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History Archive
Volunteering For Vietnam: African-American Servicewomen

The history of service of African-American servicewomen, who served in Vietnam, is reflected in the Women's Memorial Foundation Register and archive.The stories and memories included in this paper illustrate the experiences of a few of the many African-American servicewomen who volunteered for assignment to Vietnam, as well as their reasons for volunteering and the methods they used to overcome the gender and race-driven difficulties they encountered.

[ click here to read ]

Luncheon to Honor Nurses Who Served in Vietnam
Part of the Heroes Homecoming Celebration

Heroes HomecomingAs part of the Heroes Homecoming, Methodist University's Nursing Program and its Tally Center for Leadership Development will host an event to honor the nurses who served in Vietnam. The event will include a luncheon, a featured speaker, presentations to veteran nurses who served in Vietnam, and much more. It is scheduled for:
November 10, 2011
12:00 to 2:00 p.m.,
on the campus of Methodist University
, Fayetteville, NC

[ downlaod the veteran nurse registration form here ]



I'm sending this out to all of you to be sure you know about the study VA is doing on the Long Term Health Outcomes of Vietnam Era Women.   This is a 4-5 year study that will look at the physical and mental health status of military women who served in Vietnam, elsewhere in Southeast Asia (Japan, Philippines, etc) and those who served in the United States. They are hoping to get 10,000 women to participate in the study.  I am the veteran consultant to the study.  They are particularly anxious to get women who have never received care from VA, as their experience is not known.  It is an important study for all women veterans, as no study has ever been done on the long term health outcomes of military service on women.  Not ever, so this is historic and will be beneficial to not only us, as Vietnam era women but also to the current and future generations of women veterans in helping to improve assessment instruments and services for them (and us) both now and as they age.    I'm attaching a copy of a brochure that describes the study.  If you are willing to participate I urge you to send an e-mail to

The participant coordinators will then contact you and you will be put in the group from which participants will be randomly selected.  The success of this study is dependent on all of us being willing to participate,  for it will show the VA that they can get enough women to participate in studies that can provide invaluable information to them and influence women's health care in VA.    Also, if you know any other women veterans who served during the Vietnam era, please forward this to them.

The VVA Veteran March/april 2010
by Marsha four, chair

The VVA Women Veterans Committee provides this annual Resolution update.

WV-2-05 Medical Treatment of Women Veterans by VA: While this Resolution is lengthy and touches on a broad range of issues, this and related committees (Health Care and PTSD), along with VVA’s Government Affairs Department, continue to move this agenda. We continue to stress the content of this Resolution in congressional testimony, and in contact with the staffs of the House and Senate Veterans Affairs’ Committees, the VA Women Veterans Strategic Health Care Group, the VA Center for Women Veterans, and members of the VA Advisory Committee on Women Veterans. A goal is also to have representation of VVA on the VA Advisory Committee on Women Veterans. 

The VA Women Veteran Program Manager (WVPM) position is to be full time at all Medical Centers. This can be somewhat confusing or deceiving since full time does not necessarily mean 40 hours per week. Another part of this overall issue is the lack of consistency in the reporting line for WVPM. Some report to the chief of staff, but others don’t. Some report through several layers of administration. This can cause many inconsistencies, delay action, and dilute the importance of the position. Central Office allows the reporting-line decision to be left up to the Medical Center director. We believe this is inappropriate.

WV-3-05 Support for Women Veterans: This continuing Resolution addresses the commitment VVA has made to women veterans and speaks to the responsibility that each member and leader at every level of the organization has in keeping that commitment. This sets the tone and environment of our organization and its respectful embrace of its sisters. It is a very serious element of who we are and the equality we represent. 

In this vein, the committee continues to provide each State Council President with information on women veteran issues via email that is coordinated by a member of the committee who is also a state president. This committee also works with other national committees in its ongoing effort to enhance VVA’s commitment in this arena. The committee members collaborate with committees on projects, articles, and issue-focused papers bringing light to women veterans. 

WV-5-09 Women Veterans Research: You have been reading about the newly developed Long-Term Health Outcomes of Military Women’s Service During the Vietnam Era (See article on page 34). The study hopes to identify 10,000 women of the era. It is anticipated that interviews will begin in October 2010. 

The study aims include: to determine the prevalence of lifetime and current psychiatric conditions, including PTSD, among women veterans who served during the Vietnam era; to characterize the physical health of women who served during the Vietnam era; and to characterize the level of current disability in women who served during the Vietnam era. The study will include inquiry into autoimmune disorders as requested by this committee. The Women Veterans Committee looks to take a proactive role in outreach activities and will seek the help of the State Councils and Chapters.

WV-6-09 Women Veterans and Veterans Benefits: Though a new Resolution, many of these components are ones for which committee members have been advocating for quite some time in much the same manner as the issues included in WV-2-05.

The Women Veterans Committee: Marsha Four, Chair. Members: Sandy Miller, Sara McVicker, Sandie Wilson, Leslie DeLong, Beverly Stewart, Billee Culin, John Wallace, Tom Hall, Pat Bessigano, Tom Berger, Connie Christensen, and Patricia Dumin. AVVA Liaison: Nancy Switzer. VVA Staff Support: Sharon Hodge.

Female WWII aviators honored with gold medal

WASHINGTON – They flew planes during World War II but weren't considered "real" military pilots. No flags were draped over their coffins when they died on duty. And when their service ended, they had to pay their own bus fare home.

These aviators — all women — got long-overdue recognition on Wednesday. They received the Congressional Gold Medal, the highest civilian honor given by Congress, in a ceremony on Capitol Hill.

[Read the article]

[See slide show]

Womens memorial E-Newsletter: january 2010
Click To Read The Newsletter

NOTICE:  Seeking to Interview Women Veterans of the Vietnam War

Dr. Heather Stur, Assistant Professor of History at the University of Southern Mississippi, is writing a book that looks at women's experiences in the Vietnam War, and she'd like to interview women who served in Vietnam during the war, as well as women who enlisted in the military in the years immediately following the end of the draft. She is in particular need of the voices of African American women veterans who served in Vietnam, but in need of women of all races and backgrounds.  Women veterans who are willing to be interviewed, contact Dr. Stur at:
NOTE: the interview questions have been reviewed by VVA’s I.R.B. research officer and do not include any questions about personal health care information.

VA Secretary establishes new initiatives for Woman Veterans

News Release - August 26, 2009
VA Pledge to Women Veterans on Women's Equality Day

WASHINGTON - Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki pledged today on Women's Equality Day that the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) will work to ensure the nation upholds its obligation to meet the needs of our Veterans - including women Veterans.
"Our Veterans deserve the very best care. Anything less is unacceptable," Secretary Shinseki said. "If we are to transform VA into a 21st century organization, we need to continually improve our services to women Veterans." Although VA has long provided equal benefits to women Veterans, the Department has embarked on new initiatives to meet their unique needs. These initiatives include:

  • Comprehensive primary care and specialized medical care at every VA medical center;
  • Enhanced mental health care specifically for women Veterans;
    Staffing every VA medical center with a women Veterans program manager;
  • Creating a mini-residency on women's health for primary care physicians;
  • Supporting a multifaceted research program on women's health;
    Improving communication and outreach to women Veterans; and

Continuing the operation of organizations such as VA's Center for Women Veterans and the Women Veterans Health Strategic Healthcare Group. "During this observance we should remember the special contributions and sacrifices of the 200,000 women currently serving in the armed forces and 1.8 million who are Veterans," Assistant Secretary L. Tammy Duckworth said.

Women Veterans are one of the fastest growing segments of the Veteran population. They comprise 7.5 percent of the total Veteran population and nearly 5.5 percent of all Veterans who use VA health care services.

VA estimates women Veterans will constitute 10 percent of the Veteran population by 2020 and 9.5 percent of VA patients.

For more information about VA programs and services for women Veterans, please visit: and

Veterans Affairs Honors Military Women of Past, Present

By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 27, 2009 – The women of the 6888th Central Postal Directory Battalion were honored for their morale-boosting efforts during World War II in a ceremony at the Department of Veterans Affairs here yesterday.

Alyce Dixon and Mary Ragland, two former members of the battalion, were on hand to accept the accolades and to set the record straight.

“What a monumental challenge [you’d] taken on. That’s the kind of can-do spirit that is the hallmark of the American soldier,” said John Gingrich, Veterans Affairs’ chief of staff. “You cleared out two years [worth] -- 7 million pieces -- of backlogged mail in just three months.”

Read Complete Article

Department of Veterans Affairs, advisory committee on women veterans, report 2008, recognizing women veterans...american heroes

Read Full Report

Women’s Memorial Hosts Soldier, Marine Photo Exhibit

ARLINGTON, Va., May 28, 2008 – Duty, courage, camaraderie and sacrifice are on display at the Women in Military Service for America Memorial here.
[ Read more ]

Check out Women in Military Service Anniversary: C-SPAN Video (click to view)

The 10th anniversary of the dedication of the Women in Military Service for America Memorial at the gateway to Arlington National Cemetery was celebrated with a formal ceremony with military honors and remarks by Secretary of Defense Robert Gates.

A synopsis of the presentation given by Pamela Luce at our National Women Veterans Breakfast in Springfiled, IL during convention 2007 [download PDF]

State Women Veterans Coordinators Listing [download PDF]

National Association of State Directors of Veterans Affairs (NASDVA) Directors Listing [download PDF]


VHA Handbook 1330.02, Women Veterans Program Manager (WVPM) Position:  This Veterans Health Administration (VHA) Handbook describes duties and responsibilities of health care professionals assigned as Women Veterans Program Managers (WVPMs).  It outlines duties, responsibilities, competency standards and/or qualification statements for local and Veterans Integrated Service Network (VISN)-level WVPMs who perform these duties on a full-time or supplemental basis.  NOTE:  The standards contained in this VHA Handbook provide guidance to all VHA organizational elements in the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), including VHA field facilities. [ read handbook ]  

VOICES: Review of the DoD Response to Sexual Assault

VA Initiative against Obesity, Diabetes Advances

Women Veterans have been an integral part of Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA) since it was founded in 1979.  As a leader in moving the agenda of women veterans, the pro-active approach of Vietnam Veterans of America benefits all women who served in the military regardless of time or place, both now and into the future.

In the Spring of 1979, Linda Van Devanter met and discussed the concerns, issues, and needs of women veterans with a number of the founding members of Vietnam Veterans of America.  It was then that VVA made its commitment to women veterans.

The Women Veterans’ Committee began as the Women Veterans’ Project in the Spring of 1979.  By a VVA National Constitutional amendment in 1999, the Women Veterans’ Committee attained Standing Committee status at all levels of Vietnam Veterans of America.

Women have served this country with great pride in all branches of the Armed Forces.  The role of women in the military is varied, diverse, and expanding.

VVA National Women Veterans’ Committee illustrates this diversity.  Members and advisors of the Committee are volunteers from both enlisted and officer ranks.  They served in Vietnam, stateside, and worldwide with a broad range of duty assignments, occupations, and experiences.  Diversity is the element that helps the Committee identify and respond to the needs of all the women veterans.

The Women Veterans’ Committee, as a representative body, is the voice of those who seek strength and support in resolving problems and addressing concerns related to all women veterans. The Committee identifies issues and needs specific to women veterans and develops strategies to address and resolve them. 

Our goals are accomplished through communication, representation, advocacy, and outreach on behalf of women veterans.  The Women Veterans’ Committee maintains a watchful stance as a guardian of equitable care and benefits for women veterans.  The Women Veterans’ Committee establishes legislative priorities and actively advocates Congress to secure the passage of responsible and just legislation that women veterans have earned.



New Brochure

Women Veterans: Assistance & Resources

Women Veterans
Assistance & Resources



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