Lawmakers introduce bill to expand VA services for female veterans

WASHINGTON – A few years after Army Reserve veteran Kate Hoit returned home from a yearlong deployment to Iraq in 2005, she sought medical treatment at a Department of Veterans Affairs hospital, where she was made to feel like she didn’t quite belong.

“I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been called ‘Mr. Hoit’ or [was] stopped while navigating my way through VA hospital halls,” Hoit said. “For the record, I’m not lost. I have an appointment. I – we – belong here, too.”

Hoit was one of several women veterans who stood outside the Capitol on Tuesday alongside members of Congress as they introduced plans to expand government services for women who have served in the military. The women explained feelings of not being acknowledged as veterans in or outside of the VA and, in some cases, are perceived as “second-class veterans,” as Iraq War veteran Allison Jaslow described it.

The lawmakers outlined proposed reforms under the new Deborah Sampson Act, which is named for a woman who disguised herself as a man to join the Continental Army during the American Revolution. In part, the law would require every VA facility to maintain one primary care provider on staff who specializes in women’s health. It also calls for $20 million to be spent on retrofitting VA medical centers to provide more privacy for women veterans who are treated there.

Iraq And Afghanistan Veterans Of America IAVA founder and CEO Paul Rieckhoff speaks at a Capitol Hill press conference on March 21, 2017. Behind him are, left to right, Sen. Maggie Hassan, D-N.H., Rep. Elizabeth Esty, D-Conn., Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., and Sen. John Boozman, R-Ark.
JOE GROMELSKI/STARS AND STRIPES

The Government Accountability Office reported in December that women veterans face a lack of access to gynecological care at VA facilities and through the VA’s network of community-care providers. The GAO found 27 percent of VA facilities did not have an onsite gynecologist, and they reported cases of maternity care being “significantly delayed.”

Many facilities did not have privacy curtains in exam rooms, which is a violation of VA policies governing the care of women veterans, the report reads.

The report, signed by GAO Health Care Director Randall Williamson, states: “[T]he privacy, safety and dignity of women veterans may not be guaranteed when they receive care at VA facilities.”

“Trust me when I tell you, a curtain and a lock on a door during an exam means the difference in a woman ever coming back to the VA for services,” Hoit said.

Female Veterans and Supporters Wanted

Citrus County Female Veterans and Supporters Wanted

Citrus county Female Veterans and supporters will have their next meeting on May 11, 2017 from 2-4 p.m.  We will be meeting at The Veteran Service Office 2894 W Marc Knighton Ct. Lecanto, Fl.

Our guest speaker will be Correspondent Docent for the DAR National Museum  Bev Gentry.  The programs are PowerPoint on what the
museum has on various topics. Bev will also give a brief history of the
 DAR, Daughter of the American Revolution.

Please RSVP to Cynthia at 352-628-6481 or Cyn2719@yahoo.com.

We have a possible location for our female veteran monument! Please come to the meeting and give your input.  We need to do this together!

Please let us know what other subjects you would like to have discussed at further meetings.  A female veteran cruise? Dinner/lunch event? Ways to recognize female veterans in Citrus County?

This is YOUR gathering, let’s make it fun and educational.

A new flag

View video here.

In late December Dale Fearney discovered his American and Wounded Warrior flags stolen.

“Hard it’s still a deep wound it’s hard for me to talk about,” said Fearney.

That Wounded Warrior flag means a lot to Fearney, his son Dale Daniel was a soldier in Afghanistan.
Fearney said, “He came back, but didn’t make it.”

Suffering from severe PTSD, Dale Daniel took his own life in 2014. So when the two flags were returned.
“I was overjoyed, I was blown away,” said Fearney.

You see it’s was because Dale’s wife posted the story of the stolen flags on their neighborhood Nextdoor social media site, where Air Force veteran and victim advocate Cynthia Holden read the story.

“I reached out to them and asked them if I could replace them for them,” said Holden.

Fearney said, “I just felt, you know, give it time and maybe someone will return them and it happened.”
A police officer brought one of the flags to Fearney.

“A lady came over and said this is your flag and gave it to me and said I have a teenage son and I said don’t say no more,” Fearney said.

Even though the flags were back where they belong, Holden still wanted to do something.

“This is a POW flag,” Holden said as she displayed the flag.

Today Holden delivered a special flag from her group Rolling Thunder.

“I wanted them to know that there are good people in Citrus County too and there are an awful lot of them,” said Holden.

“It means a lot it means that people do care. It made me feel good it made my wife feel good, too,” Fearney said.

Now, Fearney flies all three flags to honor his wounded warrior son Dale Daniel and to remember all of our country’s veterans.

“I’m happy again, Fearney said.American and Wounded Warrior

Win a 2017 Harley

Rolling Thunder Fl Ch 7 Fundraiser

A 2017 Harley Davidson FLHTK Electra Glide Ultra Limited will be raffled on May 30, 2017 at Harley Davidson in Washington, DC.
Tickets are $10 each and can be purchased by calling RT member Vicki at
1-352-464-0304.  Deadline is April 1, 2017.
Need not be present to win.  Odds are 1/15,000.
The fundraiser benefits Pow/MIA issues, American Veterans, our troops and their families.

Military Women Across the Nation College Scholarship

eager to serveMilitary Women Across the Nation College Scholarship Rules & Application

This $1,000 scholarship is available to a relative – male or female – of a military woman. The 2017 essay topic is “Military Women Around the World”. Applicants shall select a U.S. military service or branch such as aviation, medical, supply, etc. and compare the service of U.S. military women to the similar service of military women in at least one other country’s military. A few Ideas include, but are not limited to: Women on submarines – U.S. & Norway; Women fighter pilots – U.S. & United Arab Emirates; Universal Conscription/Draft – U.S. & Israel; Women on Surface Ships – U.S. & Japan, etc.

For information click here.

For application click here.