The Women Veterans Committee is moving forward with plans for
the tenth anniversary of the dedication of the Vietnam Women
Veterans Memorial to be held on Veterans Day 2003. There are
several events being considered, including a luncheon, a
nondenominational church service, and a VVA tent on the mall.
Committee Vice Chair Sandy Miller
and I met with Diane Evans and the Board of the Vietnam Women's
Memorial Project in November. We discussed our planned
activities in order tocoordinate the various events. We will
continue to work together on the anniversary program. Outreach
will be very important. Our committee has distributed several
thousand buttons announcing the anniversary date. The committee
also has talked with Vietnam Women Veterans and Circle of
Sisters; both organizations are interested in participating in
legislative agenda and policy initiatives were compiled and
reviewed. In November, I presented them to the Government
Affairs Committee. Most of our concerns are incorporated into
the women veterans brochure.
On behalf of
the entire Women Veterans Committee, I welcome several new
members to the Committee and look forward to working with them.
They include: Alta Milling, Carolyn Baker, and Billie Culin.
This year marks
the twentieth anniversary of the VA Advisory Committee on Women
Veterans. The VA is planning an event to commemorate this
anniversary. The Advisory Committee was established in 1983
under Public Law 98‑160. Veteran committee members from across
the country have given focus and energy to women veterans
issues. We salute them for making the VA more responsive to the
needs of women veteran. The Advisory Committee produces a
biennial report that makes recommendations to the Secretary. It
is then forwarded to Congress.
In November, we
lost a friend, Lynda Van Devanter Buckley. She takes her place
among those whose voices will never be silenced. For over 25
years she fought for the rights of women veterans. Our thoughts
and prayers are with her family.