Veterans' Laws and Benefits

Women Veterans

Women Veterans’ Network

The Department of Veterans’ Services, in acknowledging that women veterans have needs and concerns not experienced by the male population, created the Women Veterans’ Network in 1997. Its purpose is to find women who served in the military, some of whom may not be aware that they are veterans and eligible for benefits. The Network is the central resource for women veterans in Massachusetts. Its mission is to:

  • Provide women veterans with information on federal, state, and local benefits;
  • 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 Massachusetts.

Database of women veterans

Census and population surveys indicate that 26,818 women veterans live in the Commonwealth. The Women Veterans’ Network maintains a confidential database of women veterans in Massachusetts. The database is used as a mailing list for the Network’s biannual newsletter, which contains information on benefits, programs, and events for women veterans.

To add your name to the Database of Women Veterans, please call, write, or email the Women Veterans’ Network and request that your name be added. Information needed for addition:

  • full name;
  • mailing address;
  • branch of service and years of service (optional).

Honoring women veterans
The annual Women Are Veterans Too! event, sponsored by the Women Veterans’ Network, takes place at the State House during the week of Veterans’ Day. The ceremony includes a presentation of the Outstanding Woman Veteran Award. The Network participates in other informational events throughout the year.

Women Veterans’ Network Committee
Members of the Women Veterans’ Network Committee include women veterans from all eras, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs representatives, local Veterans’ Service Officers, and representatives of veterans’ services organizations, and active duty military personnel. The Committee meets bimonthly to share information and work on projects.

36 Frequently Asked Questions from Massachusetts Women Veterans
The Women Veterans’ Network Committee compiled a booklet answering the 36 most frequently asked questions of Massachusetts’ women veterans. This publication is an easy-to-use reference tool that points readers to the federal and state programs and resources available to women veterans. The 36 Frequently Asked Questions books are available at no charge; call or email to request a copy (617-210-5778 or dvswomen@vet.state.ma.us).

Speakers’ Bureau
The Women Veterans’ Network has a Speakers’ Bureau consisting of women veterans interested in speaking about their experiences in the military. The Network receives requests from cities and towns, schools, organizations, and private groups looking for speakers at different veterans’ events, especially on Memorial Day and Veterans’ Day. To become a member of the Speakers’ Bureau or to request a speaker, contact the Women Veterans’ Network.

Contact information

Women Veterans’ Network, Department of Veterans’ Services
600 Washington Street, Suite 1100
617-210-5781
www.mass.gov/veterans
Email: dvswomen@vet.state.ma.us

Governor’s Advisory Committee on Women Veterans

M.G.L. ch. 115, s. 2

In 1984, a special Advisory Committee on Women Veterans was established and appointed by Governor Michael S. Dukakis, under the direction of the Commissioner of Veterans’ Services. The purpose of the Advisory Committee is to foster and promote the interests of women veterans in Massachusetts. The Advisory Committee hosts a women veterans’ luncheon every fall to recognize women veterans.

Contact information

Governor’s Advisory Committee on Women Veterans
Lillian J. Eaton, President
3 Lonvale Lane #63
Amesbury, MA 01913-0021
978-388-1778

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ Center for Women Veterans

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) provides the same benefits to male and female veterans. The VA Center for Women Veterans works to ensure that women veterans receive benefits and services on a par with male veterans, encounter no discrimination in their attempt to access these services, and are treated with respect and dignity by VA service providers. The Center for Women Veterans also acts as the primary advisor to the Secretary of Veterans Affairs on all matters related to programs, issues, and initiatives for and affecting women veterans.

Contact information

Center for Women Veterans, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
810 Vermont Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20240
202-273-6193
www.va.gov/womenvet

Accessing VA services locally

At the local level, each VA Medical Center has a Women Veterans’ Program Manager; in addition the Boston Regional Office has a Women’s Coordinator.The role of these representatives is to help women veterans access their benefit entitlements and counsel women veterans seeking treatment and benefits.

Contact information

Bedford VAMC 781-687-3283
Boston VAMC 857-364-5994
Northampton VAMC 413-584-4040, x2240
Boston Regional Office 617-303-4980

VA can provide appropriate and timely medical care to any eligible woman veteran. In addition to routine medical care, each VA medical facility can provide eligible women veterans with the following:

  • Complete physical exams that include breast and pelvic examinations,
  • Gynecology services, and;
  • Referral for necessary services that may not be available at that facility.

VA programs in Massachusetts that are specifically for women veterans are listed below with contact information.

Homeless Women Veterans’ Outreach and Case Management Program
150 South Huntington Avenue (116B-3)
Boston, MA 02130
857-364-4027

Military Sexual Trauma Counseling
Boston Vet Center
665 Beacon Street
Boston, MA 02215
617-424-0665

Brockton Vet Center
1041L Pearl Street
Brockton, MA 02301
508-580-2730

National Center for PTSD, Boston VA Medical Center
150 South Huntington Avenue (116B-3)
Boston, MA 02130
857-364-4145
www.ncptsd.org

Pelvic Floor Dysfunction Clinic
Northampton VA Medical Center
421 North Main St.
Leeds, MA 01053-9764
413-584-4040

Women veterans’ organizations in Massachusetts

There are service organizations specifically for women veterans that have chapters in Massachusetts (for example WAVES National, WAC Veterans’ Association, Women Marines, and all-women’s posts of the American Legion). For a complete, up-to-date listing contact the Women Veterans’ Network at 617-210-5781.