BY KATE O’HARE-PALMER, CHAIR
The 25th anniversary celebration of the Vietnam Women’s Memorial on the Mall and the VVA Women’s Committee Reception at the DAR building in downtown D.C. are now memories. I hope that many of you were able to attend. Thanks to all the VVA state councils and chapters that helped with donations for the event.
It is amazing to receive emails from women members in Alabama, California, Texas, Arizona, and many other states with information on how they make Veterans Day special in their areas. That includes special education seminars with military women histories, scavenger hunts, luncheons, dinners, and parades. You need to tell your stories for your community and for your family. No one else can give your unique perspective. I urge you to get your oral history recorded. Go to the Veterans Oral History Project at www.loc.gov/vets/ to see how it is done.
The committee has produced a Women Veterans Honor Coin to honor all women who serve. There’s ordering information on the VVA website. It was made with eight daisies around the base of a helmet to represent the eight women’s names on The Wall. It is meant to be shared with other women vets as another way to “Welcome Home.” We also have a new polo shirt with that logo on it and new patches.
The Leadership Conference seminar, “New Rules of Engagement,” put on by the committee, was well reviewed by Maureen Elias in the last issue of The Veteran. She and Tom Berger did a role play using various common harassments in the workplace that will be remembered for a long time.
In July, Sandy Miller, Marsha Four, and I were interviewed by Vets Helping Vets TV. The website is: http://vhvtv.org/vva-women-veterans-interview/ It is a history of our work in Vietnam and our work with VVA, as well as Miller’s work with the homeless. Sheryl Shaffer, the director, is a member in California.
Service Women Action Network held its first women veterans coalition in Atlanta in September. VVA was well represented. I will post a report on the committee webpage. There are some amazing programs out there started by women veterans that fell through the cracks when services didn’t help them. I have been working in Northern California with a more local level of combining those services for veterans.
What we have found is that many do not cross over or talk with each other. It is important to get together at least twice a year to exchange information. Our county supervisors have enthusiastically helped. It gives them much more information about their veteran constituents and the work being accomplished.