Women Veterans Initiative
From the beginning of War, women have always stepped up to the call, even going so far as to disguise themselves as men to be able to serve their country. Even after women were permitted to serve in World War I, many veterans felt that after the war women should just return to the kitchen and leave the matters of the world to the men.
Many women who served in WWII and in Korea do not feel they have earned veteran status because they did not go off to war or carry a gun into combat. Hence they have not applied for VA benefits they have earned through service to their country. The VA has mandated that each veteran hospital and each regional office must have a women veterans representative.
The Missouri Veterans Commission is dedicated to finding all women veterans, past, present and future. It has appointed a women veterans coordinator and her goal is to ensure that Missouri women veterans have equitable access to federal and state veterans services and to ensure women veterans are aware of their VA benefits; who to contact; and how to apply for these benefits.
Currently there are over 44,894 countable women veterans in Missouri, and it is estimated that 30-40% have not applied.
Women Veterans have unique issues that need to be addressed and they need a contact person who can give them guidance in the right direction for assistance. Some of those issues are:
- Sexual Trauma Counseling & Care
- Homeless women veterans with children
- Women’s health care, including breast cancer, osteoporosis and PTSD
- Injured W/V returning from war were primary care givers, now who takes care of the family/children
- Gender specific disability claim (military & VA disabilities)
A full continuum of comprehensive medical services including health promotion and disease prevention, primary care, women’s gender-specific health care; e.g., hormone replacement therapy, breast and gynecological care, maternity and limited infertility (excluding in-vitro fertilization), acute medical/surgical, telephone triage, emergency and substance abuse treatment, mental health, domiciliary, rehabilitation and long term care. VA researchers at many VA facilities also conduct medical research on women’s health.