Women in Service

Women Veterans:  History, Resources, Activities and More

Women serve in every role that the modern military has to offer, including infantry, armor, artillery, special operations and others.  While this is common knowledge to those serving in today’s military, this is still new to many who have served prior.  This page is dedicated to documenting how the role of women evolved in the military, providing information specific to women who have served, and highlighting contributions in the community.  Check back often!

Women in Service:  A History

The role of women in military service has evolved greatly since the founding of our country. Our road has led us from a place where women could not openly serve in the military to, since January 2016, having women in the roles of tank commanders, Army Rangers, infantry, artillery and more.  Alysia Brewster, a Soldier in the Massachusetts Army National Guard, created these videos for Easterseals Massachusetts Military & Veterans Programming to highlight how the role of women in service evolved from the founding of our nation to the current battlefields in Afghanistan and beyond.

Easterseals Massachusetts Activities

Women Veterans Activities

Easterseals Massachusetts strives to ensure that every Veteran knows that they have a community here. Our activity groups, including weight lifting and monthly peer activities, normally have a relatively even mix of male and female participants. We also offer quarterly activities specific for current and former female service members to share experiences and have a great time while engaged in an activity, such as paint night, yoga, hiking, or something else. Keep an eye on the Play section for activities of interest to you!

Visit the Play Page
VA Women Veteran Resources

VA Center for Women Veterans

The Center for Women Veterans’ (CWV) mission is to monitor and coordinate VA’s administration of health care, benefits, services, and programs for women Veterans. We serve as an advocate for cultural transformation and to raise awareness of the responsibility to treat women Veterans with dignity and respect to #BringWomenVeteransHome2VA.

Visit the Center for Women Veterans Page
Massachusetts Women Veterans Network

Massachusetts Womens 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;
Advocate on behalf of women veterans in Massachusetts.

MA Women Veterans Network Website

Women in Service:  Interviews

Alysia Brewster, a Soldier in the Massachusetts Army National Guard, interviewed a number of women Veterans in Massachusetts for Easterseals Massachusetts Military & Veterans Programming to present the unscripted views and personal opinions of women Veterans in Massachusetts. Each individual was asked the same questions and replied as they saw fit.  Watch the entire series.

Veterans benefits and resources

Discover benefits and services that you earned through military service on the LEARN page

Visit the LEARN Page

In the Community

Congratulations, Melissa!

When we met nearly two years ago, Melissa’s long-term goal was to work in law enforcement.  While there was no shortage of people telling her why she couldn’t do it, her clarity of purpose, defined goal, network of support, and persistent effort brought her the success she knew she could achieve.  Congratulations on your graduation from the Police Academy and new position!

Women's Exclusive Military & Veteran Paint Night

The Women’s Military & Veteran Activity Club joined together for a free night of painting.  The results were amazing!  Keep an eye on the Activities & Events page for upcoming activities!

Visit Activities & Events

Discussion with the Brownies

Participants from prior Military & Veteran Women’s activities volunteered to have individual roundtable discussions with the Brownies (Girl Scouts between 7-9 years of age).  These young girls were able to practice their conversational skills while getting to ask direct questions, play games, and have a bit of fun with some excellent role models.

Women Veterans & the Transition to Civilian Life, a virtual panel discussion

Thanks to everyone who attended the virtual panel on Thursday, March 24th.  Guest panelists were Dr. & BG Andrea Gayle Bennett and Susan McDonough of the Massachusetts Women Veterans Network.

Breast Cancer Awareness Night with the Worcester Railers

Volunteers Rachel and Jim hosted a MassVeteran.com table at the Worcester Railers HC Breast Cancer Awareness Night at the DCU Center.  Since returning from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, doctors say that they’re seeing more women veterans with breast cancer, and they’re younger than the national average. Read more at https://www.militarytimes.com/…/the-enemy-is-lurking…/ .

LTC Katie Hanna (USA, Retired) Guest Speaker at February's World Best Coffee Hour

She retired from military service with the US Army after 24 years with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel and Operations Officer with the US Army Surgeon General, Reserve Affairs Directorate. Katie has a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and a Master of Arts in Management and Leadership.  Katie is currently the Veterans Service Representative for NEADS World Class Service Dogs.

Women Military & Veteran Exclusive Activity

Thanks to everyone who participated in the free private Hot Yoga class exclusively for women Military & Veterans at the Power Hot Yoga Center in Worcester, MA in February.  Keep an eye on the Activities & Events page for more upcoming activities!

Activities & Events Page

Return of the exclusive Women-Veteran Peer Groups 2022

Team LiVE member and US Army Veteran Rachel Delgado will be the ambassador for our exclusive activities for Women Veterans and Servicemembers.  Keep an eye on the Play page in 2022!

Team Melissa raises $10,000 for the Hoyt Foundation!

MassVeteran.com joined with Melissa Lonergan, a Soldier in the US Army Reserves and consistent participant in Easterseals Massachusetts’ Military & Veteran peer activities, to raise $10,000 in 100 days in support of the Hoyt Foundation as part of her journey to the 125th Boston Marathon.

Watch Alysia Brewster's Women in Service Video Series

Alysia Brewster, current Soldier in the Massachusetts Army National Guard, prepared a short video series.  The “Women in Service” collection traces the evolution of the women’s role in US military service from the American Revolution thru the war in Afghanistan, and conducts short interviews from women who have served in multiple eras.  Watch it today!