Local Photographer Features Female Veteran Athletes in National Exhibit

Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center’s Women’s Program, in partnership with the Department of Veterans Affairs’ Center for Women Veterans, will host a local exhibition of the Women Veteran Athletes Initiative photo project on Thursday, May 3 from 4:30 to 6:30 pm in the Charleston VAMC Main Auditorium located at 109 Bee Street. This project is part of a national effort to encourage women Veterans to be physically active and choose VA for their health and wellness needs.

The exhibit features 10 female Veteran athletes in photographs taken by local Air Force Veteran and two-time Military Photographer of the Year Stacy Pearsall. Pearsall receives her health care at Charleston VAMC and she completed her first series of Veteran portraits, the impetus for what would become her now nationally-recognized Veterans Portrait Project, there. Those images are displayed as a collection, known as the Hall of Heroes, on the facility’s first floor.

“I’m so happy to be part of this women Veterans’ awareness campaign,” Pearsall said.

Veteran attendees at the event can also sit for a Veterans Portrait Project photo with Pearsall beginning at 5:00 p.m.

A women-Veteran focused information fair will run concurrently with the photo exhibit and will feature Women’s Health, VA’s MOVE! Weight Management Program, Minority Veterans Program, Mental Health, Military Sexual Trauma, LGBT support, Million Veteran Program and more.

The exhibit photographs feature female Veterans of varying capabilities who participate in a wide range of sports – from triathlons and rowing, to yoga, long-distance running and more. The goal is to showcase the resilience and strength of these Veterans while also inspiring others to participate in physical activity to support their wellbeing. Featured female Veteran athletes Indira Glennon and Sarah Holzhalb will be in attendance to discuss their military service, participation in the photo project and personal commitments to fitness with event attendees.

Pearsall’s exhibit was displayed at 10 medical centers across the nation during March in celebration of Women’s History Month. Charleston VAMC Women’s Program Manager Patricia Hancox is overjoyed to bring the project to Charleston to be viewed by Veterans and Pearsall’s fans in her home town.

“Stacy is well-known here in Charleston and a true champion of female Veterans,” Hancox said. “We are excited to support her and celebrate not just the women featured in her photo exhibit but all of our women Veterans through this project.”

Light refreshments will be served and attendees will have the opportunity to meet the photographer during the reception. An expanded version of the portrait project can be viewed online here.

Find out more about how VA is working to honor the service of female Veterans through the Center for Women Veterans here.

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