The needs of women veterans were in the spotlight at the March 15 U.S. Army Women’s Foundation annual summit, attended by VetsFirst director Ross Meglathery.
The summit and reception were an exceptional forum for Meglathery to attend as it allowed VetsFirst to expand its contacts within the veteran advocacy space, to gain more specific knowledge and find ways to further weave its core principles to the ever expanding needs of our women veterans.
The changing nature of the wars in which the United States has been engaged in the last 15 years has altered the definition of a veteran. As women have seen an expanded role on the battlefields of Afghanistan and Iraq, there is an increased need for health, housing and hiring benefits for a larger pool of women veterans.
In light of this, as women have had an unprecedented level of engagement against our enemies, we are seeing an ever expanding pool of women who are suffering the same injuries traditionally seen by their male counterparts. Beyond the signature wounds of traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder, there are numerous female veterans who are dealing with battlefield injuries like traumatic amputation and spinal cord injury or disability.
While it is obvious that women veterans, like their male counterparts, often face difficulties in finding sufficient housing, employment and navigating the Byzantine Department of Veterans Affairs benefits, there are also unique needs to women. The summit served to drive this home.
Now that all military occupational specialties have been opened to women, we can expect that there will further be an expansion of female veteran needs. VetsFirst plans to be at the forefront of this.
If you are a woman veteran and member of United Spinal Association, we would love to hear from you to discuss ideas for how we can expand our support of women veterans.
To share your ideas, contact Ross Meglathery at firstname.lastname@example.org.
VetsFirst is a Program of United Spinal Association