The Suffolk County Women Veterans Advisory Board held its inaugural meeting after legislation sponsored by Suffolk County Legislator Susan A. Berland unanimously passed the Legislature last year. The law provides for the establishment of the Board and outlines its parameters, which include making recommendations to the Legislature and County Executive regarding proposed legislation, policies and programming and promoting the civic involvement of female veterans to increase their access to information and opportunities. As part of its charter, the Board is also tasked with submitting an annual report to the County Executive and Legislature detailing its findings and determinations as well as its recommendations for action.
The Board consists of ten voting members, five of whom represent the five branches of the military. The remaining five members were selected by the Legislator Berland in her capacity as Chairwoman of the Veterans and Consumer Affairs Committee, the Presiding Officer, the Minority Leader, the Director of the Veterans Service Agency and the County Executive. As Chairwoman of the Veterans and Consumer Affairs Committee, Legislator Susan A. Berland also serves as an ex-officio member.
“I am so proud to see our vision for the Board come to life,” said Suffolk County Legislator Susan A. Berland. “The Board will provide female veterans with a protected space to discuss issues that pertain to them, a platform to advocate for their best interests and the ability to make recommendations to the Legislature. I look forward to working with the members of the Board to carry out its mission and am excited to take part in the progress we’ll make together on behalf of Suffolk County’s female veterans. ”
At its inaugural meeting, the Board selected United States Marine Corps veterans Christine Glynn of Lindenhurst to serve as Chairwoman and StaceyAnn Castro-Tapler of Patchogue to serve as Vice Chairwoman.
“On January 30, 2020 we kicked off the first of many meetings for the recently approved Suffolk County Legislative Women Veteran’s Advisory Board. This group consists of powerful and passionate women who possess a determination that can move mountains. We brainstormed tremendous ideas to support our sister veterans who are in need. We identified strengths and opportunities and initiated strategic planning with a specific focus of effort. We bring a wealth of knowledge and experience and are asking for female veterans to speak up and speak out and come find us. This initiative is long overdue but with the support of Legislator Berland we are able to give life to a mission and vision. The saying – It takes a village couldn’t be truer. This resolution will take the support, efforts, and resources of many. Our sleeves are rolled and we aren’t afraid to dig in. Thank you for the opportunity to support and serve those in need,” said Christine Glynn, Chairwoman of the Suffolk County Women Veterans Advisory Board.
“Today is a pivotal day for the women veterans of Suffolk County. With the dedicated support of Legislator Berland we now have a diverse group of powerful accomplished women with a strategic mission and focus: Identify our sister veterans needs in Suffolk County, and work together to put legislation and processes in place to not only take care of our women veterans who are already home, but all the young women hard chargers who are paying for our freedom right now; and in the years to come. We want all of these selfless women and their families to know Suffolk County is their home, and we will do whatever it takes to ensure they know that they have a safe; supportive place to come back to. If you are a woman that has served in any branch of our armed service, we thank you for your service, and I personally hope I get the opportunity to meet you soon,” said StaceyAnn Castro-Tapler, Vice Chairwoman of the Suffolk County Women Veterans Advisory Board.