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Waters Salutes Women in Service

September 12, 2014
Press Release

September 12, 2014

Waters Salutes Women in Service


Washington, D.C. – Just one day after the 13th anniversary of the tragic September 11 attacks on our nation, Congresswoman Maxine Waters (CA-43) paid tribute to women who bravely serve our nation as members of the military, law enforcement, fire departments, first responders, USO and the American Red Cross.


Waters gave keynote remarks at the Harbor City/Harbor Gateway Chamber of Commerce "Tribute to American Heroes: Saluting Women who Serve" luncheon, which took place Friday, September 12 at Sunrider International in Torrance.


In her remarks, Waters discussed the growing participation of women who serve, and cited examples of the trail blazers who led the way.  She also discussed her time serving on the House Veterans' Affairs Committee, where she introduced a bill to establish a Center for Women Veterans at the Department of Veterans Affairs, which today monitors and coordinates the health services, benefits, and programs for women veterans and ensures they are treated with dignity and respect. 


Below is an excerpt of her remarks:

"I know you share in my heartfelt appreciation for those who risk their lives and to protect our families and our freedom.  This includes not only branches of the military, but our law enforcement officers, Fire Fighters, USO and the American Red Cross. 


Women are the fastest growing population in the country within the Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs.  And the role that women have played in our nation's military cannot be understated, in large part because of the countless barriers broken down by women who have served our country throughout the years.


??Currently, we have more women than ever returning from service in our nation's armed forces.  The population of women Veterans in the United States is over two million.  In our state of California, we have 184,774 female veterans – the second largest of any state.  And in our own Congressional District, there are nearly 2,500 female veterans.


I am committed to continuing to ensure that our veterans receive the benefits they deserve and services appropriate to their needs.  Today, I have taken an active role in fighting to end the veterans' disability benefits claims backlog at the Department of Veterans Affairs.  I have dedicated staff members with expertise in handling veterans' complaints and disability claims.  And I have been responsible for assisting veterans with disability claims by working with the VA to locate misplaced records and documenting service-related health problems.


Yesterday, we commemorated the 13thanniversary of the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 and honored the memory of those who lost their lives in Virginia, New York, and Pennsylvania.  As we continue to face new challenges around the world, let us remember the heroic actions of our first responders who continue to inspire us.


Like those who put their lives on the line for us overseas, the brave women serving as our nation's law enforcement, firefighters, paramedics and Red Cross are defending us here at home.  They share that same commitment to our nation and our society and their contribution is also immensely important.


Everywhere we turn, women are serving our cities, states and nations.  They are in our communities, and they are risking our lives to protect our families and our freedom.  Thank you so very much, and may God Bless the women – and men – who serve not only in the military, but within law enforcement, fire departments, the USO and the American Red Cross."


Waters addressed a room full of public officials and members of the U.S. Navy, Air Force, Army, Marines, Coast Guard, USO, Los Angeles Police Department, Sheriff, Port Policy, LA City Fire Department, LA County Fire Department and the American Red Cross.