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Committee Report

BY KATE O'HARE-PALMER, CHAIR

WV-7 Women Veteran Program Managers: VVA will seek congressional oversight and accountability on all VA Medical Centers and VISN directors' compliance with measures defined in the VA's 2010 Handbook 1330.01, Health Care Services for Women Veterans, as it relates to the position of Women Veteran Program Managers. Compliance must be made a performance measure at all VISNs and VAMCs.

WV-8 Military Sexual Trauma: Currently, instances of sexual assault in the military must be reported through the chain of command. The creation of a separate and independent office to address such crimes would remove barriers to reporting and provide additional protection and safety for the victims. VVA will pursue legislation that reassigns complaints of MST by a service member to someone outside her or his immediate chain of command.

WV-9 Military Sexual Trauma Treatment for Guard and Reserve: Members of the Reserve and National Guard who experience military sexual trauma during weekend drills or battle assemblies and annual training are not eligible for treatment from the VA. VVA calls for legislation to allow members of the National Guard and Reserve forces who experience MST while on drilling and battle assemblies and during annual training to receive care from VA medical facilities without cost.

WV-10 Travel for VHA Treatment: The Beneficiary Travel Policy indicates that only selected categories of veterans are eligible for travel benefits and payment is authorized only to the closest facility providing a comparable service. This directive is not aligned with the military sexual trauma policy, which states that patients with MST should be referred to programs that are clinically indicated regardless of geographic location. VVA calls on the Under Secretary for Health to review and reexamine the existing VHA policy pertaining to the authorization of travel for veterans seeking MST-related specialized inpatient or residential treatment programs outside the facilities where they are enrolled and to provide travel funding for these veterans.


(WASHINGTON, DC)—Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA), Service Women's Action Network (SWAN), and Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) released an open letter to Congress, urging the passage of Senator Kirsten E. Gillibrand's Military Justice Improvement Act (MJIA).

"Military sexual assault is a multi-generational issue. For decades, it has been swept under the rug yet continues to rear its ugly head. The Department of Defense has attempted to address it with tweaks to the system, but combatting this powerful enemy requires a more dramatic change," said Marsha Four, National Vice President of Vietnam Veterans of America. "Vietnam Veterans of America stands unwavering in its commitment to the resolution of this tragedy. Together, with our partners, SWAN and IAVA, we bring a unified voice to underscore the need for strong military justice reform."

"On behalf of veterans and service members, we join together out of a sense of urgency to reform the military justice system for our men and women in uniform," said SWAN executive director and former Marine Corps captain Anu Bhagwati. "Often, we see the military justice reform debate framed as a choice to support either sexual assault survivors or military readiness. Today, we want to be clear. A vote for Senator Gillibrand's Military Justice Improvement Act (MJIA) is a vote for our troops, and a vote for a stronger military."

Read Complete Press Release

Military Justice Improvement Act - informational Flyer

Military Justice Improvement Act - Open Letter


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History Archive
Volunteering For Vietnam: African-American Servicewomen

The history of service of African-American servicewomen, who served in Vietnam, is reflected in the Women's Memorial Foundation Register and archive.The stories and memories included in this paper illustrate the experiences of a few of the many African-American servicewomen who volunteered for assignment to Vietnam, as well as their reasons for volunteering and the methods they used to overcome the gender and race-driven difficulties they encountered.

[ click here to read ]


A MESSAGE FROM VVA LIFE MEMBER JOAN FUREY

I'm sending this out to all of you to be sure you know about the study VA is doing on the Long Term Health Outcomes of Vietnam Era Women.   This is a 4-5 year study that will look at the physical and mental health status of military women who served in Vietnam, elsewhere in Southeast Asia (Japan, Philippines, etc) and those who served in the United States. They are hoping to get 10,000 women to participate in the study.  I am the veteran consultant to the study.  They are particularly anxious to get women who have never received care from VA, as their experience is not known.  It is an important study for all women veterans, as no study has ever been done on the long term health outcomes of military service on women.  Not ever, so this is historic and will be beneficial to not only us, as Vietnam era women but also to the current and future generations of women veterans in helping to improve assessment instruments and services for them (and us) both now and as they age.    I'm attaching a copy of a brochure that describes the study.  If you are willing to participate I urge you to send an e-mail to healthviews@va.gov.


The participant coordinators will then contact you and you will be put in the group from which participants will be randomly selected.  The success of this study is dependent on all of us being willing to participate,  for it will show the VA that they can get enough women to participate in studies that can provide invaluable information to them and influence women's health care in VA.    Also, if you know any other women veterans who served during the Vietnam era, please forward this to them.

Women Veterans: Assistance & Resources

Women Veterans
Proudly Served


Women Veterans Of Distinction

Clotilde Bowen, MD:
A Woman of
Many Firsts
>>read her story

 

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