Female Veterans on Campuses Can Be Hard to Spot, and to Help

Female Veterans Can Be Hard to Spot, and to Help 3

Benjamin Rasmussen for The Chronicle

It took Dana Niemela five years after leaving the Navy before she called herself a veteran. Shown here at her local Veterans of Foreign Wars post during recent renovations, the U. of Denver graduate student says: "Until other women come out and step up and show their face, I'm it. I need people to know that there are women vets here."

When Kami Fluetsch left the Navy after nearly eight years as a medical specialist, the last thing she wanted to talk about was her military service. Male supervisors had told her that women didn't belong in the military, and she was bitter. A new life beckoned.

But in the month or so between leaving the Navy, in 2010, and setting foot on campus here at the University of Colorado at Denver, Ms. Fluetsch realized that the transition to that new life would be harder than she thought.