New York State Department of Veterans' Services Celebrates Women Veterans Recognition Days, Honoring the Service and Empowering Women Veterans and Gender Minorities
Announces Plans to Create a Digital Women Veterans History Trail
Read Governor Hochul's Proclamation Here
The New York State Department of Veterans' Services (DVS) today announced a number of steps to honor women veterans and veterans who are gender minorities. DVS proudly announced a series of Women Veterans Recognition Days with events dedicated to recognizing the immense contributions of these veterans. Spanning from June 12 to June 14, Women Veterans Recognition Days will serve as a platform to honor and empower those veterans who identify as women and gender minorities, showcasing their exceptional military service. Additionally, DVS announced plans to create a digital Women Veterans History Trail to showcase sites and stories that highlight the contributions of women in military service throughout New York State's history.
Governor Kathy Hochul also issued a proclamation declaring June 12-14, 2023 Women Veterans Days. This proclamation recognizes the service and sacrifice of New York’s Women Veterans on the 75th anniversary of the signing of the Women’s Armed Services Integration Act into law.
New York State boasts a vibrant community of over 62,000 Women Veterans, making it the 9th largest population of Women Veterans in the nation. The number of women serving in the military continues to grow rapidly, yet resources and programs often overlook the unique needs of this critical group of Veterans. DVS has taken the initiative to organize programs for this year's Women Veterans Recognition Days, creating inclusive spaces and fostering connections among Women Veterans. These events will also help facilitate access to the benefits, services, and community that these extraordinary individuals deserve.
As part of the state's Women Veterans Recognition Days this week, a diverse lineup of speakers and performers will represent the geographical diversity of New York State and the various branches and eras of military service. This well-rounded representation aims to provide participants with a comprehensive understanding of the remarkable achievements of Women Veterans and gender minority Veterans. Highlighted programs include a dedication run led by Team RWB, captivating poetic performances, an enriching resource fair, and an engaging roundtable discussion.
Commissioner of the Department of Veterans' Services, Viviana DeCohen said, "I am honored to celebrate Women Veterans Recognition Days, a time to acknowledge the exceptional contributions of Women Veterans. They have served our State and Nation with unwavering dedication, courage, and honor. Yet, too often, their achievements have gone unnoticed or underappreciated. During these recognition days, we reaffirm our commitment to ensuring their service is fully recognized and valued. Let us stand together to uplift and empower these remarkable Women Veterans, ensuring they receive the support, resources, and recognition they rightfully deserve.”
Morgan Woodson, Special Assistant for Outreach Activities said, "As we celebrate Women Veterans Recognition Days, we honor the immeasurable dedication, resilience, and sacrifice of Women Veterans and gender minorities. Throughout history, they have served our State and Nation with unwavering pride, courage, and honor. Regrettably, they often find themselves overlooked when it comes to the recognition and comprehensive support they deserve. These commemorative days aim to bridge that gap, acknowledging and honoring their remarkable contributions that span back to the founding of our nation. Let us heed this call to action, working together to address the unique needs of Women Veterans and ensure their service is fully recognized and celebrated."
Dr. Lessie Branch, Special Assistant for Community Engagement said, "In honoring the service of fellow Women Veterans on these special recognition days, we not only pay tribute to their courage, resilience, and sacrifice, but we also shatter the glass ceilings that have confined their contributions to the shadows. Let us unite in celebrating their unwavering commitment to defending our nation, reminding the world that their heroism is linked to their humanity and so should equity and equality.”
To honor the legacy of Women Veterans in New York's history, DVS also announced plans to develop a statewide Women's Veterans History Trail. Curated by DVS, with input from county and city historians, researchers, Veterans Service Organizations, and local Veterans Service Agencies, the Women Veterans History Trail will showcase sites and stories that highlight the contributions of women in military service throughout New York State's history.
The process of selecting sites for the Women Veterans History Trail is underway, and DVS will develop an online form that will allow members of the public to recommend relevant sites for inclusion in this initiative. Once sites are selected, they are showcased by DVS in a variety of ways, including on the Department’s website and free mobile app, as well as on the agency's digital Veterans Welcome Center kiosks that have been installed throughout New York State. Each site’s listing will include informational material allowing New Yorkers of all ages to learn about the stories of New York's remarkable Women Veterans.
About the Department of Veterans’ Services
The New York State Department of Veterans’ Services, which has served as the state’s advocacy agency for veterans, service members, and military families since 1945, maintains an agency-wide commitment of serving all veterans, service members, and military families in a wide range of practice areas, including claims and appeals for benefits from the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, discharge upgrade appeals to the United States Department of Defense, and claims for New York State benefits.
DVS agency passionately empowers Women Veterans across the state, ensuring they can confidently access the well-deserved benefits they have earned with honor. With a specialized Women Veterans Program Coordinator, New York State tailors comprehensive services and unwavering support exclusively designed to meet the unique needs of Women Veterans.
Veterans, service members, and military families are encouraged to contact the Department at 888-838-7697 or its website veterans.ny.gov to meet — in person or virtually — with an accredited Veterans Benefits Advisor to address their needs and gain the full measure of benefits that they have earned. Follow DVS on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.