JACKSONVILLE, Fla — When veterans return from war, their fight is far from over. For many, life becomes a struggle.
"When they come out of the military a lot of them come out with those invisible scars," said Dee Quaranta.
A study by Disabled American Veterans found females are often overlooked.
Quaranta, a 20-year Air Force Veteran, is CEO of Northeast Florida Women Veterans. The nonprofit she runs helps female veterans make their transition successfully.
"In 2019 we served about 200 women," she said. "Now going into October we are way over 200, and I attribute that a lot to the pandemic."
The nonprofit helps by providing counseling services and financial assistance. Recently, a St. Johns County female veteran, ripped off in a financial scheme, turned to Northeast Florida Women Veterans for help.
"It is kind of a common scam where your bank account is being hacked and it happened four or five times to her account," said Quaranta, "and damaged her credit."
The victim wants anonymity but her is what we know:
- She is a Navy Veteran from the Desert Storm era.
- The veteran is 100% service-connected disabled, diagnosed with military sexual trauma and lives on a fixed income.
- Her life has been turned upside down.
"There are a lot of scams out there and people need to be careful," said Quaranta.
Quaranta said the scam sent the veteran into financial straits, in jeopardy of losing her home, she reached out for help.
"Her mortgage is behind and her lights were behind," said Quaranta. "I think another organization is helping her with the lights."
Northeast Florida Veterans Women received COVID-19 City of Jacksonville funds to help veterans, but it restricts spending those dollars in another county.
So they have reached out to nonprofits in St. Johns County nonprofit to help this veteran.
The St. Johns Housing Partnership sent out an email asking the community to help.
Quaranta said whatever the community donates will not only help this veteran in trouble but all female veterans who walk through the doors of her nonprofit.
"We encourage those that want to help us to help these women to do so and know that money donated goes directly to the women," she said, "not to staff, not to help run this agency."
To give click link to Northeast Florida Women Veterans.