Military veterans with sexual trauma to be aided under Assemblywoman Russell's bill
Monday, June 17, 2013 - 6:26 am

The state Assembly recently passed A.7086, sponsored by Assemblywoman Addie J. Russell, which would require veterans organizations to offer assistance to veterans who experience military sexual trauma.

The Assembly also passed a commemorative resolution declaring June 12 Women Veterans Recognition Day, according to Russell.

Russell, D-Theresa, represents the River District of St. Lawrence County, including Massena, Ogdensburg, Louisville, Lisbon and Morristown.

Women Veterans Recognition Day coincides with the 65th anniversary of the Women’s Armed Services Act of 1948, signed into law by President Harry S. Truman.

“Since that vital piece of legislation was signed into law, women in the military have contributed endlessly toward protecting the rights and freedom of our country,” Assemblywoman Russell said.

“If you look back at every war or conflict America has been involved with in the past 65 years, women were there playing a valuable role – and now they literally are fighting right alongside their male counterparts. Because women have been an integral part of our military history and have made incredible sacrifices for our country, they deserve a special day to be honored.”

Russell hosted a luncheon in the legislative office building in Albany to discuss the issues that impact female military members.

“The issues our veterans are facing are continually changing,” Assemblywoman Russell said. “That is why today is not only an occasion to honor women veterans for their service, it is also an opportunity to pass vital legislation supporting those who have answered the call to duty and sacrificed for our country.”

Since 1948 more than 80,000 women from New York have served in the United States military. Currently women make up nearly 15 percent of active duty military. As of 2009 15.5 percent of the officers across the four military branches were women.

In January 2013, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta announced that the military would be lifting the policy against women in combat roles. Also in spring 2013, the United States Department of Veterans Affairs launched a new hotline geared at assisting women veterans, their families and caretakers at 1-855-VA-WOMEN.