Listen up to these words from an American woman combat veteran, Lt. Colonel Madeline Ullom.
“I have a great reluctance now to apply for further disability because I am acutely aware that such application results only in a hassle. …the stories I hear concerning applications for further disability have long ago discouraged me. Further, I know dozens of my nurse companions who have made application and have met with nothing but opposition.”
Lt. Colonel Ullom was a former POW and veteran of WWII.
In the news today… the Disabled American Veterans identified serious gender gaps in virtually every program serving veterans, including health care, job training, finance, housing, social issues and combating sexual assault.
About 1 in 5 female veterans have delayed or gone without needed medical care in the prior 12 months, the report said.
Has nothing changed in 70-years?
In 1956 when former WWII POW Major Maude Davison suffered a massive stroke that left her in a coma, the local Veteran’s Administration Hospital refused to care for her. Her husband had to petition the regional VA office to get her a bed.
This week Joy Ilem, DAV's deputy national legislative director said female veterans "deserve equal respect, consideration and care as the men who served, yet the support systems are ill-equipped to meet the unique needs of the brave women who have defended our country."
"At a time when the number of women veterans is growing to unprecedented levels, our country is simply not doing enough to meet their health, social and economic needs," she said.
A sharp increase in reporting of military sexual trauma is an illustration of problems that require "radical change" at the VA and throughout the military, the DAV report says.
What do you think? Whose responsibility is it to make sure women veterans get the health care and other services they need?
I'm fascinated to discover little-known stories of history. Stories of people and events that provide a new perspective on why and how things happened, new voices that haven't been heard, insight into how the past brought us here today, and how it might guide us to a better future.
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