SCHENECTADY, N.Y. -- As March comes to an end, so does Women's History Month.
And just before Easter weekend, students at Schenectady County Community College took in some inspiration from five female service veterans, like Tabitha Dart, Army veteran and student of the college.
"I was able to take away discipline and take away a life experience that you can't get in the regular world," said Dart.
But Friday night's forum wasn't so focused on their triumphs as female veterans, but issues much more serious.
"We do tend to be invisible; we disappear," said Kathy Dunlap, a U.S. Navy veteran.
The panelists delved into the topic of sexual assault and trauma, including Gulf War Army vet Penny Deere, who says it needs to come to a halt.
"I'm hoping that they got better awareness of what women veterans go though and what they kind of expect from society," said Deere.
Which is another issue entirely -- a stigma, as Dart calls it. When women return home from service, many of them don't identify themselves as veterans.
"A lot of people have a specific look they expect women to have," said Dart, referring to the fact that she has long hair. "Some of the things you experience when you go through the military are rather rough. There is war, there is death, there is loss. Because of those instances, they don't want to come back, and they don't want to bring that up ad dredge in the past."
In the closing days of Women's History Month, these female veterans offered a parting piece of advice for female veterans -- be proud of the fact that you served.
"I don't know why they don't want to. I wish I understood. But I encourage them," said Deere.