“Vanquishing The Invisible”
An Independent Portrait Project  by James R Morrison and J Mara Morrison
Vanquishing The Invisible will be displayed at the California State Fair during Military and
Veteran Appreciation Day, July 18th continuing on July 19th in the Fine Arts Building 7
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Thank you for your interest in “Vanquishing the Invisible”. From the beginning, you recognized the value and importance of bringing these portraits and stories to the public. We truly appreciate your support and we look forward to seeing you at a future event.
Sevrine Banks
U.S. Army (Retired)
My name is Sevrine Banks, I am an Army Veteran, retired with twenty years of service. I come from a long history of service members. I was a combat medic during my military career and had the honor of serving with amazing people.
In 2012, I was selected to serve as the First Sergeant of the only Female Engagement Team Company consisting of sixty-four women who would deploy to Southern Afghanistan to assist Combat Arms units in interacting with the women and children of Afghanistan. This was truly the most humbling experience of my life. These women overcame many obstacles in order to be assigned to combat arms units as the only women assigned to a platoon at the time.
Deployment and being in the military takes a toll on you, especially when you have children. My son was thirteen months when I deployed to Iraq, even though I Skyped and called him. When I returned, he screamed when I went to reach for him. That broke my heart. The baby I carried for ten months was afraid of me. I told myself I never wanted to do that again, however, I was too close to retirement to get out. Two years later, I was called to leave again. During my deployment to Afghanistan, I decided it was time to retire. The military was great to me and my family, but my children needed me home. It was a tough decision. I loved being a soldier, but my children only have one person to call mom; me.
We have started roots in Sacramento, CA where I work as a manager with the California Department of Health Care Services. Since leaving the military, I do miss the camaraderie and the feeling of doing something bigger than yourself. I have found that giving back to the community and helping other women veterans brings the same satisfaction.
We received the highest praise on the surveys and in personal comments affirming this project touches viewers in a deep and profound way. Their use of words like, “powerful”, “enlightening”, “passionate”, “thought-provoking”, and (we really liked this one) “take it national” reinforces our belief in this critically important exhibit.
However, “Vanquishing the Invisible” cannot continue - or grow - its outreach without your support. We would be honored if you would take a moment to help fund this project.
There’s so much more we can accomplish if we do it together. Your support will help others attend future exhibits and continue the outreach to new audiences.
Thanks to you, these stories and portraits are possible.

If you would like to honor Women Veterans and help educate future generations on the legacy of women in the military, please DONATE

“Women Veterans are often assumed to be spouses of a veteran. We are on a mission to change that assumption. Working together, we can not only change perceptions but bring to light the vast achievements and contributions our women veterans make every day. Impacting a woman veteran’s life not only positively changes her life, but also her family’s and the community in which she lives.”         Melissa Washington, Founder of Women Veterans Alliance
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