Making Connections - Women to Women

This is a program developed through the cooperation and joint effort of the WISCONSIN AMERICAN LEGION AUXILIARY, WISCONSIN AMERICAN RED CROSS - WESTERN REGION, and the MADISON VET CENTER, with collaboration from the following agencies:

Wisconsin Dept. of Veterans Affairs - Women Veterans Coordinator
Middleton Memorial VA Hospital - Women Health Clinic Director
Middleton Memorial VA Hospital - Homeless Veterans Coordinator
Columbia County and Rock County Veterans Service Officers
Army National Guard Family Support Center
Wisconsin Dept. of Education - Homeless Children K-12 Program
Wisconsin Dept. of Veterans Affairs
Wisconsin National Guard
Wisconsin Military & Family Life Consultants

This Resource Directory is not designed to show how to determine eligibility, process claims, or handle complaints, but is to be used as a resource of information to ensure women Veterans are aware of benefits, services, and programs offered by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs, Veteran Service Organizations, and other organizations that offer support and services to Veterans.

Kathy Wollmer, American Legion Auxiliary, Homeless Women Veterans Program
Phone:  (608) 343-5502

Mary Liz Murphy, Wisconsin American Red Cross - Armed Forces Support Western Region
Phone:  (608) 232-5823

Why do Women Veterans fall through the cracks and not receive the benefits they have earned?

  • Women Veterans do not think of themselves as "Veterans” or understand "who” is a Veteran.
  • Women Veterans are trained to take care of themselves, asking for help is a sign of weakness.
  • Women Veterans do not make use of the many Veterans Benefits they are entitled to, as their male counterparts do.
  • Many women Veterans have experienced military sexual trauma (MST); 1 in 5 homeless women Veterans report sexual trauma, compared with 1 in 100 homeless male Veterans. 
  • Women Veterans do not trust the Department of Veterans Affairs administrators or military staff.
  • The Majority of homeless or at-risk women Veterans have minor children; therefore, they will not seek help from the VA because of an unfounded fear that if they ask for help, they will lose custody of their children.
  • Homeless women Veterans are smart, highly trained, highly skilled women with a lot of invisible scars; "all they need is support and a little encouragement.”
  • When Women Veterans do decide to seek Veteran benefits, they often attempt to maneuver the system alone, become frustrated, angry, and then just "stop” asking.

The most important document a veteran has is the DD form 214.  Every Veteran receives discharge (separation) papers (DD214).  This form documents the dates of enlistment/discharge and the type of discharge.  This legal document is the basis for determining eligibility for Veterans benefits.

County Veterans Service Officer (CVSO) is the primary contact for all Federal and State VA Benefits and questions.