Women veterans are getting help re-integrating into mainstream society in the Southern Tier through Project VOICE at Binghamton's Ross Park Zoo.

This week on the local public affairs program, Southern Tier Close Up, Zoo director Phil Ginter talks about "Veteran Opportunity for Integration and Community Engagement" helping women veterans currently underway with a mural installation at the zoo.

Kathy Whyte/ WNBF News- Ross Park Zoo Executive Director Phil Ginter
Kathy Whyte/ WNBF News- Ross Park Zoo Executive Director Phil Ginter

While one in ten veterans in the United States are women, the number of programs to address the unique issues facing these vets like sexual trauma, family dynamics and societal pressures concerning their handling of post-traumatic stress, is sorely lacking.

Project VOICE is a collaboration between the zoo, Jablon Studios, Clear Path for Veterans and Southern Tier Veterans Support Group.

Ginter says at the conclusion of the installation of the mosaic at the Great Cats of Asia exhibit, participants will be connected with other volunteer opportunities and will be eligible for a free family membership at the zoo.

Women veterans interested in participating can contact Emily Jablon at her studios Tuesdays or Thursday evenings, by email at emily@jablonstudios.com or call (607) 239-8721.

On another note, Ginter talks about his experiences as the new director of Binghamton's zoo, winter programs, the opportunity to support the zoo at its holiday shopping table at the Oakdale Mall and other zoo-related topics.

Information on zoo programs can be found at www.rossparkzoo.com or by calling (607) 724-5461.

Southern Tier Close Up can be heard Saturdays at 12:10 p.m. on News Radio 1290 WNBF.

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