Despite the differences in rank, branch, ethnicity, sexual orientation and age, women share the desire to have their service recognized. As I was doing a survey on one of my women veteran chat sites, I asked what are five things the public should know about Women Veterans. The answers were quite simple:
- A veteran is a veteran, no matter their gender. Currently there are over 300,000 female combat veterans in the United States. There are a lot more women exposed to the dangers of combat and thrived. More than the public will ever know about or get credit for.
- Women veterans have unique health care needs. Right now the VA is struggling to keep up with those needs. There are many Bills in Congress that need to be passed. But just as the Deborah Sampson Act is still floundering, many other bills are still on the table. These bills need our support.
- Women veterans are held to a higher standard, but given less support. While in uniform they constantly had to prove themselves and outperform to get the same or probably less recognition than their male counterparts. Now out of uniform they still feel they need to prove that they are veterans.
- Women veterans rise to all challenges. There are more of us than the public realizes and we come from all walks of life.
- We exist. That’s the story all veterans whether female or male want the public to know. So the next time you see a veteran designation on a car, don’t assume it’s their boyfriend, husband, dad or brothers. Just ask and thank her for her service.
Women veterans have a 250% greater risk for suicide than civilian women and they are the fastest growing homeless population in the United States. There are 2.2 million women veterans in the United States. 10% of overall veteran population and women want to be visible and most are not.