Dr. Vivianne Cisneros Wersel, Au.D.
Vivianne is the widow of LtCol Richard "Rich" Wersel, Jr. USMC, who served in Operation Iraqi Freedom I and II and died on active duty at Camp Lejeune in 2005. She was instrumental in changing the SGLI and Death Gratuity (SA 1376) policy so that all active duty surviving spouses are now eligible for enhanced benefits. She was also involved in repealing the Widows Tax. Vivianne has testified on survivor issues before Congress twenty times. She served on the Gold Star Wives (GSW} Government Relations Committee for over 9 years and is President Emeritus/founder of Arlington (Texas) Gold Star Wives. She also serves on the Legislative Committee for American Academy of Audiology. She holds a Doctorate of Audiology from Salus University in Elkins Park, Pennsylvania, and is a retired staff audiologist at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Bethesda, Maryland. Vivianne continues to work with Congress to help correct inequities and to optimize services provided to survivors. She currently resides in Asheville, NC.