Melanie joined PHAT in 2022 when she reached out to Eric after being inspired by the local work he was doing in Kankakee County with veterans.
As a licensed therapist and a veteran, she was able to come on board and jump right into the podcast as well as doing mental health short videos. It became clear that there was more to be done, and so Melanie and Eric also discussed an all-female initiative, and then in 2023 Veiled Valor was born and Melanie is the committee chair for this program.
Mom of 2, in her free time she enjoys spending time with her dogs, being near water, and cosplaying.
In early 2023, after having a sit-down conversation with Eric, there was an identified need to create a space for female veterans. In that moment VV was born with an initiative to bring woman veterans together and have them explore their unique service experiences. Giving back to the community through different services as well as coming together to do things such as axe throwing, rage rooms, kayaking, and other expressive activities, created a space where they can come together with those who have had similar experiences.