Shelly Rood was inspired to start her Michigan-based company Missilia this summer when she heard about so many women veterans feeling unappreciated.

“When I read the statistic that 42 percent of female veterans don’t feel respected and valued, I knew I had to do something to help bring them together,” she said.

Rood, a captain who served 16 years in the Army Reserves, was honorably discharged earlier this year. She served as an all-source tactical intelligence officer in places such as South Korea.

Today, Rood serves as the director of intelligence for the North Group Inc.

She’s also growing her business through an online community that includes a website (www.missilia.us) where women can go to receive affirmation from others and celebrate their efforts.

Missilia includes a gift box service where people can subscribe to for $30 a month (or give as a gift).

“The mission of Missilia is to celebrate and share the experiences of women who kick butt,” said Rood. “Comprised of female military, police officers, firefighters, first responders and self-proclaimed bad asses, we provide an online community of support and encouragement.”

The gift boxes are different every month and include women's health and beauty products plus one tactical item, such as a self-defense pen with a light and a little crown that could be used for protection or as a glass breaker if ever needed. There’s also an insert that shares an inspirational story of a brave woman.

“Some of them are sexual assault victims during their time in the military. Some of them, you know, have been in gunfights. They're not easy things to talk about, which is why the suicide rates for these types of females is actually double that of civilian women," Rood said.

Major Dawn Opland, left, poses with Captain Shelly Rood before heading off to Japan, taken at the 645th RSG HQ, Southfield, June 2018. (Photo: Shelly Rood)

She’s obviously tapped into something. Her business is growing. She started with six members and has grown to nearly 300, with a goal of 700 monthly subscribers.

“Studies prove that community makes the difference,” she said. “By sharing our stories, we are potentially saving each other’s lives.”

Contact Carol Cain: 313-222-6732 or clcain@cbs.com.

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