Post Content

Top: Secretary Polanowicz congratulates Lt. Eileen Merullo on her Deborah Sampson Women Veteran of the Year Award. Bottom: Secretary Polanowicz shares remarks at the 9th Annual Women Veterans Appreciation Day Ceremony.

Top: Secretary Polanowicz congratulates Lt. Eileen Merullo on her Deborah Sampson Women Veteran of the Year Award. Bottom: Secretary Polanowicz shares remarks at the 9th Annual Women Veterans Appreciation Day Ceremony.

Remarks by Secretary Polanowicz at Women Veterans Appreciation Day

Good Morning, thank you Coleman for that introduction, and thank you to the Women Veterans Network for inviting me here and giving me a few moments to appreciate our Commonwealth’s women veterans, who have done so much for us here and across the nation.

Massachusetts has a strong military history for women, starting Deborah Sampson who disguised herself as a man to serve in the Revolutionary war and for whom the Woman Veteran of the year award is named.

And women veterans are the fastest growing segment of the population.

Nationally, in 2011, there were over 213,000 women in the Active component of the U.S. Armed Forces and about 190,000 women in the Reserves and National Guard.

In 2009, women made up 8% of the total veteran population, or 1.5 million vets, and in the next 20 years that number is projected to double.

Here in our Commonwealth, nearly 1,300 women make up 15% of our Commonwealth’s Air and Army National Guard, and there are 31,000 women veterans who live here.

And Massachusetts is a great place to be a Vet too.

We lead the nation in providing services to our 385,000 veterans and their families. Under the Patrick Administration, we have empowered veterans and their families participate in the Commonwealth’s growth and opportunity, advancing community-based initiatives to serve their unique needs.

Earlier this year, Governor Patrick signed an Executive Order to help small businesses owned by disabled veterans expand and grow in the Commonwealth.

In fact, this month was declared “Hire a Vet Month,” encouraging the employers to help our military members use their vast talents to serve their communities in civilian life. Our office of Labor and Workforce Development is working with the business community and local chambers to create meaningful partnerships to help veterans access employment and housing.

Our Department of Veterans Services launched the SAVE and SHARP programs to provide new and innovative statewide peer support to help end veteran suicides and homelessness.

And through programs like the Women Veterans Network and MassVetsAdvisor, the Patrick Administration is increasing outreach to all veterans and their families to ensure they have the knowledge and access to all the benefits they have earned.

Congratulations, LT Eileen Merullo, to an award well earned through a lifetime of commitment, and thank you to all the veterans here today for your service.

Written By:


Deputy Communications Director, Office of Health and Human Services

Tags: , ,

Recent Posts

A First-Hand Look at Mosquito Surveillance posted on Jul 28

A First-Hand Look at Mosquito Surveillance

Each summer, the Department of Public Health works closely with local and regional partners to protect Massachusetts residents against the risk of West Nile virus (WNV) and Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) – two serious diseases which are spread though the bite of an infected mosquito.   …Continue Reading A First-Hand Look at Mosquito Surveillance

Veterans: Find your Sisterhood in Massachusetts posted on Jul 23

Veterans: Find your Sisterhood in Massachusetts

The Massachusetts Women Veterans’ Network of the Department of Veterans’ Services (WVN) has been connecting women veterans with benefits, services, and each other, since 1997. Since its founding, the Network has been the central resource for women veterans across the Commonwealth, and continues to connect its members   …Continue Reading Veterans: Find your Sisterhood in Massachusetts

Department of Developmental Services: Finding Meaning Through Art posted on Jul 18

Department of Developmental Services: Finding Meaning Through Art

Mary DeCesar recently stopped by the DDS central office to donate one of her drawings for our reception area. Mary works at Gateway Arts, a DDS contracted program. While Mary has become an accomplished artist, her life story is just as compelling. Born with an   …Continue Reading Department of Developmental Services: Finding Meaning Through Art