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Recent News

VA Finds PTSD Manifests Differently in Women than Men

With women now serving on the front lines like never before in our nation's history, the military faces the new challenge of understanding the toll combat takes on the female psyche.

Significant research has been done on the emotional impact of combat on the soldier. The blockbuster film American Sniper did much to raise public awareness of the toll combat can take on soldiers and those they love. In the film, Chris Kyle, played by Bradley Cooper, manifests some of the common symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).  Learn More*

Veterans Affairs to Hold Women's Recognition Events

The Office of Veterans Affairs is celebrating Women's History Month with Women's Recognition events that will present "Weaving the Stories of Women's Lives."  This year's theme presents the opportunity to weave women's stories - individually and collectively - into the essential fabric of the nation's history.

The accounts of the lives of individual women are critically important because they reveal exceptionally strong role models who share a more expansive vi-sion of what a woman can do. The stories of women's lives and the choices they made encourage girls and young women to think larger and bolder, and give boys and men a fuller understanding of the female experience.  Learn More*

Connecticut Bill Aims to Connect Women Veterans to Benefits, Services

U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Elizabeth Davis saw three combat zones during one tour of duty and dodged bullets just like her male comrades. Still, the Enfield resident says she's never been treated as an equal in her 24 years as a soldier, and she doesn't believe that will change once she retires at the end of this year.

According to a January report released by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Connecticut is home to 16,545 female veterans - a number that is expected to grow. As these women return to Connecticut, they need support, information and access to appropriate, quality care. A measure being considered by state lawmakers would help them.  Learn More*

5 Ways Women are Still Marginalized Today

International Women's Day will be celebrated by events around the world on March 8.

Women have made enormous strides since this day was first honored over 100 years ago: from women entrepreneurs, female bishops and moviemakers, to women in male-dominated industries such as STEM and politics, and men and women sharing equally in the raising of their children.

And yet there are still numerous ways in which women remain marginalized. Here are just five instances of how our children are learning from the world around them that women are less important than men.  Learn More*



Lending a Hand to Women Veterans

On any given night, federal officials say, roughly 610,000 people in the United States don't have roofs over their heads. Of those, some 144,000 are veterans. A rapidly growing portion of those is female.

Homelessness is just one of myriad issues facing female veterans, and it will be among the topics discussed March 7 during a free conference in Santa Monica.

The event, which will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the local YWCA, aims to help women who have served in the military return to civilian life by steering them towards a variety of social and community services. Learn More*

Local Woman Veteran Tells of Service as a Nurse

Cindy Switzer served on active duty as a licensed vocational nurse with the U.S. Army, and has continued to use her skills in the medical field by working with veterans at the Kerrville VA Medical Center.

She said she went on active duty in 1986 on a track called Delayed Entry Program.

"I was working then as a licensed vocational nurse, and served to mid-1991, she said. I was in the active duty reserves from 1992 to 2000."  Learn More*

Air Force Veteran's Suicide Sheds Light on Women Soldiers and PTSD

It's a chilling statistic: Twenty-two United States veterans commit suicide a day, according to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. One recent victim: Thirty-year-old Air Force Reserve Capt. Jamie Brunette.

Capt. Brunette, the youngest of five children from Milwaukee, had served two tours of duty in Afghanistan during her 11-year Air Force career. On Feb. 9, police in Tampa, Fla., found her dead from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound. Her family and friends came together this week to honor Brunette's memory and raise awareness about posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), something Brunette's friends say was hard for her to talk about.  Learn More*

Indiana Student Runs 160 Miles to Remember 160 Fallen Women Veterans

She's always been a runner, but she's never done a run quite like this.

This weekend, Indiana University graduate student Tricia Oxford will join a Navy captain in Virginia to run 160 miles in 160 hours to honor the 160 American women who have died serving their country in Iraq and Afghanistan.

It's called "Valor Knows No Gender: A Run to Remember." Learn More*

Michelle Obama Graces the Cover of Redbook, Makes Striking Statement about Unemployed Women Veterans

Michelle Obama will grace Redbook’s November cover, but her most striking pose is the centerfold image. In it, the first lady embraces five female veterans who are struggling to find work.

The women’s magazine is centering its upcoming issue entirely around the female veteran employment crisis and Obama was the obvious face for the cause. Since entering the White House, the first lady has made supporting veterans a focal point of her advocacy work by growing her nonprofit, Joining Forces, taking a strong stance on vet homelessness and urging companies to hire former servicemen and servicewomen. Learn More*

Report Finds Serious Shortcomings in How VA Cares for Women Veterans

The Veterans Affairs Department and other government agencies are not doing enough to help women who served in the military, even as their number is rising dramatically, according to a new report.

The report, released Wednesday by the Disabled American Veterans, identified serious gender gaps in virtually every program serving veterans, including health care, job training, finance, housing, social issues and combatting sexual assault.

The advocacy group's report blamed most of the deficiencies on a disregard for the needs of female veterans, saying the VA and other agencies focus on "the 80 percent solution for men who dominate (veterans affairs) in both numbers and public consciousness."  Learn More*

Women Veterans Are Veterans Too

My testimony was used to propagate the popular idea that veterans, especially females, are victims. We categorically are not.

I'd like to respond to the article "Female Vets Feel Left Behind" (U.S. News, Sept. 24) in which I was quoted. First, and most important, I am proud to have worn the uniform and to have served this great nation. My testimony was used to propagate the popular idea that veterans, especially females, are victims. We categorically are not. My struggle was one I went through for various reasons, just like everyone else who faces the difficulty of returning from war.  Learn More*



Grand Opening Set for Women Veterans Health Center

The Dwight D. Eisenhower VA Medical Center, part of the VA Eastern Kansas Health Care System, announced the grand opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony of the new Women Veterans’ Health Center is scheduled for Tuesday.

The ceremony will begin at 1 p.m. in the main hospital, Suite A-151 across from the main entrance. Following the ribbon cutting, tours will be conducted and refreshments served until 3:30 p.m. Learn More*

Women Veterans Retreat at East Manatee Seek Help in Transitioning to Civilian Life

Women who serve in the military may come home with problems that include the trauma of sexual assault, as well as post-traumatic stress syndrome from serving in combat -- and a reluctance to seek help.

A first-time retreat being held in East Manatee this week is helping 15 of them face their issues, and transition back into society.  Learn More*

Read more here:



VA Medical Center Reaching Out to Women

The Robley Rex Veterans Affairs Medical Center has scheduled an open house for women veterans for Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. near the west entrance of the hospital off Zorn Avenue.  Learn More*

Women Veterans Conference to be Held in Spokane

Some 350 to 400 women veterans are expected Saturday in Spokane at the 2014 Women Veterans Summit to be held at the Convention Center.

The keynote speaker for the free conference is retired U.S. Army Brigadier General Rebecca Halstead. The conference will also include six workshops touching on the opportunities and challenges women veterans face today, along with providing information about benefits and services they might be entitled to, a news release from the Department of Veterans Affairs said.  Learn More*

Volunteers' Efforts Benefit Haven House

When a local Bible study group was looking for a volunteer opportunity, a retired nurse from the Jack C. Montgomery VA Medical Center, Glenda Trammell, suggested the Haven House.



Women Veterans Feel Left Behind

When Devon Reyes returned from her first deployment to Afghanistan in 2009, she withdrew from family and friends.

"No amount of pamphlets or brochures would have enticed me to come out of my shell," said the Army veteran and mother of two, now 29 years old. She said she longed for camaraderie, but there was little opportunity to meet other female soldiers with similar experiences.

That isolation and lack of support...  Learn More*

Free Conference for Women Veterans is Coming to Denver

Female veterans are one of the fastest-growing segments of the national veteran population, and Women Veterans of Colorado plans to help them at the group's annual conference, to be held Sept. 13.

The conference, called "Pathways to Self Sufficiency," is free and will offer nine different classes in three categories — self sufficiency, wellness, and employment — with special focus on female entrepreneurs, employment, financial literacy, and self care.  Learn More*

State Agency Looking at Number of Women Veterans

From 1995 to 1998, Yvonne Betron served as a U.S. Marine.

But it wasn’t until 2012, when she went to work for the Nevada Department of Veterans Services that she realized how many benefits were available for veterans in general and women in particular to help with housing, disability, emergency assistance, tax assistance and other issues.

Betron now is coordinator of the Nevada Women Veterans Advisory Committee and is trying to locate all the women in the state who have served in the armed forces so they can learn about benefits and other help. She hopes Nevada women veterans will fill out a survey the committee has devised to not only count them, but find out how they’re doing and what they need.  Learn More*

Oldest Woman Veteran Gets Trip to DC

At 108, Lucy Coffey has one final wish, and she's going to get it, even though plans for her flight to Washington, D.C., had to be changed.

The nation's oldest woman veteran will fly from San Antonio to Washington on an American Airlines flight Friday, tour the nation's monuments the next day and then go to the White House.

No one knows for sure, but it is possible that Coffey, a longtime San Antonian who holds two Bronze Stars for her service in the Women's Army Auxiliary Corps, will meet President Barack Obama.  Learn More*

First Woman to Assume Command of Billings National Guard Troops

History will be made at the Montana Army National Guard Armory, 2915 Gabel Road, on Sunday when Maj. Renea Dorvall is formally installed as the first female commander of the 190th Combat Service Support Battalion.

Dorvall’s installation marks the first time that a female has been appointed commander of one of the four deployable Montana Army National Guard battalions.  Learn More*



Motivating Women Veterans to Start Businesses

Entrepreneurship often requires a creative approach, breaking new ground and coloring outside the lines. For this reason military veterans, accustomed to a strict chain of command and clear-cut rules and regulations, can find it difficult to make the transition to independent business ownership.

For women, it can be even harder--and their service numbers are significant. Women represent about 15 percent of today's active-duty military, 20 percent of reservists, 16 percent of the National Guard and 20 percent of new recruits, according to Syracuse University's Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF).  Learn More*

Babies at the VA:  Lessons Learned from Maternity Care for Veterans

Historically, and with rare exception, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs provides care for veterans only , not their families. So, if a woman veteran gave birth, the VA covered the mom’s medical bills, but not her baby’s.

It took a lot of lobbying and an Act of Congress, but a few years ago newborns with veteran moms became eligible for up to seven days of hospital care.  Learn More*

Women Veterans Face Own Struggles to Enter Civilian Workforce

Kate Logan wanted to get her hands dirty when she joined the U.S. Army in 2005. So the Oxford native became a diesel mechanic.

Fast forward eight years. Logan leveraged her military experience into a career that is just taking shape, as the mother of three (with a fourth on the way) wraps up a master's degree focused in health care.

She also still changes her own oil, she noted.

People often assume that after the shudder of mortar shells in Baghdad — the daily proving ground of a male-dominated workforce and marathon 15-month Middle East deployments — that a civilian life would be easy peasy.

They're wrong, Logan said.  Learn More*

From Fatigues to Fabulous

Watch this YouTube video, From Fatigues to Fabulous as it celebrates women Veterans.  Watch Here*

A Tribute to Women Veterans

Over 50 years ago, like many graduating high school seniors, I was preparing to enter U.S. military service the day before Memorial Day, also referred to as “Decoration Day.” By tradition, as long as I can remember, the holiday was celebrated to pay tribute to military veterans who never returned home or were injured from their service. 

This year, Memorial Day will take on a new twist locally. “Military Women” will highlight the agenda thanks to the efforts of the local planning committee, sponsors and the leadership of the Pueblo Veterans Council member organizations. Learn More*



Military Women Remember Veterans

Many women have served in the United States Armed Forces. And today, they are among those being remembered.

About 59,000 women served as nurses behind the combat lines during World War II.

"There was always a shortage of nurses wherever U.S. forces were. So, it's critical to bring forward and remember their service during war," says historian Cpt. Jeff Hoffer, North Dakota National Guard.

Colonel Jackie Huber serves in the Army National Guard. She's the third woman to be named Colonel in the state. And she says it's important to remember the women who blazed a trail for military women. Learn More*

California to Vote on Veterans Housing Programs

California voters weary of wading through a thicket of confusing state ballot measures in every election will get a welcome respite in the June primary.

A $600-million affordable housing program for veterans and a proposal that would require local governments to pick up the tab for public access to agency meetings and records are the only two statewide measures before voters.

The veterans housing measure — Proposition 41 — would allow the state to provide low-interest loans and other financial assistance to local governments, nonprofits and developers to provide affordable housing to veterans and their families. A portion of the funds would go toward providing transitional housing to homeless veterans.  Learn More*

A Gap in Service Delivery for Women Veterans

With the Department of Veterans Affairs under scrutiny over allegations of treatment delays in several states, She The People wanted to get the lay of the land in terms of female veterans, who are among the fastest-growing segments of the veteran population. Learn More*

Tapping Hidden Talent Pools:  How to Hire Women Veterans into Great Careers

According to U.S. Census data, while women comprise 10 percent of veterans, they comprise 13 percent of veterans in today’s civilian workforce. Clearly, women veterans are succeeding in civilian careers despite the fact that they still face higher unemployment than male veterans and female non-veterans. Like their male counterparts, women veterans bring an incredible wealth of leadership, technology skills and experience to the civilian workforce. This is an untapped talent pool from which employers across the U.S can and should benefit.

How can we recruit female veteran job seekers if so many choose to remain incognito?

  • Create a safe environment for women veterans to share highlights about the skills and experience they attained during their military service.
  • Showcase photos and testimonials from women veteran employees in recruitment marketing materials. Use terminology such as “military service” in lieu of “veteran” which may resonate better with women who served.
  • Create communities to connect women veteran employees and engage them as recruitment ambassadors.
  • Dispel myths that hiring managers may have about the availability and qualifications of female veterans. Now you have the data to overcome the common objection of “but there aren’t many women veteran applicants out there!”

Learn More*

Women Veterans to Get Dedicated Assistance

The state’s female veterans will have a program and a liaison dedicated to their issues under a law that takes effect July 1.

Senate Bill 354 creates the Hoosier Women Veterans Program and authorizes the state to hire a coordinator to oversee the program.

The program is meant to help the more than 37,000 female veterans in Indiana learn about the services available to them and assess what special needs they might have.Learn More*

Women Vets: A Soldier's Story

Host Val Zavala brings you the story of Angie Peacock, an Army veteran who suffered from post traumatic stress disorder and sexual assault. Peacock talks about overcoming the various stages of her life while coping with addiction, depression, and a failed marriage.

In this 2009 "SoCal Connected" story, Peacock documents her journey as she enrolls in a specialized 12-week sexual trauma program called Renew at Long Beach Veterans Affairs.  Learn More*

Michelle Howard Becomes Navy's First Female Four Star Admiral

The U.S. Navy has promoted Vice Adm. Michelle Howard to admiral, making her the first female four-star officer in the Navy's 236-year-history, the White House said Tuesday.

Howard, who was the first African-American woman to command a Navy ship, will become vice chief of naval operations, according to her online Navy biography.

"Her historic career is taking a next step today," White House spokesman Josh Earnest said.  Learn More*

Years Home, Connecticut Women Iraq Veterans Endure Wounds of War

It’s been nine years since Eunice Ramirez served in Iraq, but she still suffers from war wounds — post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, respiratory problems and frequent crying triggered by her memories.

Suzanna Smaldone, who also returned home from Iraq in 2005, lives in constant pain and can’t bring herself to talk about her war injuries.  Learn More*

Empowering Military Women When They Return Home

Video Clip: Veterans who started their own businesses after struggling to find work weigh in.  Learn More*

VA Dedicates New Women's Clinic at Togus

Maine has more than 10,000 women who are military veterans, and they finally have a special clinic at the Togus VA hospital. The clinic was made official today, as veteran Ruby Gilmore –who served just after the Korean War – joined U.S. Sen. Susan Collins and Rep. Mike Michaud to cut the ribbon.  Learn More*

Remember the Women Veterans

This is Army Week, the 239th anniversary of the Army's founding, and it offers an opportunity to recognize the extraordinary service of female veterans such as myself 2.2 million and counting and the unique challenges we face on active duty and after we leave the service. Women in the military services once were limited to support roles and not assigned to front line combat.

But while most women in uniform still occupy support roles — such as critically important jobs in aircraft maintenance, logistics and communications — the fact is that in modern wars like ours in Iraq and Afghanistan, there are no front lines. I am one of many female veterans who have been wounded in firefights and have returned home with physical and psychological injuries. There is nothing unusual about women in combat anymore.  Learn More*



Green Fields: Women Veterans Can Learn About Farming

Iowa female veterans interested in farming can socialize with other vets, learn about programs that will help them overcome challenges and catch a screening of Terra Firma, a one-hour documentary featuring three female veterans who are now farming.

The Women, Food and Agriculture Network events are free and begin at 6 p.m. The events will be Tuesday at Easter Seals Iowa Camp Sunnyside, 401 N.E. 66th Ave., Des Moines and Wednesday at Veterans Memorial Coliseum, 50 Second Ave. Bridge, Cedar Rapids. Sonia Kendrick, a Cedar Rapids resident and one of the vets featured in the documentary, will be present at Wednesday’s event.  Learn More*

A Force Multiplier for Women Veterans

Local female military veterans will find a venue to air their concerns in September at a retreat geared specifically to their needs.

The retreat will be the first of its kind in Southwest Florida, organizers say, and the planning committee's military consultant Georgie Alfano hopes that it will not be the last.

Co-organized by the Sarasota County Veteran's Commission and nonprofit Professionals Assisting Military, Family, and Friends, the event will be a community effort.

Alfano first noticed a discrepancy in the way male and female veterans were treated when she began bringing her long-time boyfriend to events.

“People would shake his hand and not mine,” Alfano said with disbelief. “At first, I didn't say a word, but after too many times, I would tell them, 'I'm the veteran, he never served.' ”  Learn More*

Veteran Sings Tribute to Women Veterans

I was raised in the small town of Gordon, Texas. I joined the Air Force when I was 17, and went to basic training two weeks after graduating from high school. I started out in law enforcement, but due to a shoulder injury in tech school, I had to cross-train into transportation.

My first duty station was Castle Air Force Base, California, nestled in the beautiful San Joaquin Valley. While at Castle, I served as the fleet analyst, and upon reenlistment, cross-trained into training management. I managed training for the 328th and 34th Bomb Squadrons. I loved seeing those big, beautiful, magnificent bombers take off and return.

As a training manager, I was not in a deployable position, but provided support at the base level. I lost friends in Desert Storm and did what I could to welcome others back home and provide support to the families left behind. While stationed at Castle, I started my little family with two children – a girl and a boy. This gave me such an appreciation and admiration for those who have had to leave their family behind.  Learn More

Coordinator at the VA Talks About Veteran Services

Joy Finkelson, Military Sexual Trauma coordinator from the St. Cloud VA Health Care System, spoke at a recent Downtown Kiwanis Club meeting about the services offered for military personnel who were victims of sexual trauma and about the Clothesline Project.

Finkelson said that 1 in 5 women and 1 in 100 men have reported they were the victims of military sexual trauma. She said sexual assault in the military is more likely to result in symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder than most other types of trauma. The VA offers free treatment for military sexual trauma-related mental and health conditions. Learn More*

Defending the Honor of Women in the Military

Women make up 8% of U.S. veterans, a number that is expected to double by 2035. Nyack’s Anngela Vasser-Cooper is leading the charge to secure recognition and services for local women veterans. As part of that mission, Vasser-Cooper will mobilize a group from Hudson Valley to the Women in Military Service Memorial in Washington, DC on June 19.

You might be surprised by what the former medical social worker for the Veteran’s Administration thinks about the resignation of Veteran’s Secretary General Eric Shinseki. You will be shocked to learn the cause of one of the most devastating and recurring wounds suffered by women who serve our nation in uniform and the culprits inflicting that injury. Learn More*

York City Legislator Wants Study for Women Veterans

As a Veterans Affairs scandal plays out nationwide, a local lawmaker is among a group that wants to form a task force to study the health care issues unique to women veterans. While soldier health care is the purview of the federal government, Rep. Kevin Schreiber, D-York City, said the state Legislature could work with national legislators to further the findings of the study.

Schreiber plans to introduce a resolution — a counterpart to a Senate resolution — to create a group and issue a report by Nov. 30 on quality and access to health care.

The legislation was one of several initiatives unveiled Tuesday at the Capitol by the legislature's bipartisan Women's Health Caucus. The group announced its first phase of legislation last year, with Tuesday's attention locked on seven new measures that caucus co-chairman Rep. Dan Frankel, D-Allegheny, said focus on the goal of putting women's concerns before politics.Learn More*

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Since 1988, when the home at 2408 E. Broadway came under the supervision of the Jack C. Montgomery VA Medical Center, numerous local groups have given their time, talents and money to enhance this safe haven for women whose veteran family members are receiving treatment here.  Learn More*

Like any residence, it always has something that needs to be fixed, updated or renovated. Haven House was a perfect match for this group’s energetic spirit and generous nature.