Decorated Afghanistan Veteran Genevieve Chase Keynotes Administration's 3rd Annual Women's Conference
Staff Sergeant Chase is a recipient of both the Purple Heart and Combat Action Badge, and was recently selected by the U.S. Army as a 2010 All American Soldier Hero. She is nationally recognized as an advocate for female veterans and she serves as founder and executive director of American Women Veterans.
"I'm honored to have been asked to speak to a group of women with whom I not only respect but am deeply humbled by," said keynote speaker Genevieve Chase. "We are a group of sisters who have such unique experiences yet an understanding of a camaraderie that can't be explained, only understood by each other. For so long, women veterans have held back their stories and it is with great pride and excitement that I will be among so many amazing women veterans of Massachusetts."
"It is an honor to be joined by the service women here today who have served our country so proudly," said Lieutenant Governor Timothy Murray, Chair of the Governor's Advisory Council on Veterans' Services. "As a national leader in veterans' services, Massachusetts and its citizens are proud to provide our veterans with the benefits and services they have earned."
Secretary of Health and Human Services, Dr. JudyAnn Bigby, Secretary of Veterans' Services Coleman Nee, Representative John D. Keenan, and Salem State University President, Dr. Patricia Maguire Meservey also spoke at the conference. In addition to the speaking program, panels throughout the day included discussions about Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD); women veterans' health and wellness; children and families; military sexual trauma, and federal benefits for veterans.
"I'm delighted to participate in today's program," said Secretary Bigby. "This is an important opportunity for women veterans, not only to connect with one another, but also to find out more about the resources available to support their health and wellness."
"We are proud to host the third annual Conference for Women Veterans," said Secretary of Veterans' Services Coleman Nee. "Proud Daughters of this Commonwealth have served in uniform since the time of the Revolutionary War. As more women veterans return home from the recent conflicts, there is an increasing need for events and conferences like this to ensure they are aware of the services and benefits that they have certainly earned. The Department of Veterans' Services continues to work to address the needs of the expanding population of women veterans and I personally thank all of them for their service to our nation."
More than 100 women veterans attended the conference to exchange information, network with one another, attend workshops, and hear from guest speakers. Workshops and exhibitors were present representing local, state, federal, and non-profit organizations.
"I am honored to join the women veterans who bravely answered the call of duty on behalf of our Commonwealth and our country," said State Representative John D. Keenan (D- Salem). "Women play a vital role in the Armed Forces, and like all veterans they deserve acknowledgement and recognition for their service. Importantly, the Massachusetts Women Veterans Network provides women veterans with the connections, health and benefit information, and resources that are so vital today."
"Salem State University is proud to host this year's Women Veterans' Network Conference," said Salem State President Patricia Maguire Meservey. "The university strongly supports our military students, faculty, staff and alumni, and we thank them and their families for their service and sacrifice."
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts leads the nation in veterans' services. The Women Veterans' Network acts as a central resource for women veterans in Massachusetts. The Network was established in 1997 with the vision of being the central resource for women veterans in Massachusetts. Its mission is to provide women veterans with information on federal, state, and local benefits, as well as expand awareness of the needs of women veterans and identify available health and human resources to meet those needs and advocate on behalf of women veterans in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
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