Identifying Female Veterans an Issue for VA and States

Identifying Female Veterans an Issue for VA and States

June 08, 2015

Identifying Female Veterans an Issue for VA and States

Where are the female veterans? That was a question posed recently by the Las Vegas Sun newspaper. The state of Nevada wants to improve services for female veterans, but the problem is that they can not find them.

And as you read further, this issue of missing female veterans is not just an issue with Nevada. It is also a problem nationwide according to the Veterans Administration.

In Nevada alone, according to the Las Vegas Sun, "The Department of Veterans Affairs estimates more than 21,000 female veterans live in Nevada, but the state Department of Veterans Services has identified only about 2,500, according to officials."

Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval established an advisory panel with a focus on female veterans. More specifically, the panel was designed to locate, educate and advocate for female veterans in Nevada.

Because the Veterans Administration will only push more tax dollars toward services for female veterans if there are women veterans using those services, the hope of the Governor and those advocating for female veterans is to locate these women and letting them know they are eligible for veterans programs and services.

 

Finding Female Veterans Poses Problem for VA

The following is an excerpt from the Las Vegas Sun article.
The VA says female veterans are one of the fastest-growing populations; they will account for 10.5 percent of all U.S. veterans by 2020. Currently, about 9.2 percent of living veterans are women.
But identifying where the veterans live has been a struggle, partly because the U.S. Census Bureau doesn’t require residents to note whether they are veterans, said Richard Beam, a VA spokesman.
Awareness is part of the problem. Not all women who served in the military, especially during World War II and the Korean War, realize they are veterans, Oates said.
“If they didn’t serve in combat, they don’t see themselves as veterans,” she said.
A recommendation seeks to change that by altering language on state documents. The committee suggests state agencies ask people if they’ve ever served in the U.S. military versus, “Are you a veteran?”
The committee also supports developing a database with information about Nevada veterans and a strategic plan to reach the population. Funding for a public-messaging campaign would be necessary, the report noted.

 

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8 Responses

Dassa Carvey
Dassa Carvey

February 22, 2016

I am a veteran of the VietNam era and make too much money, as does my husband, to qualify for services

Anita Meyer
Anita Meyer

February 22, 2016

I am a female veteran from Desert Storm era. I have a lot of experience in assisting transitions. Do I qualify for helping my fellow female veterans or is it only post 9/11/01 veterans that matter.
USMCR

Diane Little
Diane Little

February 22, 2016

My mom was a veteran. She will be 93 on the 28th of June. She was in the coast guard and was in Seattle when she met my dad, who was in the Navy. They are a part of the military forgotten, especially mom.

Jill Drushal
Jill Drushal

February 22, 2016

I am a Persian Gulf era, female veteran with a service-connected disability (currently living in Arkansas) and I know several female veterans. I choose NOT to use VA benefits for reasons that will become evident momentarily. There are a number of ways to locate female veterans and it isn’t in the language used in the U.S. Federal census. First, look for women who are receiving VA C&P benefits for service-connected disabilities. This is a simple, centralized thing that can be done at the Federal level. I receive C&P from VA monthly. Second, find the current address of ANY woman who has ever served in the military. This can be a bit tricky because there are numerous female veterans who are covered under their husbands’ health insurance policies, including Tricare. I am included in this group because my husband is a military retiree; I and my child are covered by Tricare. Third, once identified, ask female veterans what they want in a healthcare system. Sure, some will ask for mental health care because of sexual assault or PTSD experienced in the military, but this is just a small part of the services that VA should be offering women veterans. Not every female veteran had negative experiences due to gender during their time in the service. What about annual cancer screenings for female-specific diseases? Many female veterans are still of childbearing age. What about OB care? There are so many other things that aren’t gender-specific. Finally, lose the bad press. Instead of ignoring or continuing to hide the recently-reported problems with the VA system, address them. Make the VA system a viable alternative to healthcare (service-connected or not) for female veterans. No one wants to get into a medical system that is riddled with problems, especially problems that have led to deaths. Fix it first!

Ranae Hopf
Ranae Hopf

February 22, 2016

Diane, Once a veteran always a veteran. Your mom "is a veteran: not “was a veteran”. And thank her for her service. If it wasn’t for the women who served before would we be as far as we are now.

Judy
Judy

February 22, 2016

Don’t know how long it’s been but the VA is so much more women friendly now

Judy
Judy

February 22, 2016

Diane

I would see what is going on at the local VA to recognize women veterans. Then I’d take my mom. There is so much going on for woman veterans now all over the U.S.

Judy Manning
Judy Manning

February 22, 2016

I am a VietNam Era veteran, and have had many issues when dealing with the VA healthcare system.. The constant redderick from the employees-"we have No facilities for females here. Also having had a tubal pregnancy (Which was completely ignored by one of the satellite VA Medical Centers); and it had ruptured. I had to drive myself to another VA facility, and actually tell them what the problem was before they would even examine me. Also the VA stated that they do not monitor it’s patients for signs of adverse reactions to medications. These things coupled with the restrictions on income make it difficult to trust someone with your life and or health.

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