Wilson Testifies about Women Veterans in House Committee Hearing
Congresswoman Heather Wilson, testifying today before the House Veterans Affairs Committee, urged a focus on the challenge to the VA and DOD health care systems that will result from the increasing number of women veterans.
On June 15, 2007, the House passed Wilson's amendment to help ensure the VA is prepared for the health needs of women veterans, as part of the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Act of 2007.
"The increasing number of women serving in the military, including in combat zones, will change and challenge the VA and DOD health care systems in ways we don't yet fully understand. I propose a commission to review and make recommendations," Wilson said
One in seven veterans returning from Iraq is a woman. Wilson, a graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy, is the only woman veteran serving in Congress.
"Women face different obstacles than men when trying to receive care from the VA and DOD. To start with, many women who have served in the military don't call themselves 'veterans' and many women don't think of the VA as 'their' system," Wilson said. "A larger number of women are serving in military and in the future we will see a higher number of women veterans."
"My goal is to bring together a group of people who can truly devote the time and effort to study the needs and examine the challenges women in the Armed Service face. They then can report to Congress their finding and recommendations so that we, as a body, can evaluate these findings and implement improvements and initiatives to ensure women receive the care they have earned."