On September 19,1990 Women Veterans of America was formed by four 

women veterans who were in a support group led by Claudia Mitzeliotis at the 

Brooklyn VA. As the Gulf War was pending and it seemed eminent that a full 

scale war was about to begin, the idea of forming Women Veterans of America 

came about. We had already been through and smoothed out the rough parts 

of dealing with the VA Hospital System. We knew those women coming home 

from the Gulf would need our expertise. We brought to the VA's attention 

issues from women who have served in the military. Because the majority 

of VA patients were men, Women Veterans of America suggested the 

following issues should be addressed:  
     1. Privacy for patients.
     2. Rooms for women patients with private bathrooms.
     3. Women's pajamas.
     4. Gyn, Mammograms, PAP smears etc.
     5. Special medication women may need.
     6. Veteran Service Organization's (VSO) understanding the needs of  
          disabled women veterans and how to handle their cases.
     7. PTSD,Sexual Harassment and Assault
         Groups led by therapists and psychologists.
     8. Transitioning from military to civilian life.


WVA Founders (left to right)

Katherine Mussen, Vietnam Veteran; June Panzeri, WWII Veteran; 

Claudia Mitzeliotis, Brooklyn VA; Mildred Cipolla, Korean War Veteran; 

Colleen Mussolino, Vietnam Veteran