LETTER TO THE EDITOR: All veterans are important, deserve to be thanked

“All veterans are important and deserve to be thanked for their service.”

Women veterans have always played an active role in the U.S. military. They were serving as volunteers providing food/clothing for soldiers, washerwomen, medical caregivers, administrative assistants, language interpreters, weatherwomen and switchboard operators during the Civil, Revolutionary and World Wars while in a male-dominated organization.

There are more than 30,000 women discharged from the military each year and adapting to civilian life can be challenging.

Nationwide, there are two million women veterans today, making up 10 percent of the total veteran population. Michigan has about 43,000 women veterans, which is 16th most in the nation.

Women veterans are at risk of additional adverse outcomes as compared to male veterans, including sexual trauma, combat trauma, suicide, service-related disability and poverty.

House Bill 5231 (HB 5231) aims to create the Michigan Women Veterans Office within the Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency. This office’s mission is to not only support women’s needs within the MVAA but increase outreach and provide feedback as they relate to women veterans. The goal is to ensure that issues specific to veteran women are included in long-term strategic planning for benefits and services.

To support women, contact Rep. Beau LaFave, Chair of the House Committee for Military, Veterans and Homeland Security at (517) 373-0156 or BeauLaFave@house.mi.gov and ask him to bring House Bill 5231 up for a committee vote as soon as possible.

Michelle Lofton

Vandalia

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