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jas boothe

U.S. Army
Final Salute Inc.

For Jas, joining the U.S. Army was about proving what she was capable of-not just to herself, but to her child as well. Wanting to give her infant son someone he could look up to, she decided, "I'm going to be a soldier and show him that I can be the toughest one regardless of me being a woman or a mom."

Over the next 17 years, Jas raised her son and served her country: earning the Meritorious Service Medal and teaching future military leaders in Officer Candidate School. But the road was more difficult than she could have imagined. In 2005, within a span of 30 days, she received the devastating news that she'd been diagnosed with cancer and had lost her home to Hurricane Katrina.

After six months of several surgeries, 30 cycles of radiation, and living in the hospital, her cancer went into remission. Now, she had another hurdle to face: homelessness. Naturally, Jas went to the Department of Veterans Affairs for assistance, expecting them to help her as they had her military brothers. Instead, they told her they don't offer housing and supportive services for women veterans. "I was just blown away by that because when I was at the military hospital, there were amputees who were women, there were women who had been hit by IEDs... in combat, there is no gender."

Never one to give up, Jas fought her way back to active duty-earning the rank of Major-but didn't forget her experience. While still serving her country, she decided she needed to do something for her sisters-in-arms, and founded Final Salute, Inc. "As a soldier, you take an oath to never leave a fallen comrade. I had a duty to reach back for my sisters who felt like they'd been forgotten and let them know they did matter, and create a sanctuary for them."

The federal government estimates there are 55,000 homeless female veterans in the U.S. Final Salute, Inc. finds this unacceptable. The organization works with individual veterans to establish a plan for independence, and then assists them throughout the journey. So far, they've supported over 8,000 women and their families across 30 states and territories, providing over 17,000 days of transitional housing, career assistance, and more.

"I tell people, I got into the nonprofit business to fill a void," Jas says. "My ultimate goal for my work is to not be in business 20 years from now. Because that means we fixed the problem and all veterans are housed and safe with their families." But for now, Jas continues to fight on behalf of all the women who have served.

Learn more about Final Salute, Inc. and how they're providing aid to female veterans at

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