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Author: TriSec    Date: 05/30/2017 10:23:45

Good Morning.

So, yesterday was Memorial Day. I was fortunate enough to have had the opportunity to visit the flag garden on Boston Common. Every year, more than 37,000 flags are placed in a prominent location on the slope near the Commonwealth's Civil War monument. There is one for every citizen of this Commonwealth that have been killed in all wars - there were flags there for Isaac Davis and Crispus Attucks, as well as Etienne Murphy (Killed two days ago in Syria.)


Fortunately, I was not alone, but the crowd milling about was of course smaller than it should have been. Nevertheless, people were aware yesterday.

But are we aware of all facets of service? Even here at AAV, we're guilty of using the phrase "Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines", implying a male-only coterie of those who have served and sacrificed.

Where are the women?

Remember folks, this blog has a tenuous connection to Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America - Paul Rieckhoff is aware of us, although he has repeatedly refused my invitations to join the fun. We don't post an awful lot of information from IAVA these days, but they are always in the forefront of advocacy for our veterans. Even if the current administration refuses to give them the time of day.

You've probably not heard of #shewhobornethebattle, so here's the scoop:

IAVA’s Campaign to Fully Recognize and Improve Services for Women Veterans
She Who Borne The BattleFor the last 14 years, IAVA has fought and won monumental victories on behalf of veterans. This year, we launched one of our most important campaigns ever: to recognize and improve services for women veterans.

Over 345,000 women have deployed since 9/11. While the number of male veterans is expected to decline in the next decades, the population of women veterans will increase. Women continue to take on new roles and responsibilities throughout the services. Yet, their service and sacrifice is often overlooked.

Though the quality of care and services provided by the VA for all veterans needs to dramatically improve, this is particularly critical for women veterans. The number of women seeking care at the Department of Veterans Affairs has increased by 80%. While the VA has created a firm foundation of care for women veterans, it is past time that the VA, with the support of Congress, bring that foundation to scale.

Not only do women veterans encounter barriers to care and benefits, they do so in a culture that often does not accept them or fully recognize them as veterans. The time to act is now. Improving access to care and benefits while changing the underlying culture to one inclusive of women. This glaring problem is best exemplified in the gendered and very outdated motto that greets every person, male and female, who walk into the VA: “To care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow, and his orphan.”

IAVA launched the She Who Borne the Battle campaign to right this wrong and transform the landscape for women veterans in our country forever. Learn more about the campaign (PDF).

We need to take the American people to a place where women vets are envisioned just as readily as men. Not every GI is a Joe, but our culture sadly still thinks that way. Congress must act to not only bring equality to VA healthcare for women, but also resource-sensible services like childcare. “Access to Quality Care for Our Veterans” should be gender blind, which in the case of supporting single parents, can impact men just as much as women.


    Foster Culture and Leadership Change in the VA
    Strengthen Data and Transparency Through Research
    Recognize and Support Women’s Peer Programs
    Increase Initiatives to Better Inform on Existing Programs
    Require High Level of Community Care Cooperation

We will change the VA motto to represent ALL veterans.

If we dust off an old date (October 7, 2001), we've been in Afghanistan a whopping 15 years, 7 months, and 23 days. Since there's no sign of any withdrawal, somebody who was born when we invaded (Like Javi, August 9, 2001) will be eligible to serve when they graduate high school in just 2 years.

Isn't it time for something to change?

18 comments (Latest Comment: 05/30/2017 18:13:53 by Mondobubba)
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