The Official Voice of Vietnam Veterans of America, Inc. ®
An organization chartered by the U.S. Congress

August 2002
WOMENS VETERANS COMMITTEE REPORT
   
 

Long - Awaited Advice

BY MARSHA FOUR, CHAIR 

The Women Veterans Committee is very pleased that Dr. Patricia Hayes, VISN-4 Women Veterans Coordinator, will be joining us for the VVA Leadership Conference in Tucson. Her seminar will be a joint effort by this committee and the Veterans Benefits Committee on sexual trauma and the clinical and benefits elements of the issue. Dr. Hayes has much experience with this topic and comes highly recommended in her field. We are very pleased she was able to arrange her time for this important program.  

As a member of Vietnam Veterans of America, it has been my privilege to serve on the VA Women Veterans Advisory Committee since March 2001.  Soon, the long-awaited Advisory Committee Biennial Report 2000 will be published.  Many unforeseen circumstances were responsible for its delay.   However, this spring the Advisory Committee completed its 2002 Report.  It will be presented to Secretary Principi in early summer.  We have been assured the 2002 report will move forward without delay. 

The Advisory Committee's biennial report ultimately will be delivered to Congress. The report contains recommendations on issues the committee has determined are important.  They arise from various committee briefings, veteran contacts, and concerns of the day. Each recommendation is followed by the rationale for its inclusion. There are several attachments to the report, including a committee historical perspective and a list of on-site visits the committee has made.  The report is reviewed by relevant organizations within the VA. 

Working daily with homeless veterans, I am concerned by the lack of separate units for women in most of the VA Homeless Domiciliary Programs. This situation extends far beyond this specific program, and it is an issue that is problematic on many fronts. It is most significant for women veterans who chose to turn from the VA for their care because they are unable to accept this situation. It is a topic I have put forward to the Advisory Committee for consideration. As a member of the Women Veterans Advisory Committee, I have also been asked to sit as an adviser to the newly formed VA Homeless Veterans Advisory Committee. I intend to bring this situation to them for consideration.

   

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