Women Veterans Health Care
I'm One. I'm a Proud Veteran.
This month we are asking all women Veterans to join our movement, and stand up to be recognized by saying, "I’m One. I’m a Proud Veteran."
Women have proudly served in every major conflict since the American Revolution. In the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts, women served in unprecedented numbers making up eight percent of U.S. Veterans. Currently, women account for 20 percent of new recruits, 14.5 percent of the active duty force (1.4 million), and 18 percent of the 850,000 reserve force. About 280,000 women have served in Afghanistan or Iraq since September 11, 2001.
Yet many returning women Veterans have felt isolated, unacknowledged and invisible in a civilian society. In a recent study, only 37 percent of women Veterans indicated they felt "recognized, respected and valued as Veterans in civilian life." One respondent said, "Everyone assumes my husband is the Veteran, and he never served in the military. I feel invisible." However when asked about their service, "97 percent of women Veterans say they feel proud of their service."
Beyond feeling invisible, women Veterans face challenges their male counterparts do not. One of the most significant problems that women Veterans face, which often goes overlooked, is health care. According to the Disabled American Veterans (DAV) report, 20 percent of women Veterans have gone without needed health care and continue to underutilize VA care largely because of a lack of knowledge about VA benefits and available services.
Women’s Health Services (WHS) will provide Women Veteran Program Managers (WVPMs) with posters, suggested social media posts, and links to resources for raising awareness of what it means to be a Veteran, encouraging women Veterans to take pride in their status as a Veteran, and VA benefits available through VBA and VHA.
Veterans Benefits Administration
VBA provides a variety of benefits and services to Servicemembers, Veterans, and their families. Eligibility for most VA benefits is based upon discharge from active military service under other than dishonorable conditions.
Active military service means full-time service, other than active duty for training, as a member of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, or as a commissioned officer of the Public Health Service, Environmental Science Services Administration or National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or its predecessor, the Coast and Geodetic Survey.
- Compensation and Pension
- Education and Training
- Home Loans
- Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment
- Burial and Memorial Services
- Additional Services and Benefits
Learn more about benefits you qualify for through the Veterans Benefits Administration.
VA Health Benefits
Women are becoming the fastest growing group within the Veteran population. VA Health Benefits include all the necessary inpatient hospital care and outpatient services to promote, preserve, or restore women Veterans health. VHA medical facilities provide a wide range of services including traditional hospital-based services such as surgery, critical care, mental health, orthopedics, pharmacy, radiology physical therapy, and gender specific health care.
Examples of gender specific health care are:
- Cervical Cancer screenings (Pap smears)
- Breast Cancer screenings (Mammograms)
- Birth Control
- Preconception Couns
- Menopausal Support
Participate in VA health benefits explorer to learn what VA health care benefits you could receive as an enrolled Veteran. Afterwards, take advantage of the VA health benefits you qualify for by applying for enrollment.
I'm One Posters
About Women Veterans
Women are now the fastest-growing subgroup of U.S. Veterans. The number of women Veterans is expected to increase dramatically in the next 10 years, and VA health care services are in high demand by the women Veterans of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom. The Department of Veterans Affairs understands the health care needs of women Veterans and is committed to meeting these needs. Women Veterans served and they deserve the best quality care. Learn more about VA health care services for women Veterans.
 Kaplan, Susan. (2012, March 19). Returning women Veterans face challenges in a system designed from men. PRI. Retrieved from http://www.pri.org/stories/2012-03-19/returning-women-veterans-face-challenges-system-designed-men
 Innes, Wendy. (2014, October 10). Report: Female Veterans face serious challenges when returning home. IVN. Retrieved from http://ivn.us/2014/10/10/report-female-veterans-face-serious-challenges-returning-home/
 Piccoli, Sean. (2015, July 21). 5 top issues women Veterans face when returning home. Newsmax. Retrieved from http://www.newsmax.com/FastFeatures/women-veterans-issues-returning-home/2015/07/07/id/653933/
 Patten, Eileen and Parker, Kim. (2011, December). Women in the US Military: Growing Share, Distinctive Profile. Pew Social & Demographic Trends. Retrieved from https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2019/09/10/the-changing-profile-of-the-u-s-military/
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