Breaking News
More () »

Stories of Service: Vietnam veteran bringing awareness to homeless women vets

Staci Anderson is on a mission to raise money for women veterans who are homeless. She was once in their shoes.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — In this week's Stories of Service, we're honoring a local Vietnam veteran. Her name is Staci Anderson and she's currently competing to be Ms. Veteran America

We interviewed Anderson at the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Wall. She recognized some of the names.

"It's a bit overwhelming and a bit sad. Especially when I come to the Vietnam area," Staci Anderson said. 

In 1970, she joined the United States Navy during the Vietnam war. An unpopular war that deeply divided Americans. 

"Guys were getting spit on. Talked ugly about because they were drafted. If you volunteered, even worse, and being a woman?" Anderson explained. 

Anderson said she served as a typist in the Navy and did some secretarial work. 

"We didn't go anywhere unless you were a nurse back then. It was always women working here so men can go to war," Anderson said. 

After getting out of the service, she ended up homeless.

"I was homeless with a baby. I'm talking about a baby in my arms. I ate baby food. Whatever he didn't eat," Anderson responded. 

That's why she's now on a mission to raise money for women veterans who are homeless. She's raising money for Final Salute, a non-profit with a mission to provide homeless women veterans with safe and suitable housing. 

"When I saw what they were looking for a spokesperson.  I thought, there's not a better spokesperson than me," Anderson added. 

She's doing that by competing in Ms. Veteran America, which is described as an event that showcases the woman beyond the uniform. It's taking place in Orlando in October. 

"I'm looking for women veterans. Jacksonville has the second highest number of female veteran population in the country. I'm looking for you ladies. Where are you? I have some information for you," Anderson said.

If you would like to make a donation to Final Salute, click here. Use the code "StaciA4MVA2022" for Staci Anderson.  

Before You Leave, Check This Out