The VA today is not the same institution that served our fathers — it’s not even the VA I knew in my early years of service. Today, the VA is doing its best to welcome the growing number of women serving in our uniformed service and encouraging them to consider it their VA.
One of many initiatives the VA sponsors in its Center for Women Veterans (CVW) is a Women Veterans Book Corner – a place where women who serve or have served can prominently and proudly share their stories of strength and resiliency. The corner was established to recognize women veterans who are published authors, yet it is a forum bringing together sister veterans to share, inspire, and encourage others through their writings.
More than 25 women veteran authors are highlighted in the book corner, including several MOAA members, like the three Life Members of MOAA below:
- Irene Trowell-Harris: An Air Force veteran, Trowell-Harris wrote Bridges: A Life Building and Crossing Them. The book depicts her challenges from a working in a cotton field to a becoming two-star general. It highlights what can be accomplished with determination of not just crossing bridges, but building them for others to cross on their path to success. It highlights the challenges and opportunities for a trailblazing minority woman as a commander and general officer in a predominately male environment. Her story of accomplishments is designed to inspire others to emulate her career success. She also served as the Director of the VA’s Center for Women Veterans after her Air Force career.
[RELATED: MOAA's Member Books Page]
- Mari K. Eder: The first full-time military deputy chief of public affairs at Headquarters of the Department of the Army, the first full-time major general to serve as deputy to the chief of the Army Reserve, and the first commander of a new two-star command (Joint and Special Troops Command), Eder is the author of several books. The Girls Who Stepped Out of Line is an inspirational read on societal challenges facing women who served.
- Sandra Stosz: Stotsz retired from the Coast Guard in 2018 as a vice admiral after a 40-year career in surface operations. She broke ice and glass as the first woman to command an icebreaker on the Great Lakes and was the first woman to lead a U.S. armed forces service academy. She believes that those who are eager to make a difference by helping people and organizations be at their best will discover joy and satisfaction in both work and personal life. Her book, Breaking Ice and Breaking Glass: Leading in Uncharted Waters, is one way she is giving back after all the Coast Guard gave her.
Interested in submitting your story or literary work, or know a fellow woman veteran who is? Click here to learn more about how you can participate.
[RELATED: MOAA's Military Professional Reading List]
Women Veteran Resources
The CWV was established in law in November 1994. The law requires the VA to:
- Monitor and coordinate the administration of health care and benefits services, and programs for women veterans.
- Serve as an advocate for a cultural transformation (both within the VA and in the general public) in recognizing the service and contributions of women veterans and women in the military.
- Raise awareness of the responsibility to treat women veterans with dignity and respect.
The CWV website provides a wide range of information and ways women veterans can engage with the VA. In addition to learning more about health care and benefits, the center is actively involved in conducting research, developing partnerships, and promoting outreach events to educate, inform, and improve programs and services for women veterans.
The CWV also manages the Advisory Committee on Women Veterans, chartered by Congress in 1983 to assess the needs of these veterans. Every two years, the committee publishes a report providing recommendations to the VA secretary and Congress on ways to improve programs and services for women veterans.
Want to get CWV news updates or updates from the VA? Click here to subscribe.
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