During March, VA celebrates the women on the front lines whose commitment to service embodies the national 2022 Women’s History theme: “Women Providing Healing, Promoting Hope.”

This recognition includes those who served during this pandemic, either on active duty or as Veterans. It also includes the VA employees who continue to serve Veterans in person, at remote locations, over the phone and via telehealth.

On the front lines in military activities for centuries

During World War I, women served on the front lines as nurses, ambulance drivers and relief workers. Female physicians ran their own hospital units and served in the military as contract surgeons.

“Women Providing Healing, Promoting Hope”

More than 59,000 nurses served on the front lines in the Army Nurse Corps during World War II. They served under fire in field hospitals, on hospital trains and hospital ships, and as flight nurses on medical transport planes. Throughout both world wars and in the Korean and Vietnam conflicts, many faced discrimination and criticism when they prioritized serving their country over taking care of their families.

At the highest levels of national defense

Women now serve on multiple front lines. They are leaders within their units, at hospitals, and serve as military police officers, chief nurses, educators and trainers, front-line combat pilots, disaster response coordinators, scientists, medical directors and more.

Today, women are also on the front line of establishing policy at the highest levels of national defense. U.S. Army General Laura Richardson currently leads the U.S. Southern Command and U.S. Air Force General Jacqueline Van Ovost currently leads the U.S. Transportation Command. The Honorable Christine Wormuth is the Secretary of the Army, and Dr. Kathleen Hicks is the Deputy Secretary of Defense.

Women front-line workers are warriors

During this ongoing pandemic, VA has seen our own front-line health care workers in leadership roles at their respective facilities. They delivered solutions to problems and led large-scale triage systems, urgent medical staffing, equipment and PPE ordering, and national telehealth programs.

Women serve as leaders on multiple front lines

Women front line workers championed VA in distributing 8.9 million vaccine doses to more than 4.1 million people nation-wide.

“As you reflect on your service on the front lines, know that we see you,” said Lourdes Tiglao, director of VA’s Center for Women Veterans. “We see your achievements. We see how much time and effort you’ve put into this as a front-line worker. See the sacrifices you’ve made in your own lives to provide healing and hope to others.”

Join VA throughout March as we commemorate women on the front lines

Follow along as we share snapshots of “how it started” and “how it’s going.” These comparisons highlight women Veterans’ timeless compassion and resilience as well as the evolution of their honorable service. Join us on VA’s Facebook and Instagram and follow Center for Women Veterans to see and share stories of how it started and how it’s going.

Resources

VA is committed to honoring and respecting all women Veterans. VA provides the health care services you need and can trust. Explore eligibility here. Resources available at VA include the following:

  • Comprehensive women’s health care is available to serve your unique health care needs. To get connected with care, call your local VA and ask for the Women Veterans Program Manager. Learn more about women’s health services at VA.
  • Women Veterans Call Center is a free service available to you, your family and caregivers to answer questions via call, text or online chat, as often as you need. Call or text 855-VA-WOMEN (855-829-6636).
  • Center for Women Veterans (CWV) coordinates VA’s administration of health care benefits, services and programs to serve you. CWV advocates for cultural transformation to make VA the best place for you to receive quality, comprehensive health care.
  • VA Women’s Health Reengagement Training (heaRT) is a free, interactive virtual classroom and in-person course designed for women Veterans who have left the military and never engaged with VA health care. This course includes information on women’s health services, eligibility and how to enroll in VA health care.

From the WWII flight nurses and relief workers of our nation’s earliest conflicts to the active-duty women serving our nation in uniform, to the VA staff at VA medical centers across the nation and all other women who serve others, we honor your service as you gracefully and compassionately brave the front lines.

Thank you for providing healing and hope to all!

By Dr. Patricia Hayes is chief officer for VA Women’s Health

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Published on Mar. 1, 2022

Estimated reading time is 3.9 min.

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One Comment

  1. Diana Anderson March 29, 2022 at 2:51 pm

    Wonderful read

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