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

November/December 2005
Women Veterans Committee Report
 
 

Convention Highlights
 

MARSHA FOUR, CHAIR

I would like to thank the past members and advisers of the Women Veterans Committee for their input, assistance, and energetic contributions during the last two years. It is because of them that the committee has been able to accomplish its goals. The work of the committee members culminates at the Convention with resolution hearings and adoptions. This committee also sponsors a women veterans’ breakfast and an informal gathering with a group picture. The latter is always well attended and gives women veterans the opportunity to get acquainted, re-visit old friends, and have relaxing conversations with shared ideas and interests.

The breakfast this year was a sellout with our largest attendance ever. We were fortunate to have two speakers. Jean Dunlavy of Boston University told the group about her study on the impact that women veterans have had on the political scene and their influence on the changes and advances made by the military and the Department of Veterans Affairs. She is very interested in the early work of the women of Vietnam Veterans of America and their contributions on this front. Women veterans were given the opportunity to be interviewed on site.

Our keynote speaker was Christine Hansen, the executive director of the Miles Foundation, a private non-profit organization dedicated to providing comprehensive services to victims and survivors of violence in the armed forces. The group educates and trains providers and professionals and serves as a resource for policy-makers, researchers, and advocates. With the issues of sexual abuse and domestic violence receiving heightened awareness and publicity, the presentation of these topics was extremely poignant. More information on this and other topics may be found on the Women Veterans Committee page on the VVA website, www.vva.org/womenveterans

This year, the Lynda Van Devanter Buckley award was presented to Rep. Tillie Fowler for her lifelong commitment to community and country. Rep. Fowler, who passed away March 2, 2005, was a member of the House Armed Services Committee. She was known as the “Steel Magnolia.” In 2003, she was appointed by the President to serve as the chair of the panel that investigated the sexual-abuse scandal at the U.S. Air Force Academy. Her testimony on the findings of that panel are included on the web page.

Committee resolutions were passed without objection, and we will move forward with our agenda for the next two years. Please review the webpage for an update on the resolutions and committee members for the next two years.

We are working with the Government Affairs Committee on our submission to VVA’s legislative agenda and priority initiatives. One focus will be on the VA fulfillment of the congressional mandate directed under PL 106-419 for a follow-up study on the 1988 Vietnam Veterans Longitudinal Study. This study is of great importance to Vietnam veterans.

The Membership Committee reports that women veterans in VVA number 922, up 64 members since last year, a rise of 7 percent. This is a big milestone. The committee thanks all those at every level of the organization who have worked to make this happen.

   

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