Women Veterans Network

February 2024

In the News

Honoring Black History

In 1976, President Gerald Ford recognized February as Black History Month to honor the achievements and contributions of Black Americans. To mark this annual observance, the WVN would like to spotlight a few Black women veterans in Massachusetts and beyond. To celebrate this year's theme"African Americans and the Arts"we encourage you to learn about Luz Helena Thompson, a U.S. Marine Corps veteran and gifted artist, below.

Luz Helena Thompson, USMC

In addition to being a writer and a teacher, Luz Helena Thompson creates glass mosaics from repurposed materials. She created a mask collection that represents the hidden wounds of veterans experiencing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), as well as military sexual trauma (MST). Her art has helped in her healing process. “To be a visual artist has brought me joy and given me an opportunity to heal,” she said. “I get to use broken pieces and make something absolutely beautiful out of all that brokenness.” Thompson served in the USMC and was stationed in Okinawa, Japan for her tour of duty. One day, when working on a school project with her son, she broke a mirror. Fearing bad luck, she decided to create a piece of art with the pieces. Her glass mosaic journey began. She now runs workshops that help other veterans heal through art.

Read the Full Interview

Saluting Our Black Veterans

Janet M. Griffin,

Army National Guard

Griffin was deployed to Afghanistan in 2003 as a Squad Leader. She then deployed to Iraq, from 2009 to 2010, as a Platoon Sergeant. She is a Bronze Star recipient. 

Maureen K. Lee, Army

Lee served for 27 years in the US. Army: six months in the National Guard, 30 months in the Army Reserves, and 24 years Active Duty. Lee deployed to Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom for 12 months. Her biggest accomplishment? “God blessed me to make it through all of it”

Upcoming Observances & Events

Upcoming Military Observances

National Salute to Veteran Patients - Feb. 12

Coast Guard Reserve Birthday - Feb. 19

Navy Reserve Birthday - March 3

Hug a GI Day - March 4

Seabee Birthday - March 5

Send a Valentine or visit a hospitalized veteran during the VA's National Salute to Veteran Patients week.

Federal & State Resources

This 54-page Transition Toolkit will guide veterans through all of Massachusetts’ programs, services and benefits, whether you’re newly discharged and transitioning to civilian life in Massachusetts or a longtime veteran looking for a printable list of all of the resources available to you. Sections highlight everything from housing and healthcare to education and employment. Download your PDF copy today! (Note: you will need Adobe Acrobat in order to view and download this toolkit.)

MA Veteran Benefits

MA Veteran Programs

Find Your Local VSO

Make Your Voice Heard

Your opinions matter! We value your feedback, suggestions, and ideas for enhancing the WVN experience. Let us know how we can better serve Massachusetts' women veterans by sending an email to [email protected].

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About the Women Veterans Network

Established in 1997, the Women Veterans Network (WVN) is a program within the Commonwealth of Massachusetts' Executive Office of Veterans Services. The WVN seeks to serve as a primary resource for Massachusetts' military veterans, with a mission of increasing awareness of the federal, state and local benefits available to them. As part of its outreach mission, the WVM hosts a variety of events every year, including webinars, gatherings, the Women Veterans Appreciation Day, and an annual conference.

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