As the committee moved from the
great events of Veterans Day 2003 surrounding the tenth
anniversary of the Vietnam Women’s Memorial, we pressed
forward on several other issues: attention to the sunset date
of December 31, 2004, on the VA authority to provide military
sexual trauma (MST) counseling and treatment; our presence on
the Mall during the Memorial Day weekend dedication of the
World War II Memorial; the VVA Leadership Conference;
providing committee activity documents to the national office;
contacting non-renewed women veteran VVA members; and working
to compile a comprehensive history of the committee.
I am VVA’s representative on the VA Advisory Committee on
Women Veterans. As chair of the committee, I was asked to
provide testimony before the House Veterans’ Affairs
Committee’s Subcommittee on Health about the renewal of the VA
MST authority. Our stand is and has been for years that the
authority should be made permanent. HR3849, introduced by Rep.
Ciro D. Rodriguez (D-Tex.), includes this provision.
In early June, the VA Advisory Committee on Women Veterans
submitted recommendations in its biennial Report 2004 to the
Secretary. In mid-June the VA Women Veterans Summit took
place. A report on this event will follow.
From a list provided by the Membership Department, one of our
committee members, Judy McCombs, contacted the non-renewed
members encouraging them to renew membership.
An adviser to the committee, Sara McVicker, is delving into
the writings and annals of the organization to provide the
committee and VVA with a record of the history of women
veterans in VVA. This effort will secure a solid chapter on
women veterans, their presence, their accomplishments, and
their contributions. It will provide a clear understanding of
our mark upon history.
The State Council Presidents were given their semiannual
packets for the State Women Veterans Committee chairs. If you
are a state chair or the state contact for the women veterans,
please send me your e-mail address so I can update my list. Be
sure to put this in the subject line of the e-mail so I don’t
overlook your message. My address:
Thank you for the support you give women veterans and their
issues in your chapters and states. It’s a veteran thing.