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On September 19,1990, Women Veterans of America was formed by four women veterans, Katherine Mussen, Vietnam Veteran; June Panzeri, WWII Veteran; Mildred Cipolla, Korean War Veteran; Colleen Mussolino, Vietnam Veteran.  All these women veterans were in a support group led by Claudia Mitzeliotis at the Brooklyn VA.

 

As the Gulf War was pending and it seemed eminent that a full-scale war was about to begin, the idea of forming Women Veterans of America came about. This group of women had already been through and smoothed out the rough parts of dealing with the VA Hospital System. They knew the women coming home from the Gulf War would need their expertise and guidance.  WVA brought to the VA's attention issues from women who have served in the military.  Because the majority of VA patients were men, Women Veterans of America suggested the following issues should be addressed:  

1. Privacy for patients.


2. Rooms for women patients with private bathrooms.


3. Women's pajamas.


4. OB-GYN, Mammograms, PAP smears, etc.

5. Special medication women may need.

6. Veteran Service Organization's (VSO) understanding the needs of 
disabled women veterans and how to handle their cases.

7. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Sexual Harassment, and Assault Groups led by therapists and psychologists.

8. Transitioning from military to civilian life.

Over the years, additional chapters of Women Veterans of America were formed across the country. 

On September 9th, 2004, 11 women veterans formed Chapter 20 in Nashville, Tennessee.  This was the first Chapter in the state of Tennessee.  

Back row (l-r): Pat Knight, Susan Frey, Janet Cook,

Ginnie Tribble, Lois Dillree, Corina Collins

Front row (l-r): Carla Johnson, Birdie Anderson, Mary Ross,

Terri Klozik, Stacey Hopwood