Female Veterans Conference in Bellevue Helps Women After Service
By Aaron Bonderson , Report for America Reporter/Producer Nebraska Public Media
April 8, 2022, 4 p.m. ·
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Nebraska's first Female Veterans Conference starts Friday night at Bellevue University and runs through Saturday night.
The conference will help women connect with volunteers, mental health professionals, or other women veterans for support and guidance. Taylor Ullom is the event organizer and said the “Bombshell Patriots” organization helps female veterans through unique challenges that many face.
“Nobody thinks about the impact on the reproductive system being in a combat zone has for a woman, but there's many female veterans who have gone through miscarriages because of that,” Ullom said. “There's a lot of needs and resources just to meet that situation, you know, that are being overlooked.”
The organization’s conferences and social channels connect women with who they call a “battle buddy.” A battle buddy is someone to talk through the stress of PTSD, healthcare, paperwork, and other veteran needs. Ullom, a 23-year Bellevue resident, said she was putting off completing a report about sexual trauma and PTSD she endured in the military until her battle buddy, Alyssa, called to help.
“I realized in order to heal, I was going to have to go through the process of filling out that report,” Ullom said. “It turned out to be a very triggering event and I called Alyssa, and I told her I'm having symptoms. I'm having a bad day or whatever, and she just says, ‘How can I help you?’ And she just went with me through the process.”
And that’s why Ullom said it’s important to have a buddy like Alyssa there, to encourage her and check in.
Ullom spoke at the first female veterans conference in Des Moines last September. She then coordinated the second female veterans conference scheduled in Omaha this weekend.
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