Vaughan PVA - Serving paralyzed veterans of Illinois

What are the Ladies of Vaughan?

The LoV is a Group of Women Veterans who meet in a supportive environment and work together to ensure their voices are heard. Vaughan PVA's response to women's needs made participants aware that support venues previously might not have known existed. Make new friends and explore new resources.

Cheryl Gerdes Ladies of Vaughan Chair

I'm glad to be given this opportunity to introduce myself as I am the newest elected member of the Vaughan Chapter PVA Board. I was commissioned into the Army from Howard University's ROTC Program. I was an officer in the Army from 1989 to 1996 and served our country in Germany, the States, and Korea, and I deployed to Desert Storm.

I have two adult daughters, one is in law school, and one is a Biology major in her final year of undergraduate studies. I currently work as a Contract Specialist for the VA. My time as an army brat ad serving in the active military showed me that we are family and always here for one another. I enjoy wheelchair curling with the Vaughan Chapter and am looking for more ladies to join me. Check out our curling page.

Ladies of Vaughan

Women Veterans make up 1.8 million of the U.S. population, of which roughly 10 percent are disabled and enrolled with the Department of Veterans Affairs. They are the fastest-growing Veteran population, yet many of these women often feel forgotten and pushed aside while trying to navigate a system that wasn’t designed to address their unique healthcare needs. They also feel isolated not only from the entire Veteran population but from each other.

PVA’s ties to women Veterans date back to its first meeting in 1946 with the arrival of its first female Veteran member, Anita Bloom (affectionately known as “Nita”), who fought to ensure women Veterans’ healthcare needs were properly met. PVA continues Nita’s legacy to this day as part of its Women Veterans Initiative. From the development of its Anita Bloom Committee and the creation of its Women Veterans Empowerment Retreat to its advocacy efforts and informative webinars, PVA serves as the nation’s leader in securing safe, equal, and accessible health and wellness services that are at least equal to what they had prior to joining the service and suffering a disability.

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