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"Our Best is Yet to Come": AARP Georgia Hosts Atlanta Women in Leadership Luncheon

Women's Empowerment Luncheon 2024

ATLANTA, Georgia — In a tribute to the indomitable spirit of women veterans, Debra Tyler-Horton, the esteemed state director of AARP Georgia, orchestrated the annual Atlanta Women in Leadership Luncheon at the prestigious Carter Center. The event, dedicated to honoring women veterans, featured a candid dialogue with Georgia Department of Veteran Services Commissioner Patricia Ross.

Tyler-Horton introduced Ross with reverence, acknowledging her extensive and commendable service to veterans. Ross, a retired colonel with 25 years in the United States Air Force and currently serving as Commissioner of Veterans Affairs since 2021, shared her experiences of overcoming harassment and sexual trauma in the military. She articulated her vision for addressing critical issues such as veterans' mental health and homelessness in Georgia.

Reflecting on her past struggles, Ross emphasized the importance of supporting women in the military and advocated for greater awareness and destigmatization of mental health challenges. She highlighted the need for social connections and a sense of belonging for women veterans transitioning into civilian life.

Ross's dedication to veteran welfare was evident as she discussed initiatives to expand mental health services and employment opportunities for women veterans in Georgia. From increased funding for mental health programs to the creation of specialized outreach roles, Ross outlined a comprehensive strategy to address the diverse needs of women who have served their country.

The luncheon provided a platform for women leaders from across Metro Atlanta to come together in solidarity. Against a backdrop of red poppy flowers symbolizing sacrifice and honor, attendees engaged in warm conversations, punctuated by laughter and camaraderie. The elegant setting, adorned with patriotic accents and vibrant décor, set the stage for a memorable gathering.

As the event drew to a close, Tyler-Horton took a poignant moment to announce her retirement, marking the end of her illustrious tenure with AARP Georgia. Her leadership and dedication to service had left an indelible mark on the organization and the community it served. With gratitude and optimism, she embraced the next chapter of her journey, confident in the legacy of empowerment she had helped foster.

In her closing remarks, Myrtle Habersham, state president for AARP Georgia, echoed the sentiments of unity and action. She urged attendees to heed the call to support veterans and address pressing social issues, invoking the words of Commissioner Ross: "The future is female."

As the luncheon concluded, it was evident that beyond the exquisite setting and engaging conversations, the true essence of the event lay in celebrating the resilience, leadership, and boundless potential of women—both veterans and civilians alike. With each passing year, the Atlanta Women in Leadership Luncheon served as a beacon of hope and inspiration, reminding us all that our best is yet to come.

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