Mrs. MURRAY. Mr. President, as chairman of the Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs, I would like to take a moment to recognize the Department of Veterans Affairs and the American Heart Association for their work to raise awareness about the dangers of cardiovascular disease amongst our Nation's women veterans and service members.
VA's dedicated work on cardiovascular disease has successfully decreased the gaps between men and women veterans in heart disease prevention outcomes. However, as cardiovascular disease remains the No. 1 killer of women, I applaud VA and the American Heart Association's ``Go Red for Women'' campaign for partnering under the First Lady's Joining Forces Initiative to raise awareness and promote prevention amongst our Nation's female veterans. I am pleased to see VA focus its efforts on educating women veterans through an online fitness and nutrition program and an online support network to connect women with other women who share similar experiences.
Today, women serve in every branch of the military. Women represent 15 percent of our Nation's Active-Duty military, and they are the fastest growing population within the veteran community. The number of women veterans is expected to increase to 2 million in 2020 and with this projected increase it is critical that VA remain responsive to the unique needs of women.
Nearly one in two women, 44.4 percent, will die of heart disease and stroke. We must ensure that women receive equal access to VA health care benefits and services. This partnership between VA and the American Heart Association is a great step toward ensuring that women are educated on the dangers of cardiovascular disease and provided with the resources necessary to prevent it.
Mr. President, I applaud the collaboration between VA and the American Heart Association to raise awareness and increase prevention efforts on an issue that affects so many of our Nation's women veterans and civilian women throughout our country.