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Society & Culture

Makissa Lewis – Founder – My Seester, Inc.

podcast November 1, 2022


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It is funny speaking of my experience as a story. I assume my eyes roll back as I think of what to share. It wasn’t all bad but it wasn’t all good either. It is finding that balance of sharing that it was real but leaving out how real it all was. My mind tends to drift to being in high school watching the battle for Kuwait. It was like a video game and honestly until I was there I didn’t think the lights were deadly. I now know that when the lights reached their destination there was destruction, death.

I don’t speak of my time in the military much because I remember roses that smell so good and how we couldn’t, my battles and I, couldn’t smell them anymore. Instead, there was smoke and the decaying of flesh. We didn’t speak about it but we knew the Iraqis who would greet us as we marveled at the roses and their smell, didn’t make it.

I am a disabled combat veteran who served 11 years in the United States Army. I have worked with nonprofits, in the state of Florida as well as with other stakeholders on the behalf of Veterans the majority of my adult life. From these experiences, it prompted me to question, why isn’t more done for my fellow females Veterans? I decided to do something myself and fill a void I see that was lacking in my community. Perhaps, I will find the answer to the question I seek. But, most definitely I will help my fellow female Veteran.

 

This led me to the establishment of the nonprofit, My Seester, Inc. I was fueled by the Department of Veteran Affairs reporting that female Veterans are the fastest growing homeless group. And, with Florida being home of the second largest Veteran population most of those homeless female Veterans are in Florida. Resulting in I recognizing immediately more could be done. 

In addition, by experiencing first-hand how the story of the transitioned female Veteran tends not to be by the woman who is or had lived it. Rather, it is a story told by the clinician, who heard her words and interpreted them. I knew it was not when but now I had to do something.

 

Despite other aspects of my biography I could have used, I decided to use the opportunity to share about My Seester. The organization with the mission of helping prevent the transitioned female Veteran from falling in the cracks or if they are in the cracks help them out of it. I am keenly aware that if I decided to turn left and not right, my faith would be different. As a female veteran, I am also aware it would not only be different but more difficult. Since the assumption is I served, so I must have all the opportunities and services my male counterparts have. 

My Seester is ensuring that the female veteran is aware of their benefits and services. Additionally, the organization will always give female Veterans, like myself, the opportunity to share their story with a battle, a fellow female Veteran, a Seester. It is a way to ensure, “I see you. So, you will never be overlooked” are more than words but followed by impactful action.

https://www.myseester.com


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