Women Veterans Committee Report, May/June 2013
Outreach To Legislatures
BY MARSHA FOUR, CHAIR
It’s been a busy few months with activities that begin our trek to the National Convention in Jacksonville, Florida. This is also the time of the year that all committees work with the Government Affairs Committee to develop VVA’s organizational priorities and legislative agenda. The Women Veterans Committee has sent four items for inclusion that address the following: oversight and accountability on the Women Veteran Programs Manager policies; access to military sexual trauma (MST) treatment for National Guard and Reserve who have not been activated; VA travel authorization to intensive residential treatment programs; and DOD address of MST outside the victims’ chain of command. These items will appear at the Convention in the form of new and revised resolutions from the committee.
Committee members made visits on Capitol Hill to meet with congressional delegations and staff regarding our legislative agenda. We will continue to work with the contacts in their local offices. I attended the Service Women’s Action Network (SWAN) 2013 Summit with committee member Sara McVicker, Tom Hall (the chair of VVA’s PTSD Committee), and Tom Berger (the executive director of the Veterans Health Council). SWAN focuses on MST. VVA has been a partner with SWAN on several issues and with this summit. VVA has been invited to sign a petition in support of the Ruth Moore Act (H.R. 671 and S. 294) for the improvement of the disability compensation evaluation procedure for mental health conditions related to MST. This received VVA Board approval on April 20.
On another note, I attended the first ever Pennsylvania Women Veterans Symposium. It had a great turnout and helpful information on onsite assistance.
We are fast approaching the end of our two-year term on national committees. The entire committee has been honored to represent our members in the arenas of membership, outreach, and advocacy. I thank them for all their efforts and for all the support they have provided me. I hope to see many of you in Jacksonville. Safe travel.
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