Back in 2006, Gina Elise, then working in hotel management, decided the influx of wounded troops flooding into our nations veterans care organizations needed some support. More than that, the troops and veterans themselves needed support. Rather than just cutting a check, she decided to see what she herself could do to help. And so Pin-Ups For Vets came to be.
Selling calendars with the look of classic 40s era pin-ups, Gina and her friends raised funds for troops, and gave troops some awesomely morale boosting calendars.
Photo courtesy of Pin-Ups For Vets
Pretty tasteful and really, these days, quite demure.
Maybe it’s just me, but I’m pretty sure there are better, more effective ways to support veterans than by parading yourself around in front of someone else’s husband while wearing sexy retro outfits and burlesque costumes, shooting provocative pin-up calendars and holding a burlesque show fundraiser.
Or maybe I’m crazy. Maybe I’m “just” another jealous military spouse who would prefer her husband’s eyes be on her, not on some busty veteran supporting pin-up girl, regardless of her good intentions or “good cause.”
Maybe you’re just a little overly sensitive.
“It’s important to note here that 50% of our supporters online and at our events are women, who enthusiastically embrace the pinup image and its positive effects in the hospital wards across the U.S.,” Gina tells me.
Nor is the group entirely male-directed.
“We often visit women Veterans in the hospitals who are thrilled to meet our female Veteran volunteers, their sisters from the military,” Gina tells me. “In fact, on our last hospital visit in Alabama, a female Veteran, who was completely surprised by our visit said, ‘If you can make me smile, you can make anyone smile.’ The Veterans often tell us, ‘When you are here, my pain is gone.’ “
Happiness is key to healing, Gina says. “One of our calendar models is a former Naval Flight Surgeon, now an ER doctor, and she has attested to how much these visits matter in recovery for our ill and injured Veterans.”
At a time when so much of our society seems to ever more sleazy and skeevy, Gina and her ambassadors are trying to class up the joint.
We think Gina and her gang are the cat’s meow.