BOSTON, Mass. (WWLP) – The state auditor released a report this week regarding women veterans, and one state senator was critical of their findings. In the report, the auditor criticizes the Women’s Veterans’ Network for not doing its job and for leaving many women veterans without the services they are entitled to.

There are approximately 25,000 women veterans who call Massachusetts home. Of that, the auditor found the Women Veterans’ Network only identified about 6% of those veterans. The Department of Veteran services also did not have a complete complaint advisory committee, as required by law.

They only had 4 active members for its 11 member advisory committee.

Senator John Velis of Westfield and Chairman of the Veterans and Federal Affairs Committee, went as far as to call this a “colossal failure”.

“So, to me it’s two fold, it’s identifying them, it’s letting them know about the services they’re eligible for, but then it’s about saying ‘Hey, we recognize that your experience is probably vastly different then your male counterparts experience’. And, providing them the specific resources they need based on their specific experience,” said Senator Velis.

The Department of Veterans Services said in a statement shared with 22News:

DVS continues to make progress to increase the capacity of its Women Veterans’ Network in fulfilling its mission, serving as a resource to support women veterans in Massachusetts through education and outreach.

Velis also secured half a million dollars in funding for the Women Veterans outreach program in the 2022 state budget. The audit examined the time between July 1, 2019 and June 30, 2021 for this report.