BOSTON – Boston City Councilors Ed Flynn and Lydia Edwards are filing a hearing order at this week’s Council meeting to discuss services for women veterans. The hearing aims to start a discussion on how veteran organizations and V.A. hospitals can offer the gender-specific services for our women veterans.
Women comprise nearly 20% of serving military personnel and 10% of the veteran population, making up an important part of our military. However, despite their contributions, women veterans often don’t receive enough support. For example, the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) hospitals do not have medical facilities that provide the necessary and adequate maternity care for women veterans. Moreover, 25% of women veterans experience Military Sexual Trauma (MST) during military service, and they are more likely to struggle with childcare, homelessness, and mental health challenges. As VA hospitals are struggling to provide gender specific medical care for our women veterans, the recently passed Deborah Sampson Act in Congress seek to address this issue by requiring the VA to offer primary care for female veterans at all medical centers and clinics, and provide access to counseling to women who suffered service-related sexual trauma as well as those who are at risk of becoming homeless.
“Women service members and women veterans are an indispensable part of our military,” said Councilor Flynn. “ It is important that we recognize their sacrifice to our country, as well as realize the challenges that women veterans face. It is critical that our women veterans receive the care and services they need for their health and wellbeing. Thank you to Councilor Edwards for her partnership on this, and I look forward to having this discussion.”
“My mother served in the Air Force and I travelled the world with her,” said Councilor Edwards. “Our definitions of who is a war hero and who serves our country are evolving. How we acknowledge all veterans for their service and care for them afterward has to be as inclusive as possible. We need to make sure our country fights for women veterans like they fought for our country. I’m excited to have this conversation and thank Councilor Flynn for his continued leadership on veterans issues.”
For more information, please contact Councilor Flynn’s office at 617-635-3203 and [email protected].