“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.
Megan Kennedy
U.S. Army
After I graduated from high school in 2002, I joined the Army Reserve as a Cargo Specialist (88H). Unfortunately, I was injured in Basic Training and my injuries were not diagnosed until Advanced Individual Training, and I was unable to deploy to Afghanistan with my unit. I was discharged in 2005 under conditions other than honorable (OTH) and now suffer from permanent disabilities affecting my feet/ankles, knees, and back. My compensation claim was pending with the VA for over four years before receiving assistance via connections I made through the Women Veterans Alliance. I now also suffer from a severe depressive disorder, a recurrent anxiety disorder, and a panic disorder.
I’ve been through a lot of tough things as a result of being injured in the Army and receiving a “bad” discharge – financial and housing problems that continue to this day. I used to think I didn’t deserve to be called a veteran and hid my service because of the shame I carried from getting hurt so early on and not deploying during such a crucial time.
I didn’t have access to my G.I. Bill because of my discharge, but I was able to use VA Vocational Rehabilitation to complete my bachelor’s degree in Philosophy and Political Science at the University of California, Davis. During that time, I met fellow veterans who not only supported me but also inspired me to keep striving for the things I want in life. I worked for UC Davis and used my position as an analyst and adviser in Undergraduate Admissions for over four years and now continue to advocate for veterans and military in all of public higher education as Operations Program Manager for Service to School.
I struggle every day – psychologically and physically – with the fact that I am in my thirties and permanently disabled. I often think it was all for nothing. But serving my brothers and sisters in arms in the small ways that I can is one of the larger goals in my life that keeps me going.
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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