Army veteran starts nonprofit to empower veterans in Arizona
Nov 6, 2023, 4:05 AM
(KTAR News Photo/Ben Brown)
This is the third of seven articles highlighting the grand marshals of the 2023 Phoenix Veterans Day Parade.
PHOENIX — Amanda Tallman enlisted in the Army Military Police in 2007, serving as a MK19 gunner during her deployment in Afghanistan – a remarkable feat given the restrictions placed on women in combat roles at the time.
In 2013, then-Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, through a phased approach, lifted the Pentagon’s 1994 ban on women in direct combat roles. However, it would take another three years before women became eligible for every combat job.
But the challenges for Tallman didn’t stop on the battlefield. Upon returning home from service, Tallman fought and won her battle with thyroid cancer, but faced additional obstacles with mental health.
“I wanted to help kids and in the process I realized I needed to get help myself,” Tallman, who was a foster parent but recently adopted her daughter, said. “Once I started to do that and realized, ‘OK, I do have something to offer the world,’ then I realized I can help others who are going through this transition or who are becoming foster parents.”
This led her on a new mission to empower veterans and first responders after service while giving kids a positive role model.
“I run a small nonprofit called First Page and I work with horses and bring kids and veterans together to create resiliency,” Tallman said.
She also advocates for veteran policy as the Arizona Strategic Director for Concerned Veterans for America.