In August, she lost everything she owned due to Hurricane Katrina. Not letting material loss get her down, she tried to shift her focus to her platoon that was counting on her for leadership through the upcoming deployment. A few weeks later in September, Jaspen received a diagnosis of an aggressive head, neck, and throat cancer that would prevent her from deploying.
Jaspen’s options were limited, but because of the illness, the military was willing to discharge her. However, she needed medical care, a job, and a place to live with her child.
When searching for what assistance might be available, Jaspen found welfare and food stamps were the only options presented. Jaspen found these options unacceptable for a woman who had honorably served her country. After six months at Brooke Army Medical Center, she was found fit for duty and immediately began looking for employment and a place for her and her son to live.
Four years later, CPT Jaspen Boothe founded non-profit organization Final Salute so that women who have honorably served their country could seek assistance with dignity and respect -- and not be subject to the process of humiliation that welfare provides.
Jaspen’s motivation lives in knowing that she has made a difference in the lives of women veterans and their children.
Describe yourself in three words:
Proud. Faithful. Resilient.
What do you consider your greatest professional achievement?
Opening 3 homes in less than 3 years for homeless female Veterans and their children. We are the only organization in the DC Metro Area that provides this service.
What are your professional goals for the next six months?
To open another home for women Veterans and their children, the need is great. I also plan to finally start to write a book about my life.
How does your company stay connected through social media?
Social Media has been the backbone of gaining support and spreading the word about our organization. It works!
What profession other than yours would you like to attempt?
Talk show host!
How do you maintain a work/life balance?
The work life balance is a myth. I am A Soldier, Mother, Wife and Non-Profit Leader. I don’t wake up and 25% is magically sprinkled across the balance. The balance is to keep your life organized so that you can give 100% to what you are doing in the moment. When I am with my kids, they receive 100%. When I am with my husband, he received 100% of a wife.
What websites do you visit every day?
Among the many other things I have started, I created the Miss USA equivalent for women who have served our country. Who doesn't love a women who can strut her stuff and kick your a$$!
Ms. Veteran America 2013 will be held at the National Conference Center on October 13th. http://www.msveteranamerica.org/
What is your favorite drink – and where can you find it in Northern Virginia?
Wine! I prefer moscato hands done, but live just a hop, skip and a jump from LaGrange Winery in Haymarket.
What are your favorite people/places/things in Northern Virginia?
1. La Grange Winery
2. My family
3. Networking with women through social media and sites like Real Housewives of Northern Virginia
What is your goal for retirement?
I will retire when every homeless female Veteran and their children have a home. My work isn't done until then.
Do you have any advice for women who would like to start their own company?
People do not look at a non-profit as a business; it is! It takes a unique entrepreneurial spirit to start, run and maintain a non-profit organization. How do you get someone to write a check and what he or she receives in return is knowing they helped someone? You have to sell your cause!