What a spectacular day we had on Capitol Hill on Tuesday. After screening a 20-minute excerpt of LIONESS to a standing room only crowd of Congressional members, House and Senate staffers, veteran service organizations, and press, four of the women from the film discussed the impact of their experiences before a rapt audience.
Four Congressional members spoke at the event: Congressman Bob Filner (D-CA), Chairman of the House Committee on Veterans Affairs, Congresswoman Stephanie Herseth Sandlin (D-SD), Chairwoman of the Veterans Affairs Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity, Congresswoman Susan Davis (D-CA), Chairwoman of the Armed Services Subcommittee on Military Personnel and Congresswoman Judy Biggert (R-IL), former co-chair of the House Caucus on Women's Issues.
Other speakers included Pat Harrison, President of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Dr. Betty Moseley Brown, Associate Director of the Center for Women Veterans, and Paul Rieckhoff, Executive Director of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America. Special thanks to our sponsors: ITVS, DAV, and IAVA for helping to make this day possible.
Later in the day, we were invited to join Senators Patti Murray (D-WA) and Blanche Lincoln (D-AR) at a press event in support of bi-partisan legislation to prepare the VA for rapidly growing numbers of women veterans. Sen. Murray's bill, the Women Veterans Health Improvement Act of 2009, will address the unique needs of female veterans, particularly those returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.