Women Veterans: Proud Part of Our Military History

  • Many women veterans are single parents.
  • Many female veterans have higher rates of homelessness.
  • Women are also at a higher risk for military sexual trauma which can lead to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and other mental health and physical conditions.

Women have played an important role in our nation’s military history. They set the stage for future generations who wanted to serve their country, and  proved that women could be as resilient and inspiring as men in times of conflict.

Women have actually been in every crisis and every war the United States has ever been in.  But only recently have their contributions been  recognized and appreciated.

As far back as the Revolutionary War, when Molly Pitcher took over a cannon after her husband fell in the field, where she was delivering water (in pitchers), women have at times been forced into combat, though until recently they have been formally banned from choosing to do so intentionally.

The Sunshine State is home to the third largest population of women veterans in the nation, with more than 154,000. Women veterans are one of the fastest growing segments of the veteran population. Of the approximately 21.3 million living veterans nationwide, more than 2 million are women. For many women veterans, recognition of their service has been long overdue.

Many say it’s been only in the past few years they’ve felt honored. Personally, I think it’s vital that women veterans are recognized for their role in the defense of our country. My mother, Pvt. Annie May Miller, served in the Women’s Army Corps during World War II.  Yes indeed, both my mother and father wore Combat Boots! Military Service is part of my DNA.

Women veterans can often face unique obstacles when they transition back to civilian life:

  • Many women veterans are single parents.
  • Many female veterans have higher rates of homelessness.
  • Women are also at a higher risk for military sexual trauma which can lead to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and other mental health and physical conditions.
  • Women also have specific medical needs that are often neglected through the VA healthcare system.
On January 24, 2013, the US removed the military’s ban on women serving in combat. In 2016 all combat jobs opened to women.

Reproductive and female health services are not always offered at VA facilities and when they are, there are often long wait times for women who need them. Many women veterans don’t know that they are eligible for the full range of federal and state benefits, to include special programs for them. Here are some resources for women veterans:

  1. At each VA Medical Center nationwide, a Women Veterans Program Manager is designated to assist women Veterans. She can help coordinate all the services you may need.
  2. Services include primary care, pregnancy care, psychiatric care and sexual abuse counseling, inpatient medical/surgical care, programs for homeless women Veterans, and quality of care issues.

For more information on your state, click here or contact Florida’s State Women Veterans’ Coordinator at info@fdva.state.fl.us.

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Dana Matthews

Dr Dana Matthews is a Lieutenant Colonel, US Army Ranger (Retired). He holds a BA in Journalism, an MBA/JD Law Degree, and a Doctorate in Organizational Psychology.He is a Member of the National Press Club in Washington DC and has appeared on TV and Radio.He was awarded the Military Order of the Purple Heart for Combat Wounded Veterans.Dr Dana Matthews is a well published Journalist and writer with articles appearing in the Scripps Newspaper/ TCPALM.COMHe also co authored and published a novel entitled " El Segundo- One Man's Journey for Redemption". 

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