Disabled Army Veteran, Cancer Survivor, Public Speaker, and Founder
Jas Boothe is a Chicago Native, Disabled Army Veteran, Cancer Survivor, and Speaker who gave over 17 years of service to this great nation. She deployed during the Operation Iraq Freedom/Operation Enduring Freedom campaigns and her military career has been dedicated to working with and advocating for Soldiers and their family members.
In 2005, she was a single parent in the Army Reserves living in New Orleans. That spring, she learned she would soon be deploying to Iraq. During her mobilization, Boothe’s life was torn apart by two significant events. In August she lost everything she owned due to Hurricane Katrina. She tried to shift her focus to her platoon that was counting on her for leadership through the deployment. The very next month in September, she received a devastating diagnosis of an aggressive head, neck, and throat cancer, and was now unable to deploy. Boothe’s options were limited and posed some very hard choices for her. Because of her illness, she was facing discharge from the military. But she needed complex full-time medical care, a job, and a place to live with her young son. When searching for what assistance might be available, she was told there were no existing programs for female Veterans with children and that she should explore welfare and social services as an option, just like every other single mother. Jas then realized that America had forgotten about the women who have served, fought, bled and died along side their male counterparts. She found these options unacceptable for a woman who had honorably served her country and after extensive cancer treatment, including radiation therapy that left life-long side effects, at Brooke Army Medical Center, she was able to stay in the Reserves and immediately began looking for full-time employment and a place for her and her son to live. In 2006, she relocated to Missouri with her aunt, where she had subsequently accepted a job offer from the Army National Guard. Later in the year, she received an opportunity to return to full-time duty in Washington, DC. Boothe never forgot what she and her son had been through and was determined to ensure her fellow sister Veterans had a resource in their time of need. Jas Founded Final Salute Inc in November 2010 as part of her commitment to “Never Leave a Fallen Comrade”. Final Salute Inc has assisted over 5000 women Veterans and children in over 30 States and Territories. Boothe holds a BA in Mass Communications from Mississippi Valley State University and dual MAs in Human Resource Management and Management and Leadership from Webster University. Jas is also featured in the 2017 documentary “Served Like a Girl” (http://servedlikeagirl.com/), produced by Lysa Heslov, which follows several American women who were wounded in action and are now transitioning from soldier to civilian after serving their country in Iraq and Afghanistan. Boothe is the mother of two wonderful boys, Brandon (currently serving in the United States Air Force) and Jammel Jr., and wife to a Marine Combat Veteran, Jammel R. Boothe Sr.