PENSACOLA, Fla. (WKRG) — According to Pensacola resident Justina Hunter, female veteran mental health is being pushed to the wayside, but with her Prayer Warrior ministry, she wants women to know they have a safe space in the city. 

Hunter started her outreach in Biloxi in 2020, but soon found her way to Pensacola to help family members that were about to pass away. 

As a veteran herself, she said she has experienced the isolation that female veterans go through first hand. 

“I’ve gone through the pitfalls and climbed some mountains,” Hunter said. “I realized a lot of us veterans are alone. We are the ones that get forgotten when we get discharged. The VA tends to focus more on the males. We are not able to discuss our difficulties and adapting or our coping skills.” 

The mission statement for her ministry is taking female warriors and turning them into female warriors for God. 

“I will tell you right now, I am still working through some things and going through the pitfalls,” said Hunter. “But I was able to meet with a faith based therapist and work through what I have been dealing with. I know the shortcuts and the paths and I can show the new females that recently got out of service or still in that they don’t have to be alone. We can lock arms and be our own force.” 

Currently, she is preaching on Facebook Live, hoping people will soon come in person to the meetings.

“I have been on Facebook recently preaching for about 30 minutes,” said Hunter. “Whenever we get in person, I will set aside two hours for the women, but we will go for as long as they need. The first hour will be a discussion time where everyone can talk about their struggles, but we never want them to relive their traumas. The plan is to talk about coping skills, give them resources and let them know they aren’t alone out here. We want to bring them to God and show them that with God, they can conquer anything.” 

With Hunter being 19 years sober, she said her house is a safe place for recovering addicts. 

“You can bring anything you want, to my house except for drugs and alcohol,” said Hunter. “I am 19 years sober and I will not tolerate that. I feel like a lot of veterans use alcohol and drugs as a coping mechanism and I want to talk with them about that and how we can use different, healthier coping mechanisms. Eventually, I would like to branch out and get my certification in NA and AA so I can hold those meetings for just females, as well. If somebody is struggling and needs help, my door is always open.”

When the meetings do transition to in person, Hunter said they will be available on Facebook as well to reach as many women as possible. 

“I want to make sure that we reach people that may not have the same resources,” said Hunter . “So, if we put it on Facebook, people in Andalusia, Atmore and Brewton can all tune in and get the help they need.” 

Hunter holds meetings every Friday, from 7-9 p.m., at 7950 Stonebrook Drive, Pensacola, Fla. For more details, call Hunter at 228-209-5822.   

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