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'I cried because I was so relieved': Military organization helps support female veterans

One woman veteran wants to remind other women who served that it’s okay to ask for help.

SAN DIEGO COUNTY, Calif. — Veterans’ Day is on Thursday - a day for our community to come together and appreciate our veterans. One woman veteran wants to remind other women who served that it’s okay to ask for help. 

Kristen Braganza is a lot of things. She’s a veteran who served three tours for our country in the early 2000s, a single mom, and a research administrative assistant for the Naval Research Center in Point Loma. 

"Women veterans, we put up this steel door so to speak we're on the outside, you see us," said Braganza. "We’re smiling. We’re working with you. We seem like we have it all together."

She’s strong, experienced and not the kind of person you might expect to ask for assistance.

"But behind that steel door, I have stress. I have anxiety. I’m nervous," said Braganza. "I had never asked for help before because I’m like ‘I don’t need it.’ I’ll always figure things out."

Until she did.

“I found myself, like, every little thing wrong was happening, something happened with the car, the computer…I couldn’t take it anymore. I came across this foundation."

She’s talking about the Foundation for Women Warriors, a California-based non-profit aimed at empowering our countries female heroes.

"When everything kind of hits you at once, you become overwhelmed, and I was nervous and I was scared because I’m like ‘Oh my god. They’re going to judge me.'"

But Braganza said she received anything but judgment -- instead, she found free resources, like a budgeting class to help with finance tips and a women’s insomnia support group.

“They were amazing,"

Braganza wants women veterans to know that it’s okay to simply call for help, or at least check the foundation out.

“There’s a foundation out there that I think just does not get enough recognition for the work that they do.”

From help with education to childcare, you never know what kind of peace women warriors could bring.

 “I cried because I was so relieved.”

WATCH RELATED: Warrior Foundation Freedom Station serves military heroes (November 2021)

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