U.S. Army veteran Marlene Roll
, left, state membership vice chairwoman for the VFW
, is spearheading efforts to form a VFW post geared toward women, with help from fellow Army veterans, in order, Beth Maddigan, Sandra Williams and Kelly Carrigg.">
U.S. Army veteran Marlene Roll, left, state membership vice chairwoman for the VFW, is spearheading efforts to form a VFW post geared toward women, with help from fellow Army veterans, in order, Beth Maddigan, Sandra Williams and Kelly Carrigg.
Marlene Roll came out of the Army in 1991 after serving in a medical unit for a year in Oman during the Persian Gulf War.
returned home, she
went to Buffalo's Veterans Affairs Medical Center
for surgery, put on a hospital gown and was told not to leave the room.
Even if she
had to use the bathroom, she
was told, she
had to let someone know.
At the time, there were no provisions for women there, and no one wanted her
walking around in front of a bunch of male veterans while wearing a flimsy hospital gown with the back out.
Experiences like that motivated Roll
and some other female veterans to launch a drive to establish the state's first predominantly female Veterans of Foreign Wars post in Erie County
Other members of the fledging Buffalo post include Williams and 48-year-old Beth Maddigan, who served in the Army from 1990 to 1991 in the same medical unit as Roll during Operation Desert Storm.
Women get married and change their names, and the military does not openly provide such personal information, said Roll
If the women's group gets a charter to establish a new VFW
explained, the one they currently meet at - Private Leonard Post Jr. Post 6251 in Cheektowaga - will allow them to continue using the site until they can raise enough money to construct a building.
For more information, contact Roll