Battling the Storm Within

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Female veterans should expect highest standard of care from VA

hen the U.S. military opened up all combat positions to women earlier this year, there were already more than 200,000 women — including me — serving in our armed forces. That number will grow as more women answer the call to serve. After we have done our duty and return home as veterans, what kind of life should we expect?
I'm trying to answer that question right now. As I wind down my military career after 14 years of service, what I want most is a normal life. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is supposed to help me make that transition, but how can I trust the VA will treat me with dignity and respect when there are so many examples in recent years of the department letting us down?
Everything I've learned from the news or heard from other veterans suggests that I could fall victim to excessive wait times at VA medical facilities, unaccountable and negligent staff, or compassionless treatment. None of that will help me find the normal life I'm seeking.
My military service involved extremely high-stress assignments, oftentimes with lives on the line. I provided close air support for ground troops, covering their backs and keeping them safe. Like many veterans in such situations, I'm now suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, more commonly known as PTSD.


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