At the Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs (DMVA), we take great pride in supporting the commonwealth’s diverse veteran population. Numbering more than 700,000, the DMVA is the fourth largest veteran population in the country. One of the fastest growing demographics among Pennsylvania veterans is women veterans, which numbers nearly 66,000.
The United States of America would not be the greatest military force on the planet without the tremendous contributions of women in uniform. More than 250,000 women service members are stationed throughout the world today and women are breaking barriers while in the military. Women are flying combat missions, commanding troops, graduating from infantry officer courses, attending Ranger School, and so much more. However, women transitioning from active duty to the civilian world often face challenges, including the fallout of military sexual trauma, access to women-specific health care services, and feeling invisible and not self-identifying as a veteran.
The DMVA, in conjunction with a multitude of community partners, is working to connect women veterans to the best possible resources available to meet their needs. The Women Veterans Committee of the Governor’s Advisory Council for Veterans Services led by the DMVA, The Governor's Advisory Council for Veterans Services (GAC-VS) is Pennsylvania’s first interagency collaboration, which strives to enhance the quality of programs and services for the commonwealth’s veterans. The Women Veterans Committee of the GAC-VS works to identify needs of women veterans and provide solutions which include local, statewide and federal resources, programs and services. The committee is chaired by a women veteran who facilitates the committee’s initiatives and provides a brief to the Council members and/or designees during the quarterly meetings.
PA VETConnect Helps Connect Women Veterans to Programs and Services:
The DMVA works to link women veterans to benefits they earned through their service to our nation through PA VETConnect. PA VETConnect is a new, innovative program that connects veterans in need to the best possible resources for assistance, anywhere in the commonwealth. The DMVA field staff networks in all 67 Pennsylvania counties, and are well-versed in women veterans issues, what is needed to meet those needs, and the best possible resources available.
Veterans’ Trust Fund Grants Support Women Veteran Advocates:
To help support women veterans in need, the DMVA provides grants to various community organizations through the Veterans' Trust Fund (VTF). These grants are awarded to veteran advocates, such as charitable organizations and County Director of Veterans Affairs, whose area of emphasis is supporting Pennsylvania’s diverse veteran population. This includes women veterans who are homeless, unemployed, dealing with mental health challenges, facing financial hardship, looking for educational opportunities, and much more.