U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs CWV - News Update

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In Case You Missed It:  The Center for Women Veterans is sharing recent news stories that may be of interest to women Veterans, military women, and their supporters on a weekly basis.  Share your thoughts about them on social media with the hashtag #womenVets.


07/06/2017 03:27 PM EDT

American women were not officially allowed to serve in the military until 1948, but female soldiers were fighting for their country long before the mid-20th century.  A new book has revealed the extraordinary history of women in uniform and shows how they carried out vital roles as cooks, laundresses, spies, and went into combat undercover for centuries. [From The Daily Mail]

07/06/2017 03:27 PM EDT

Michelle Sanchez, a medically separated Army specialist, was the only female archer to make it into the top eight in the 2017 Department of Defense Warrior Games compound bow competition, and the only female on the Army’s gold-medal winning compound bow team. Sanchez said she is proud to represent the Army, and female service members. [From U.S. Department of Defense]

07/06/2017 12:21 PM EDT

I know that many people have strong opinions about America’s involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan.  But as we meet the individuals behind the uniforms, and seek to understand their stories, I’m hoping we can momentarily put those politics aside. [From Humans of New York]

07/06/2017 12:00 PM EDT

It was 1942 when Alice “Nora” Howes answered the nation’s call to military service, but the 99-year-old Brick woman remembers it as if it happened yesterday.  Howes was among the first women to enlist in the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps, which later became the Women’s Army Corps.  It was a career that opened the world to then-25-year-old Howes. [From Asbury Park Press]

07/06/2017 11:12 AM EDT

Heroin allowed Jenny Pacanowski to escape her PTSD in small doses.  To get sober she had to deal with her trauma head-on, or accept that she would die. [From The War Horse]

07/06/2017 11:11 AM EDT

Tenley Lozano, a disabled female Veteran, describes the stereotypes and daily traumas of her service - sexual harassment, chronic migraines and PTS. [From The War Horse]

07/06/2017 08:41 AM EDT

The Southeast Louisiana Veterans Health Care System (SLVHCS) is celebrating the gift of an original Heather Englehart painting that features service women.  The original painting was unveiled during a special donation ceremony inside the new Women’s Health clinic on the seventh floor of the new medical center last month.  Veterans Bryon and Cindy Newton of Ponchatoula, Louisiana, along with their daughter Katherine Newton-Mott, donated the painting. [From VAntage Point]

07/05/2017 10:39 AM EDT

Tenley Lozano jumped at the chance to become a Coast Guard diver, proudly passing the tests every prospective diver undergoes.  Water knows no gender. [From The War Horse]

07/05/2017 10:39 AM EDT

Liesel Kershul felt isolated and struggled to make friends when she and her Marine moved to Germany.  Their adopted dog Amber helped change that. [From The War Horse]

07/05/2017 07:14 AM EDT

Returning Veterans are getting some help from above.  Genesis Behavioral Health and the Veterans Administration are partnering to train clergy to recognize the challenges faced today by servicemen and women, active or retired. [From New Hampshire Union Leader]

07/05/2017 07:14 AM EDT

A Columbus native and combat Veteran hosting a special screening Wednesday for a documentary depicting several life stories of female Veterans.  Her goal for raise awareness for her sisters-in-arms who are going through difficult times. [From WALB 10 News]

07/05/2017 07:14 AM EDT

A large-scale Department of Veterans Affairs project to research how Veterans’ genes and military service affect their health surpassed 580,000 participants Friday during an enrollment event at American Legion headquarters in downtown Washington, D.C.  The Million Veteran Program was designated the largest genomic database in the world when it reached 500,000 participants last August.  Read more » [From Stars and Stripes]

07/05/2017 07:14 AM EDT

A policy that takes effect Wednesday allows Veterans who received an other-than-honorable discharge to receive emergency mental health care from Veterans Affairs facilities.  The move by VA Secretary David Shulkin aims to help those who are in mental health distress but are ineligible for other VA services. [From Las Vegas Review-Journal]

07/05/2017 07:14 AM EDT

Women are the fastest growing demographic of homeless Veterans.  Many of the more than 2 million women Vets in the US are coping with mental health issues, substance abuse, and physical and sexual trauma.  These women are at a high risk of becoming homeless. [From New York Minute Magazine]

07/04/2017 06:07 AM EDT

Geena Kaur serves as a Second Class Petty Officer in the United States Navy.  In today’s politically charged and increasingly globalized world, it’s more important than ever to be open to the beliefs and cultures of those around you. [From Military.com]

07/04/2017 05:24 AM EDT

Marine Veteran, mountain climber, amputee athlete, and all-around badass Kirstie Ennis recently made the cover of ESPN The Magazine’s annual Body Issue, the first Veteran to grace its cover.  The yearly spread features nude and semi-nude photos of male and female athletes from all sports and vocations, both on and off the field, as a testament to the perseverance of both the human body and will – something Ennis captures perfectly. [From Task and Purpose]

07/04/2017 05:23 AM EDT

Elizabeth O’Herrin searched for human connection after deciding not to reenlist.  When she returned to church after a decades-long absence, O’Herrin found a soul sister. [From The War Horse]

07/04/2017 05:23 AM EDT

On June 23, 2012, the CH-53D helicopter carrying U.S. Marine Corps Sergeant Kirstie Ennis crashed in the Helmand province of Afghanistan.  Ennis, an aerial door gunner, suffered traumatic injuries to her brain, spine and face, as well as severe damage to her shoulders and her left leg.  After three years and more than three dozen surgeries, doctors amputated her leg below the knee in November 2015.  A month later, due to an infection in her residual limb, doctors performed a second amputation to remove her left knee. [From ESPN]

07/04/2017 05:22 AM EDT

I’m no G.I. Jane.  I served for ten years in the U.S. Army, met all the physical training standards, qualified with a rifle, deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan, qualified with a rifle, met all the physical training standards, and was honorably discharged.  I discovered new levels of mental and physical toughness in myself during my service, but I did not become an expert at hand-to-hand combat.  While some service members learn more than I did, few of my peers are martial artists, and the military does did not teach self-defense as standard training.  I tell you this because I frequently encounter the idea that female Veterans are able to “take care of themselves.” Many people seem to believe that women who serve are immune to domestic and sexual violence because of their military training.  Unfortunately, the facts show that this is not the case. [From Sierra Vista Herald]

07/03/2017 06:00 PM EDT

Today’s #VeteranOfTheDay is Air Force Veteran Patti Jackson.  Born in Australia, Patti moved to the United States when she was a teenager.  While attending the University of North Texas, Patti joined the Air Force Reserve Officers’ Training Corps and was called to active duty in 1988.  She participated in Operations Desert Storm, Joint Forge, Iraqi Freedom and many others.  In addition, she has helped hurricane relief efforts in South Carolina and Hawaii. [From VAntage Point]

We honor your service, Monica!

07/02/2017 06:03 PM EDT

Today’s #VeteranOfTheDay is Monica Leverette.  Monica served in the Army Nurse Corps as a 66H Medical-Surgical Nurse from 1994 to 2016.  She deployed to Baghdad in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation New Dawn in 2010-2011. [From VAntage Point]

We honor your service, Monica!