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september/october 2007

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Women Veterans COMMITTEE REPORT

BY MARSHA FOUR, CHAIR
I was re-appointed Chair of the Women Veterans Committee by VVA President John Rowan after the Springfield Convention. I thank him for his continued confidence. I am in the process of inviting members to be appointed to the committee, including liaisons. This will be accomplished before the next Board of Directors meeting so the work of the committee can begin without delay.

The Women Veterans Breakfast at the Convention was fortunate to have as its speaker Pamela Luce. Luce is a Field Operations Manager for the Kentucky Department of Veterans Affairs; she is also the Kentucky Women Veterans Coordinator. Luce sits on the Executive Committee of the National Association of State Women Veterans Coordinators. Her presentation was interesting and profitable. She offered suggestions on how to help women veterans returning to their home states from the War on Terror. She provided a list of all State Directors of Veterans Affairs and their State Women Veterans Coordinators. I have contacted her about receiving key items of her presentation and the contact lists. They will be posted on our web page.

Since the last Board meeting, I contributed input on women veterans to the VVA testimony presented to the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee on July 12. It included the delivery of services to women veterans in VA clinics; integrated primary care and mental health care with concurrence of the revision of VHA Services for Women Veterans Handbook 1330.1; the time allotted to Women Veterans Program Managers; and an increase in gender-specific residential treatment programs. I helped the Chair of VVA’s PTSD Committee, Tom Berger, with a letter to VA Secretary Nicholson about women veterans health care. It contained the items discussed in our testimony. Another item of great concern is the ability and capacity of the VA to provide gender-specific residential care programs, especially those that address the increasing need for combat-related PTSD care, including for those who have concurrent sexual trauma and PTSD.

In July, I took part in several radio broadcasts on women veterans, including a local Springfield, Ill., station during the Convention and National Public Radio’s “Talk of the Nation.”

I hope to see many of you at the tenth anniversary celebration of the dedication of the WIMSA Memorial. The activities begin with a gala on Thursday evening, November 1, and conclude with a candlelight march on Saturday evening. WIMSA was not able to set aside a block of rooms. However, WIMSA will have information on its web site, at www.womensmemorial.org You can also try www.dcaccommodations.com

Many of you will be at the 25th anniversary ceremonies of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in November. Those of you not marching with another group are welcome to join us behind the VVA women veterans’ banner.

November 2008 will be the 15th anniversary of the Vietnam Women Veterans Memorial. Mark the date.

 

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