Blog Archive

Pentagon lifts ban on women in combat

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta is lifting the military's ban on women in combat which will open up many additional jobs to them. The decision overturns a longstanding military policy that prohibits women from serving in infantry and artillery units, despite the fact that women have found themselves in combat in Iraq and Afghanistan since 2003.

Much work remains to be done in implementing the policy across the services and applying lessons learned from the women who have already experienced direct ground combat as part of Lioness and Female Engagement Teams.

Rebecca Nava Interviewed by CBS on Hearing Loss

Lioness Rebecca Nava was interviewed for a CBS News "Health Watch" piece by local WCCO-TV in Minnesota during which she talked about her struggles with hearing loss resulting from her service in Iraq. Click on the link to watch the entire piece: http://minnesota.cbslocal.com/2012/05/28/the-silent-injury-war-vets-struggle-with-hearing-loss/

Lioness veteran does PSA for Hearing Health Foundation

Rebecca Martinez, one of the subjects of LIONESS, has made a public service announcement about veterans and hearing loss for the Hearing Health Foundation. Martinez, former specialist in the U.S. Army, experienced hearing loss as a result of her service in Iraq in 2003-04.

http://hearinghealthfoundation.org/template_video.php?id=8

Marines plan to train women as infantry officers

The Marines Corps announced that it plans to train women this summer in its infantry officer school at Quantico, VA. The Corps will study how the women perform in the combat course and results will be used to determine what additional combat-related jobs could be available for women in the Corps. More broadly it will shape future recommendations made by the Department of Defense to Congress about the combat exclusion policy that currently governs the jobs open to women in the armed forces.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/25/us/marines-moving-women-toward-the-front-lines.html

http://marines.dodlive.mil/2012/04/20/women-to-attend-infantry-training/


Pentagon shifts rules but fails to eliminate ban on women in combat

Today the Pentagon unveiled plans to allow women to serve in jobs that would put them closer to the front lines but still not in all-male infantry, armor, and special operations units.

http://www.defense.gov/news/WISR Report to Congress.pdf

To see our Video Op-Ed in the New York Times about the need to eliminate the combat exclusion policy, see
http://video.nytimes.com/video/2008/11/11/opinion/1194832614436/op-ed-women-in-combat.html

Women in Combat report for Congress

The Congressional Research Service recently published a report on women in combat and issues regarding the Department of Defense's combat exclusion policy.

The nonpartisan report is intended to aid Congress in its consideration of a forthcoming review by DOD of the roles military women should have in the future.
http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/natsec/R42075.pdf

LIONESS to receive encore broadcast on Independent Lens series

We are thrilled to announce that our film will be rebroadcast on Independent Lens as part of the series' 2011-12 season. The rebroadcast is part of ITVS' new Women and Girls Lead, a multiyear public media initiative aimed at educating and supporting citizens about issues facing women and girls.

The film is scheduled to air on Thursday December 15, 2011. Check local listings for more details.

www.pbs.org/independentlens

www.itvs.org/women-and-girls-lead

Commission Recommends End to Combat Exclusion Policy

Yesterday, a Pentagon commission established to study diversity among military leaders recommended that the Department of Defense eliminate policies excluding women from combat, as well as other "barriers and inconsistencies," to create a level playing field so that women can advance in the military. As Retired Gen. Lester Lyles, chair of the Military Leadership Diversity Commission (MLDC) noted, "we know that the exclusion hinders women from promotion; we want to take away all the hindrances and cultural biases."

For more information, click below:

http://mldc.whs.mil/index.php/final-report

Pentagon Commission Calls for End to Ban on Women in Combat

A Pentagon commission is calling for a gradual end to the ban on women in combat as discriminatory and obsolete. The Military Leadership Diversity Commission draft report said current combat exclusion policies do not reflect the realities of contemporary warfare and keep women out of key assignments that lead to career advancement.
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/41083172/ns/us_news-life/

Veterans Day Screening of LIONESS at 2010 Literature and Medicine Conference

On November 11th, LIONESS was screened as the opening night event of the 2010 Literature & Medicine Conference in Washington, DC. Presented by the Maine Humanities Council, the innovative, 3-day conference brings together healthcare professionals who work with veterans and others who have experienced trauma.

VA Secretary Shinseki Attends VA's Forum on Women Veterans Featuring LIONESS

LIONESS screened at the VA's July 29th Forum on Women Veterans at the Women's Memorial in Arlington, VA, a one-day event which is part of VA's efforts to continually enhance and promote services for today's female veterans' community. Speaking to a capacity crowd, Secretary Shinseki said, "Over time, changes in warfighting doctrine dictate changes about where women serve within the battlespace and the kinds of mission they are handed...So it becomes the VA's challenge to anticipate those changes." Shinseki:WIMSA jpeg.jpg

Secretary Shinseki speaks with BrigGen Wilma Vaught (ret.), President of WIMSA, Dr. Betty Moseley Brown, Associate Director of the Center for Women Veterans, and Dr. Irene Trowell-Harris, Director of the Center for Women Veterans.

LIONESS at New Mexico Veterans' Conference

On July 23rd, the New Mexico Department of Veterans' Services screened LIONESS at the Henderson Fine Arts Center of San Juan College as part of its Four Corners Women Veterans' Conference. Conference organizer, Charlotte Atso said her goal was to reach out to Native American women veterans, especially Navajo and Hopi, "since we are so close to many reservations in the area. That is something I really had my heart set on doing." In addition to screening LIONESS, the short film IN REMEMBRANCE: LORI ANN PIESTEWA (a LIONESS DVD extra) was also screened.Four Corners - Atso jpeg.jpg

Women Veterans Coordinator Charlotte Atso addresses attendees before screening.

Our op ed on VA's new rules governing PTSD claims

Last week we wrote an op ed for the New York Times "Room for Debate" blog:

http://roomfordebate.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/07/08/should-more-veterans-get-p-t-s-d-benefits

LIONESS is Centerpiece for "Issues of Women Returning from Combat" Healthcare Training

On May 6th, the third of nine "Issues of Women Returning from Combat" training workshops was held at WakeMed Hospital's Andrews Conference Center in Raleigh, NC. The curriculum, based on selected excerpts of LIONESS, is designed to train civilian and rural healthcare providers on the gender-specific needs of women veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. This innovative program was created by the North Carolina AHEC and the Citizen Soldier Support Program which is hosted by UNC's Odum Institute.

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President Obama Signs Senator Murray's Landmark Women Veterans Bill into Law

On May 5, President Obama signed into law Senator Patty Murray's (D-WA) comprehensive bi-partisan legislation to prepare the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) for the influx of women veterans who will access care there in the coming years. The law will address many of the unique needs of female veterans, particularly those returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.

The 2009 March 31st screening of LIONESS on Capitol Hill helped launch the women veterans bill, which was included in S. 1963, The Caregivers and Veterans Omnibus Health Services Act of 2010. Below, Senator Murray announces her legislation with from left, Lionesses Staff Sgt. Ranie Ruthig and Major Anastasia Breslow.

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http://www.whitehouse.gov/photos-and-video/video/improving-health-care-veterans

Lioness Shannon Morgan Guest Speaker at VA April Conference

Shannon Morgan will speak to three different audiences at the VA's "Patient Centered Medical Home" Conference and share her experiences seeking care at the VA as a woman combat veteran. Taking place in Las Vegas from April 12th through the 16th, the conference will be attended by over 3,000 VA healthcare providers.

Regarding War blog

POV has launched a new blog called "Regarding War" which is intended to be a space where citizens and soldiers can share stories about the war. We have been invited to contribute to the conversation which is currently focusing on women and war. Check it out at http://www.pbs.org/pov/regardingwar/conversations/women-and-war/.

LIONESS Screens at Times of Change Audiology Conference

On February 22nd, LIONESS played before an audience of 500 plus VA and military healthcare providers at the Joint Defense Audiology Conference in Orlando, FL. At the invitation of Col. Vickie L. Tuten, Army Staff Officer with the Office of the Surgeon General, Shannon Morgan and Rebecca Nava were on hand to talk about their experiences and the obstacles they faced getting care. Rebecca shared her ongoing struggle to get her hearing aid covered by the VA. The discussion was moderated by VA Audiologist Scott C. Forbes.
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LIONESS to Screen at Maysles Cinema

LIONESS will be screened at the Maysles Cinema on Wednesday, January 27th at 7:30 pm as part of a series of films on the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. Anuradha Bhagwati, Executive Director of SWAN and former Marine Corps Captain, and Michelle Wilmot, former Army Medic and Lioness, will join the filmmakers for the q&a following the screening. Maysles Cinema is located 343 Lenox Avenue between 127th and 128th Streets. Check out screenings list for more information.

Outstanding Achievement in Documentary Film

Vietnam Veterans of American and Women Veterans Committee honored LIONESS at the organization's annual convention in Louisville, KY in July 2009.

Stripe Article on LIONESS Screening

Killer Film DVD Review

Lioness - DVD Review
by Eric Fuerst

Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) Legislation

"The documentary LIONESS helped drive home the importance of this legislation by putting names and faces to a new generation of female veterans" said Senator Patty Murray, a senior member of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee. "The brave women depicted in the film have helped lawmakers understand the sacrifices and challenges women face as soldiers and veterans."

Critical Murray Bill Supporting Women Veterans Passes Full Senate

NY Times: "Women at Arms: A Combat Role, and Anguish Too"

by Damien Cave

Cites recognition and use of LIONESS as clinical tool for use in treating women veterans.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/01/us/01trauma.html

Senator Murray introduces legislation with LIONESS film subjects

Women's Memorial Recognizes LIONESS at GI Film Festival

LIONESS Screens at Walter Reed Army Medical Center

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On December 11th, LIONESS screened to a standing room only crowd at Walter Reed Army Medical Center's Joel Auditorium in Washington, DC. An in depth panel followed which included the filmmakers, Lionesses Shannon Morgan and Maj. Kate Guttormsen (pictured above) as well as Walter Reed health care providers Lt. Col. Jennifer Lange, Lt. Col. Tonya Dickerson and Lt. Col. Jeffrey Jarvis. The screening was presented by Walter Reed's Behavorial Health Department and the Deployment Health Center Clinic. (Photo credit: Sharon Renee Taylor.)

LIONESS Recognized as Senate Passes Women Veterans Health Care Act

On November 19th, the U.S. Senate passed the Caregivers and Veterans Omnibus Health Services Act which includes the Women Veterans Healthcare Improvement Act. Sponsored by Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), senior member of the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee, the legislation will improve care for women veterans at the Department of Veteran Affairs and marks a major turning point in this country's recognition of the changing role servicewomen are being asked to play in Iraq and Afghanistan and their needs as veterans.

"The documentary LIONESS helped drive home the importance of this legislation by putting names and faces to a new generation of female veterans" said Senator Patty Murray. "The brave women depicted in the film have helped lawmakers understand the sacrifices and challenges women face as soldiers and veterans."

LIONESS Advocates for Women Veterans in Alaska

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Shannon Morgan speaks to soldiers at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska.

Lioness Shannon Morgan and Brigadier General Deborah McManus, Commander of the Alaska Air National Guard, successfully completed eight screenings in five days (Nov. 5-10th) traveling to Fairbanks, Anchorage, Kenai and Wasilla. Both BrigGen McManus and Shannon used the screenings to encourage women servicemembers and veterans to take advantage of the VA healthcare and educational benefits to which they are entitled.

Veterans Day Blog from Major Kate Guttormsen, Lioness, USA

Every year, some people pause on Veterans Day to thank those who have so bravely served our nation...and for that I am grateful - Thank You!

The sacrifice that Soldiers and their family members make is often overlooked. Today in the United States there is a gap between our military and the American people. The explanation is simple; we have a volunteer force in which only a tiny segment of the population serves. Those who aren't touched by current conflicts don't care.
So - Kudos to the Lioness filmmakers who have documented a tiny portion of this history that our forces are currently making. We need people like this to spread the word about the tremendous exhaustive efforts our service members are giving day in and day out.

When the filmmakers came to me four years ago asking to interview me about our Lioness missions I felt it was a great opportunity to tell our story. I am even more certain of that now. More than anything else, the release of this film has increased the public's awareness of women's evolving role in combat. I am honored to be a part of such a great film. The film doesn't attempt to persuade; it just informs. It informs accurately and thoroughly - provoking thought in most viewers. Regardless of personal philosophies on what women should or should not be doing for our Armed Services, everyone should be aware of the capacity in which many currently serve. Again, thanks to Meg and Daria for documenting such a tiny but significant piece of our history.

My tour in Iraq was one of the most momentous years of my life. I'll never again have that much responsibility. To all the Lioness women, I think of all you frequently - you shouldered much and I am humbled by your contributions. Thanks for all you did in Iraq to make our unit successful!

Maj. Katherine P. Guttormsen, student, Command and General Staff College, Fort Belvoir, Virginia

The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Army, Department of Defense, or the U.S. government.

LIONESS Tours Alaska with BrigGen Deborah McManus and Lioness Shannon Morgan

Starting November 7th, BrigGen Deborah McManus and Lioness Shannon Morgan tour Alaska screening LIONESS and speaking to women veterans about medical benefits and services available to them through the VA. Stay tuned for updates on this extraordinary tour which will reach out to women in Alaska's Air Guard, Army Guard and veteran communities in Fairbanks, Anchorage, Kenai and Wasilla.

LIONESS in Wisconsin

On September 19th, LIONESS was screened at the 3rd Annual Women Veterans Conference in Fort McCoy, WI. After the screening, Lioness Ranie Ruthig was on hand to discuss her experiences and the film's impact. Organized by Gundy Metz, State Women Veterans Coordinator, the Conference was presented by the Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs.

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Shannon Morgan Blogs About LIONESS Screening at the VA's Las Vegas Conference

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Shannon Morgan and Peggy Mikelonis, Lead Womens Program Manager, VA VISN 8, at the VA's Las Vegas Conference.


First of all, I would like to thank Meri Mallard and the V.A. for the opportunity to attend the Evolving Paradigms II Convention in Las Vegas, N.V. It was such an honor and a privilege to speak at this year's program. The turnout of all the wonderful V.A. employees from around the United States was well around 3,000 plus. LIONESS was screened in front of all attendees and was very well received with standing ovations, lots of hugs and tears alike. I got a chance after the film screening to sit on a panel to answer any questions or comments the audience may have had. It seemed to have educated most everyone and enlightened those seeing it for the first time! All of your kind words and continued support will help myself and others in the V.A. systems throughout the U.S. Once again thank you for allowing me and my father to be a part of such an extraordinary event.
Sincerely, Shannon Morgan

Kate Guttormsen in NYT Piece on Military Moms

Maj. Kate Guttormsen is quoted in today's New York Times piece "Wartime Soldiers, Conflicted Moms" which discusses the challenges military women face in choosing between family life and their military career. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/27/us/27mothers.html?hp

LIONESS Makes Splash at Health Care Event in Vegas

LIONESS was screened in Las Vegas on Sept. 24th before a huge audience of 3,000 veteran health care providers at the OIF/OEF Evolving Paradigms II conference. Afterwards one of the subjects of the film, Shannon Morgan, answered questions. The event was sponsored by the VA, Veteran Health Administration, and the Women Veterans Health Strategic Healthcare Group.

LIONESS at 12th Annual Force Health Protection Conference in Albuquerque, New Mexico

LIONESS screened before military and civilian healthcare providers on August 19th as part of the Army's FHP Conference Deployment Healthcare Track. Lionesses Shannon Morgan, Becky Nava and Michelle Wilmot and filmmaker Daria Sommers were on hand to discuss the film and the issues it raises regarding post-deployment needs of women service members and veterans. Also on the panel was Dr. Harold Kudler from Duke University Medical Center.

Vietnam Veterans of America Honor LIONESS at National Convention in Louisville, KY

On July 31st, John Rowan, National President of VVA and Marsha Four, Chair of the VVA's Women Veterans Committee, presented the Outstanding Achievement in Documentary Film Award to LIONESS. On hand to receive the award, co-director Daria Sommers gave the keynote speech at the Women Veterans Committee breakfast and later addressed the Convention floor.

Women Veterans Reference LIONESS in Senate Testimony

During testimony today before the Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs, LIONESS was referenced multiple times by women veterans as they talked about the challenges they have faced trying to get gender specific care at the VA. Veterans testifying included Genevieve Chase, Kayla Williams, Jennifer Olds, Tia Christopher and DAV's Joy Ilem.

To view their testimony, go to:
http://veterans.senate.gov/hearings.cfm?action=release.display&release_id=96d956e4-9951-495c-a74f-89274ba92e3e

Women Veterans Health Care Improvement Act Passes House

The Women Veterans Health Care Improvement Act, sponsored by Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin (D-SD) has passed in the House. The bill now goes on to be voted on in the Senate.

H.R. 1211 seeks to expand and improve health care services for women veterans, especially those serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, from the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Watch Herseth Sandlin discuss her bill at our screening on Capitol on March 31st, 2009.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UPr15N8jyVw

Defense Authorization Bill Urges Better Documentation of Lioness Participation

On June 22nd, the House Armed Services Committee completed its markup of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2010 (H.R. 2647). This very large bill includes a section on women who have participated as "Lionesses" during operations in Iraq and Afghanistan:

The committee is concerned that there is no mechanism in place within the services to properly document service member participation in operational missions outside of the requirements of their military occupation.

Therefore, the committee directs the Secretary of Defense, in consultation with the services, to review the way the services manages and documents the additional services some service members perform. The review should also consider a way to properly document participation in such actions, particularly since they are being pulled from their regular units for these missions. The review should consider whether a service or skill identifier to identify these individuals, who have previously served and may be called upon again to serve in future deployments, is appropriate. The review should also consider whether the current chain of command construct allows these individuals sufficient oversight to be able to seek proper recognition for their service. The review should also take into consideration the differences that may need to be addressed between those within the active component and those within the Reserve Component who are activated and subsequently demobilized.

In addition, the committee believes that there should be a systematic training program for these individuals prior to their deployment that takes into account the unique mission for which they have volunteered. The committee directs the Secretary of Defense to submit the results of the review, and any recommendations, to the Senate Committee on Armed Services and the House Committee on Armed Services by March 31, 2010.

To read more, see pp: 315-316 of the bill:

http://www.rules.house.gov/111/CommJurRpt/111_hr2647_rpt.pdf

The full House will likely approve the bill later this week. Meanwhile the Senate Armed Services Committee is currently marking up its version of the 2010 defense authorization bill. Advocates for women veterans are hoping to see a similar provision included in the Senate version.

Bill on Women Veterans Health Care Moves Forward

Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin's (D-SD) bill, the Women Veterans Health Care Improvement Act (H.R. 1211), was passed by the House Veterans Affairs Health Subcommittee on June 4th, and has been sent to the full committee.

Lioness Shannon Morgan Honored

The National Association of State Women Veterans Coordinators (NASWVC) honored Shannon Morgan with an Angel Award on June 2nd and hosted a screening of LIONESS the next day as part of their 10th Annual Training Conference in Manchester, New Hampshire.

(Shannon Morgan, 4th from left; Linda Waldroop, NASWVC Founder, 3rd from left; Bertha Cruz Hall, NASWVC Treasurer, 2nd from right.)

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Congressional Testimony Highlights Lioness Experience

John Wilson, assistant national legislative director of Disabled American Veterans (DAV), testified before Congress on April 23rd, 2009 about the lack of documentation of women's participation in combat. Citing Rebecca Nava's experience, he argued that without such documentation in military personnel and medical records, women face obstacles in proving their combat service connection and obtaining proper disability benefits.

http://www.dav.org/voters/documents/statements/Wilson20090423.pdf

Lioness Wins Military Families Award at GI Film Festival

LIONESS won the Military Families award at the 2009 GI Film Festival in Washington, DC.

LIONESS wins award at GI Film Festival

LIONESS won the Military Families Award at the GI Film Festival on Sunday evening May 17th. More than a hundred people attended the screening which took place at the Carnegie Institution in Washington D.C.

Marines Use Lionesses in Afghanistan

On March 10th, the American Forces Press Service reported that the 3rd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment - the ground combat element of Special Purpose Marine Air Ground Task Force in Afghanistan - formally began sending all-female Marine Lioness teams out on missions to interact with Afghan women and childrenFemale Search Teams - Afghanistan.jpg in Farah Province.

Navy Times Article Features LIONESS

The April 13th edition of Navy Times quotes two women from LIONESS describing the challenges they faced getting help as female combat veterans. Shannon Morgan and Rebecca Nava spoke out during the March 31st press conference in support of the bills introduced by Sens. Patty Murray (D-WA) and Blanche Lincoln (D-ARK), bill S 597, and Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin (D-SD), bill HR 1211, both of which aim to rectify gaps in services available to women veterans. Click below to read the full article.

http://www.navytimes.com/benefits/health/military_female_veterans_benefits_040709w/

Sen. Murray Cites Lionesses in Congressional Hearing

On April 22nd, Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), a senior member of the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee, cited the experiences of the women in LIONESS when asking Dr. Gerald Cross, VA Principal Undersecretary for Health, what the VA was doing to make sure women combat veterans get the full benefits and services they need. Listen to the exchange by clicking the link below.

http://murray.senate.gov/video/090422-vetshealthqanda.mp3

The VA Hosts LIONESS Women and Filmmakers

The VA's Center for Women Veterans has been very supportive of the story LIONESS tells and of the women themselves. On March 31st, before our screening on Capitol Hill, Dr. Betty Moseley Brown, the Center's associate director, invited both Lionesses and filmmakers to a q&a with senior staff members.

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Two Lionesses and the filmmakers were also interviewed on-camera by the VA's Jim Benson for an upcoming segment of The American Veteran.

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Full House in Ann Arbor, MI

Michigan-Theater-portrait2.jpgMore than 100 people turned out for a screening at the beautiful Michigan Theater in downtown Ann Arbor on April 7. The event was co-sponsored by the Center for International and Comparative Studies, Institute for the Humanities, and the Institute for Research on Women and Gender at the University of Michigan.


LIONESS and Women's History Month

March was an incredibly busy time for us with screenings around the country. We started out in Florida at Fort Lauderdale's landmark Cinema Paradiso and ended with four of the Lionesses from the film joining us on Capitol Hill on March 31st (see below entries). Some of the highlights in between include screenings at the Pittsburgh VA's Women Veteran Health Care Conference, the West Virginia Cultural Center, the Female Faces of War Conference at Battleship Cove in Massachusetts and the University of Texas in Austin.


IMG_4755.JPG Ranie Ruthig (left) and filmmaker Meg McLagan answering questions after the Pittsburgh VA screening.


100_0227.JPG Tara Martinez-Toney (left), Director of the West Virginia Women's Commission, and colleague at the WV Cultural Center.


100_0244.JPG BrigGeneral Wilma Vaught (left), USA (ret.), President of the Women's Memorial, and filmmaker Daria Sommers at the Female Faces of War Conference.


Making Change on Capitol Hill

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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.

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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.

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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. Sen Murray and Lionesses.jpg

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.


Lioness on Capitol Hill

We are thrilled to announce that we will be screening clips and women from the film will be appearing before Members of Congress on Tuesday March 31st to talk about their experiences in Iraq. The event is sponsored by Independent Television Service, Disabled American Veterans, and Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America. For more information, visit our screenings page.

LIONESS Receives Theatrical Run

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Our Fort Lauderdale screening proved so successful that LIONESS will receive a theatrical run at Cinema Paradiso April 4th through April 8th. Check the theater website for screening times and location.
www.fliff.com/cinemaparadiso.asp

LIONESS Packs the House in Ft. Lauderdale

DSCN0121.jpgOn March 10th, LIONESS screened to a packed house at the beautiful Cinema Paradiso. Audience members included veterans from WWII to Iraq as well as staffers from the VA and area film students. Pictured outside the theater are LtCol Connie Christensen (USAR), a Vietnam veteran ('70-'71Qui Nhon) and filmmaker Daria Sommers

Women Veterans Reaching Out Across Generations

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We recently moderated a discussion at the Brooklyn Historical Society with two Vietnam veterans, both members of the Army Nurse Corps, and an Iraq veteran, and explored the changing nature of their experiences. From left, Susan O'Neil, (Cu Chi '69-'70), Captain Esther Marcella, USA, Joan Furey (Pleiku '69-'70), and filmmakers Meg McLagan and Daria Sommers.

Women Veterans From Vietnam to Iraq

Recently, a number of women who served as nurses or medics in Vietnam have contacted us about the film. Many feel a strong bond with the latest generation of women veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan. We look forward to exploring this connection on the panel "Women Veterans: Citizen-soldiers in Changing Times," which is presented in conjunction with the Brooklyn Historical Society exhibit In their own words: Portraits of Brooklyn's Vietnam Veterans. For more info, go to http://lionessthefilm.com/screenings

Screening at Women Veterans Health Conference

We are just back from Gainesville, FL where the film was screened as part of the VISN 8 Womens Health Conference. In this photo, Meg McLagan with conference co-chairs Dr. Amy Stevens and Cheryl Tillman, Women Veteran Program Manager for North Florida/South Georgia Veterans Health System.

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Marine Lionesses

100_0215[3].jpgIn our continuing efforts to document the changing role of women in the US military, we interviewed several Marine Lionesses during our recent visit to Camp Lejeune, Jacksonville, NC, including Sgt. Kristina Johnson. This material will be included in the DVD edition with special features that will be released in the summer.

Lioness in Cineaste magazine

Lioness is prominently featured in the latest issue of the film magazine Cineaste. In reviewing new documentaries on Iraq war veterans, author Susan Carruthers cites Lioness as "the most compelling in sensibility and subject matter, introducing a hitherto unknown character: the female U.S. combat veteran." For anyone interested in reading the full article, the winter 2008 issue of Cineaste is available at Barnes & Noble and many other magazine outlets. www.cineaste.com

Camp Lejeune First Stop on LIONESS 2009 tour

Happy New Year! Our 2009 tour around the country with the film begins January 27th with a screening at Camp Lejeune, the Marine Corps base in North Carolina. Hosted by Marine Corps Community Services (MCCS), the evening screening is open to Marines, veterans, and civilians from the area. Stay tuned for location and further event information.

American Legion Auxiliary's Quarterly Magazine, HomeFront, Covers Lioness

'Lioness' Captures Historical Turning Point for American Society
by Cynthia Baxter

[Download PDF] (Page 18)

Voice of America on Lioness

Military Women Take on New Roles in Iraq
By Faiza Elmasry, Voice of America

Past Screenings and Events

For upcoming screenings and panel discussions, view our Screenings page. Or read on for a list of past events...

Obama and Women Veterans

President-Elect Obama embraces Tammy Duckworth, female Iraq War vet and director of the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs, following a Veterans Day ceremony in Chicago. Duckworth lost both her legs when the Black Hawk helicopter she was co-piloting was shot down by insurgents in Iraq in 2004. It is a compelling image that offers hope for recognition of women's roles in combat and their needs when they return home from war.


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Lioness on CNN's "American Morning" and CBS's "Evening News with Katie Couric"

Lioness was featured on CNN's "American Morning" on Tuesday and on CBS's "Evening News with Katie Couric"

Click Here to Watch CBS

Lioness on Public Radio

We were on public radio talking about the issues.

WBUR's "On Point"
Click Here to Listen

KQED's "Forum"
Click Here to Listen

Our New York Times Video Op-ed Now Online!

Our video Op-ed was posted to the New York Times website:

Click Here to Watch

Lioness National Broadcast Day Interviews

Thursday, our national broadcast date, Daria, Meg, and Ranie will be on The Bob Edwards Show and on NPR's Day to Day.

Lioness in the News

Lines of Combat
by Ursula Lindsey, The National

"Lioness" Documentary Hunts Down Women's Role in Iraq War
by Gary Strauss, USA Today

If You Have 90 Minutes - O Magazine

Veterans Day 2008

Many people this year are interested in talking about women veterans and we have had a number of requests to screen Lioness at Veterans Day events around the country. We are very happy to be part of this growing national conversation, especially as it relates to the needs of female servicewomen who are returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.

If you are up early on Tuesday, look for us on CNN's "American Morning." We'll also be on the radio, talking about women vet issues on KQED's Forum at 9 am, and Boston public radio station WBUR's "On Point" between 10 - 11 am. And look for Shannon, Ranie, Becky, Stacy, and Kate on CBS Evening News with Katie Couric at 6:30 pm EST.

Finally, if you have time, check out our video op ed on the New York Times website which posts Tuesday morning. We will put the url up when we have it.

Lioness broadcast on Thirteen/WNET on Wed Nov 5th!

Lioness will be broadcast on Independent Lens/PBS in New York City on Channel Thirteen/WNET on Wednesday November 5th at 9:30 pm.

Lioness in the New York Times

Check out the feature story on Lioness in the New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/05/arts/television/05lion.html

See also the recent piece in Newsweek: http://www.newsweek.com/id/166851

LIONESS on Independent Lens: Broadcast schedule

LIONESS will be broadcast nationally on November 13th, 2008 at 9 pm. Check your local PBS listings to see what time it will be broadcast in your area. Go to http://www.itvs.org/shows/broadcast.php?showID=7783 and enter your local PBS station and air dates will be listed. Note that some PBS stations may not post their schedule until October 30th, 2008 in which case please check back again after that.

Community Cinema screenings in Boise

Meg and Shannon were in Boise and Mountain Home, Idaho this week for two ITVS Community Cinema screenings. Audience members included active duty soldiers, veterans, social workers, nurses, students, and local folks interested in the issues raised by the film. After the screenings, representatives from the Boise VA discussed PTSD and encouraged those women suffering from it to seek help.

For more information on VA benefits, call toll free 1-800-827-1000, or visit www.va.gov. The toll-free Suicide Prevention Hotline 800-273-TALK or 8255.

Lioness screened at New York University

On Sept. 19th, Lioness was screened at New York University's Cantor Film Center. We had an interesting discussion afterwards and were thrilled to have Brenda Berkman in the audience. She was one of New York City's first female firefighters and was the subject of "Taking the Heat," a film that was broadcast on PBS in 2006.

Welcome! Share your story.

Today we are celebrating the launch of the Lioness website with exciting news. Lioness will be broadcast nationally November 13th at 9pm on the PBS series Independent Lens in honor of Veteran's Day.

So save the date and help us get the word out. And please join our mailing list for the latest news, press and tour plans for Lioness.

We want to hear from you. Share your response to the film, or tell us your story. Are you a female soldier or veteran? Did you perform Lioness duties in Iraq or Afghanistan? What has your experience been like coming home?

Or perhaps you provide healthcare or other support services for female soldiers or veterans - what's going on in your line of work?

And to all of you who have seen the film: Did it change your opinion? Did you learn something new?

Click here or on the Comments link below to tell us your story and share your experiences.

Lioness at National Summit for Women Veterans Issues

We recently screened Lioness at the National Summit for Women Veterans Issues in Washington, DC which was organized by the Center for Women Veterans at the VA. We met many people who are working to address the needs of women veterans, especially those most recently deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan. See the list of our partners on the Get Involved page for more information on what you can do to support their efforts to provide better services for women in the military.

If you are a health care provider or activist working on female veteran issues, we'd love to hear from you on our blog.

Lioness on BBC Radio 4

Lioness co-director Meg McLagan and Spc. Shannon Morgan are interviewed on "The Woman's Hour" on BBC Radio 4.

Click here to listen.
You may need to download and install RealPlayer to listen to the clip.

Lioness on NPR's "Talk of the Nation"

Lioness co-director Daria Sommers, Capt. Anastasia Breslow, and Sergeant Ranie Ruthig discuss the film on NPR's "Talk of the Nation."

Click here to listen.

Lioness received the Center for Documentary Studies Filmmaker Award at Full Frame Documentary Film Festival in April

Lioness received the Center for Documentary Studies Filmmaker Award at Full Frame Documentary Film Festival in April. Read on for the remarks given by Tom Rankin, Director of the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University, at the presentation of the award.

A rare privilege to watch. Lioness raises questions about how our culture must rethink how we view women and their work.

- Penny Miller-Marshall, POPCORN CHRONICLES


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