Major General Tom Wilkerson had arranged for me to meet with Vice Admiral Norbert Ryan, who heads the gigantic and very active Military Officers Association of America, and his top staff members. After a great meeting with General Wilkerson and the MOAA people, I soon received notification that in the coalition we are building to promote the depathologizing of emotional and moral problems resulting from being at war and also trying to readjust back at home and also to promote the use of alternative, low-risk approaches to helping (as we did at the Harvard Kennedy School conference, "A Better Welcome Home," last November), I could now say that the MOAA is supportive. This means that the coalition now includes the MOAA, the National Veterans Foundation, Soldier's Heart and now, more recently, the Women Veterans Memorial (thanks to BG(Ret) Wilma Vaught, who spearheaded creation of that memorial at Arlington National Cemetery), and two other major organizations are in discussion currently about quite probably also coming on board.
I also met with staff from the Veterans Affairs Committee of both the Senate and the House, as well as with Jorge Rueda, who is the legislative aide for veterans for Sen. Bennett of Colorado. With each, the discussion consisted of how they could participate in this work.
At the Pentagon, I had two meetings, one with the truly spectacular Col. David Sutherland and his great staff, including Kim Mitchell, Tony Forbes, and Chris Manglicmot, and one with Lt. Col Brusher and Dr. Kathleen Quinkert. In different ways, these people share our aims and are approaching these in different ways, but both meetings were productive.
In one day I met two women who clearly had much to struggle against and have achieved a great deal. They are Dr. Irene Trowell-Harris, who directs the Center for Women of the VA, and BG Vaught at the Women Veterans Memorial office.