As the number of women serving in the military increases — more than 150,000 in Afghanistan and Iraq since 2002 — so does the number of female veterans coming home who rely on the Veterans’ Administration (VA) for health care. Originally created for a primarily male veteran population, the veterans’ healthcare system lacks adequate resources for the female vets’ health issues, from gyn care to gender-specific PTSD symptoms to, sadly, a newly named phenomenon, Military Sexual Assault Trauma (MST).
Last month a bipartisan group of Senators — Patty Murray (D-WA), Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX), Jay Rockefeller (D-WV), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Blanche Lincoln (D-AR ), Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Charles Schumer (D-NY) — introduced the Women Veterans Health Care Improvement Act of 2008 (S.2799), which calls for “a long-term study of the health of women serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, an assessment of barriers for women seeking care at Dept. of Veterans Affairs facilities and of the VA's provision of health services to women, and training of VA staff on treating women veterans who have experienced sexual trauma or PTSD.”
As the United States observes the Memorial Day long weekend, support female veterans by urging your Senator to support the Women Veterans Health Care Improvement act. You can find your Senator’s contact information here, or send a pre-formatted letter via Care2’s Petition Site.
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