WOMEN VETERANS COMMITTEE REPORT
Vietnam Veterans of America, Inc.
Women Veterans Committee Minutes
Friday, April 20, 2001
Meeting was called to order at 5:05 PM
The following were in attendance:
Marsha Four, Chair
Mary Ellen White
Sandy Miller, Vice Chair
Kay Gardner, AVVA
Lois Beck (Guest)
Anne Marie Rutallie, President, IN State Council (Guest)
Tavashia Edwards, Staff
Introductions were made in consideration of our guests.
The minutes of the January meeting were approved as submitted.
1. Letter sent under President Duggins' signature, urging VA Secretary Principi to reappoint Ms. Joan Furey as Director of the VA Center for Women Veterans. Fulfilled Motion 01-01-03.
2. Letter received from a woman veteran in Illinois concerning the mammography service offered at her local VA. The Chair discussed this with Ms. Joan Furey. Ms. Furey was sending a letter of response to this woman veteran.
3. Letter received from Claire Starnes, President, Vietnam Women Veterans Organization (VWV), requesting committee to support VWV efforts in attaining a VVAF grant. A letter of endorsement will be sent.
Report of the Chair:
1. VVA Women Veterans' Committee made a donation to WIMSA on behalf of VVA. It was presented to Gen. Vaught this morning. VVA will receive full recognition for this much needed and timely contribution to the Women's Memorial.
2. The Chair addressed the Conference of State Council Presidents concerning a plan to have State Councils provide or have donated 4' x 6' indoor ceremonial state flags with gold fringe to WIMSA. The details of this donation will be forwarded to the State Council Presidents via VVA Alabama President, Wayne Reynolds.
3. The Chair attended the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans Conference in March.
4. Marsha Four was appointed by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to
the VA Women Veterans Advisory Committee. Her first attended meeting was in March. This is a three-year appointment.
5. The Women Veterans' informational/membership tri-fold has been updated to reflect the 2001 Legislative Priorities and the accomplishments of the committee. Copies will be distributed.
1. Public Affairs (Charlotte Rebillard) - anyone who has any poetry they have written and would like to have included in the upcoming book of art and literature, should send their contribution to the National Office.
2. Incarcerated (Donna Keefer) - the funding for the VA/Justice Dept. pilot project for women veterans is still unresolved. It is being held until the project can be started up. The Chair will discuss status of the pilot project with Wayne Miller, Chair, Veterans' Incarcerated Committee.
3. Health Care Task Force (Linda Schwartz) - discussed the recent study which resulted in the connection of Acute Myelogenous Leukemia (AML) in children born to Vietnam Veterans. The study was released by the National Academy of Sciences' Institute of Medicine. Any compensation would be for the children only. Secretary Principi will seek congressional authority to make disability payments to veteran's children who may have survived the disease.
4. PTSD (Sandy Miller) - VVA Resolution PS-6-99 was addressed by the
PTSD committee and recommendations were made concerning gender specific counseling.
5. Veterans' Benefits (Marsha Four) - spoke with Len Selfon about filing a Petition for Rule Making on the compensation rating schedule for mastectomies. She also spoke with him about having a more complete and formalized module prepared for use in Service Rep/Service Officer training programs related to personal assault/sexual trauma. Also talked about the need for sensitivity training in the training program.
1. The Resolutions from the 1999 Convention were reviewed for continuance or retirement. The breakdown is as follows:
a. WV-1-99 (Women Veterans Employment) - retire
b. WV-2-99 (Support for Women Veterans) - continue
c. WV-3-99 (Women Veterans Study) - change "resolve" to read, "a comprehensive health study of women veterans of the Vietnam Era to include"
d. WV-4-99 (Medical Treatment of Women Veterans by DVA) - continue
2. A new resolution was presented concerning Women Veterans' Coordinator Program. Alterations were made to this committee-sponsored resolution. The resolution will be forwarded to the Resolutions Committee.
1. The committee has secured a display table for the convention. The display boards have been received and are in need of replacement/repair. The display requires a new lay-put. With replacement items. Marsha Four, Sandy Miller and Linda Schwartz will work on this for our convention display table.
2. A Welcome Letter for women veteran convention delegates will be composed and available at the convention registration area.
3. There will be a Women Veterans Gathering with refreshments.
4. A letter of invitation will be sent to Claire Starnes inviting her to speak at the Women Veterans Breakfast. Motion to have door prizes at the breakfast was defeated by a vote of 1 Aye, 5 Nays, and 1 Abstaining vote. There will be no door prizes.
5. The plaque for the recipient of the Recognition of Service Award will be ordered.
1. Legislative Agenda for 2001 was discussed.
2. A mock up of suggestions for new Women Veterans buttons/pins was presented. The committee selected an option, however, the Staff Liaison, Tavashia Edwards, has a graphics arts background and offered to take a look at a new design.
3. The list of Committee accomplishments was reviewed.
1. Donna Keefer and Anne Marie Rutallie will investigate the feasibility of producing a Women Veterans Cookbook. If feasible the appropriate VVA committees will be approached.
Good of the Order:
1. 1000 Women Veteran tri-folds will be made available for the VVA Memorial Day table.
Adjourned: 7:00 PM
Marsha Four, Chair