Press Releases

Grinder Hosts 2nd Annual Women Veterans Summit in Nashville

Press release from the Tennessee Department of Veterans Affairs; April 14, 2013:

NASHVILLE – Tennessee Department of Veterans Affairs Commissioner Many-Bears Grinder hosted the Second Annual Women Veterans Summit today in Nashville. The inaugural event was co-sponsored by the Women Veterans of America Chapter 20.

More than 150 attendees heard from several inspirational veterans. Speakers included State Senator and Marine Veteran Dolores Gresham (R-Somerville) on Saturday and Associate Director of the United States Department of Veterans Affairs Center for Women Veterans Dr. Betty Moseley Brown will speak about new women veterans programs on Sunday, April 14.

Marine Veteran and Country Music Artist Stephen Cochran performed and shared his inspirational story of recovery after a life-changing combat injury he endured while serving in Iraq. Comedian Sheila Van Dyke continued her “Mission of Laughter” for Tennessee’s Women Veterans in attendance.

A panel of VA Experts shared news about changes in federal benefits and healthcare for women veterans. Attendees will also heard from a panel of women veterans regarding their military service and how it has formed their careers and community service. This year’s theme is “Unshakeable Foundation, Unstoppable Force”. According to the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, there are more than 51,000 Women Veterans in the state of Tennessee.

“As the number of women veterans continues to increase in Tennessee, we are committed to ensuring they are recognized, remembered and informed about federal, local and state resources,” Grinder said. “This networking opportunity will continue to strengthen the unshakeable foundation of our volunteer spirit and equip women veterans to remain an unstoppable force in their communities.”

During the Summit, Harriett Howard was named Tennessee’s Woman Veteran of the Year. Howard joined the United States Navy in 1944 and served for nearly 39 years. She retired at the age of 60. The Chattanooga native was the first woman to receive the “Dr. Joe Nunley Award” and has also been named “Woman of the Year” by WAVES National Unit 94. Howard carried a shoebox everywhere she went over the course of four years and raised $100,000 for the Tennessee Fisher House.

For more information, visit the women veterans page on the department’s website at, or stay up to date by following the department on twitter @TNDVA.

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