve more women veterans,” said Marge Christianson, Director of HEAL HER Art. The HEAL HER Art program brings women veterans together in a fun, social and safe environment and gives them an opportunity to focus on their creativity. The program format is designed especially for women veterans. The sessions are free, do not require a long-term commitment, are accessible to all artistic levels, allow for individual expression and time to connect with other women veterans. Most projects are completed in a single session. Some sessions include a partner or child.

Studies have shown that this kind of activity can make a critical impact. Creative expression can alter not just moods, attitudes and emotions, but influences neuro-endocrine pathways that control physiologic outcomes as varied as blood pressure, sleep and the immune response.

Research has shown that creative expression can:

Reduce blood pressure while boosting the immune system and reducing stress
Promote relaxation and a sense of well-being
Reduce anxiety, depression and pain
Promote general quality of life

By putting individuals in touch with their feelings and providing a means to express this to others, creative self-expression helps to engage one in all aspects of treatment, empowering a person with a sense of purpose, accomplishment, and possibility.

Donations to support President DeBoard’s special project can made to:

VFW Auxiliary Dept of AZ

326 E Burrows St.

Tucson, AZ, 85704

c/o President’s Special Project

Johnnie DeBoard was elected Department of Arizona President at the state VFW Auxiliary convention held in Scottsdale, Arizona June 1-4, 2022. She joined VFW Auxiliary Post 404 in Mohave Valley, Arizona in 2009. DeBoard has held many Auxiliary leadership positions at Post 404, including eight yearsas President. She is eligible as a member of the VFW Auxiliary through her father, John H. Monroe, Jr., who served in Vietnam.

The VFW Auxiliary is one of the nation’s oldest veteran service organizations and its members are the relatives of those who have served overseas in combat. The VFW Auxiliary has nearly 475,000 members nationwide who volunteer millions of hours and fundraise millions of dollars for charitable projects that benefit veterans, military service personnel and their families. They provide nearly a million volunteer hours in the VA Medical System each year. Learn more about the National program at www.vfwauxiliary.org. For more information about the Auxiliary in Arizona, visit their website at www.vfwauxaz.org

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