Chairman Takano Interviews National Association of State Women Veteran Coordinators President Liza Narciso
“We earned a place in our history,” says NASWVC President
Jenni Geurink (202-819-4684)
Jenni Geurink (202-819-4684)
WASHINGTON, D.C. – House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs Chairman Mark Takano (D-Calif.) interviewed Liza Narciso, an Army veteran and President of the National Association of State Women Veteran Coordinators(NASWVC). President Narciso provided insights into the challenges facing women veterans and ways to improve care and create a more inclusive VA in addition to NASWVC’s work to improve VA healthcare for women veterans, address veteran homelessness, and combat veteran suicide. As part of Chairman Takano’s commitment to build a more welcoming and equitable VA, he will continue meeting with VSOs that advocate on behalf of our nation’s diverse veteran population. Watch the full conversation with NASWVC President Narciso here.
Watch the full conversation here.
“I’m so glad to join Liza S. Narciso, President of the National Association of State Women Veterans Coordinators for a Zoom call to talk more about NASWVC’s priorities and how VA can better care for our diverse women veteran population,” said Chairman Mark Takano. “I agree that VA’s current motto is outdated. We have legislation in the works to make VA’s motto more inclusive for our women and LGBTQ+ veterans, and last Congress, my Republican counterpart actually supported the change in the motto. I really appreciate your point about the importance of hearing from all veterans –that's why I'm very much committed to holding these face-to-face conversations about NASWVC’s priorities. Thank you for sharing your story, and thank you for your service in uniform and lifelong commitment to your sisters in arms. Together, we can build a more welcoming and equitable VA worthy of veterans like you.”
“The VA is making some changes, but it’s not keeping up with the time. We really want the VA to change the motto. The first time I went to the headquarters in Washington, DC, they have this in bronze: ‘To care for those who shall have borne the battle, for his widow, and for his children.’ I don’t see myself in that. And they have different studies and different diseases that veterans are suffering from the different eras, but it seems like minority veterans are left out -- our needs are different. But how will the VA know how to treat us if they don’t ask us?” said President Liza Narciso.“As an Asian-American and disabled veteran, to this day, I still find myself having to tell people at VA facilities, ‘Yes, I am a veteran. I am a woman veteran. Yes, I raised my right hand and served honorably.’ Sometimes, I ask people, ‘What do you think the face of a veteran is?’ For the longest time, I avoided the VA like the plague, but finally, I got help. I’ve heard from other women veterans who suffered similar experiences and who didn’t want to go to the VA. But now, I really encourage women veterans and tell them, ‘Go and get your help.’ I tell women veterans, ‘We earned a place in our history.’”
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