RICHMOND—Governor Ralph Northam today, March 18, participated in a special kickoff event marking the beginning of Virginia Women Veterans Week and honoring the service and sacrifice of women veterans. Taking place from March 17–23, 2019, this is the second year that the Commonwealth will devote the third full week in March to recognizing all of the women who have served in the armed forces. Virginia Women Veterans Week coincides with Women’s History Month, which serves as an annual declared observance of the contributions of women to events in history and contemporary society.
“Throughout the history of our Commonwealth and our country, during times of war and in peace, women have served bravely and selflessly, and I am proud to help recognize their profound contributions,” said Governor Northam. “Women veterans return to the civilian world as leaders in business, government, education, medicine, and in their communities. As a fellow veteran, I have served alongside many courageous women, and as governor, I am focused on doing everything we can to support the increasing numbers of women veterans in Virginia.”
Today, women are the fastest-growing segment in the veteran community. In 2015, women comprised 9.4 percent of the total veteran population in the United States. By 2043, women are projected to make up 16.3 percent of all living veterans. With approximately 104,00 female veterans that call the Commonwealth home, Virginia has the highest percentage of women veterans of any state in the nation.
“I join with Governor Northam in celebrating 2019 Virginia Women Veterans Week,” said Virginia Secretary of Veterans and Defense Affairs Carlos Hopkins. “Women have proudly served their country throughout all periods of United States history, whether disguised as male soldiers during the American Revolution and Civil War, working as nurses in World War I, or participating in operations as modern day combat pilots and physicians.”
“Virginia is proud to be home to more than 100,000 women veterans,” noted Beverly VanTull, manager of the Virginia Women Veterans Program at the Virginia Department of Veterans Services. “We are working harder than ever to reach out to women veterans. We want them to know about the programs they have earned with their service. One way we do this is by hosting a series of events, culminating in our annual Virginia Women Veterans Summit.”
The Virginia Women Veterans Summit will bring together nationally recognized speakers in Hampton, Virginia from May 16–17, 2019 and will include discussions on a variety of issues facing women veterans. Admission to the conference is free. The theme of this year’s summit is “Empowered: Lead the Way.”
The Virginia Department of Veterans Services (DVS) invites all women veterans to stop by their local DVS office to receive a “Virginia Women Veterans Lead the Way” pin. View DVS office locations here.
Additional information about the summit and other special events commemorating 2019 Virginia Women Veterans Week may be found at dvs.virginia.gov.