We Wore Combat Boots, Too


by Kate Hoit


When I walked into the Albany Stratton VA Medical Center for the first time six years ago, it was hard to tell I belonged as a female combat Veteran. Posters featuring women didn’t line the walls. Gender specific care seemed almost foreign and there was still debate if female servicemembers were in combat. Now, as the Department adapts and the perception of female Vets change, VA is spreading its internal culture-change message to the public with its new public service announcement.

The new video explores the vital role female servicemembers play in the military, from patrolling the streets of Iraq and Afghanistan, operating crew-served weapons, and being members of female engagement teams. It also highlights the importance of providing these female Veterans with the highest quality of care once they are out of the service.

The number of female Veterans using VA services has increased over the past decade. In 2000, 160,000 female Vets were enrolled. By 2010, that number jumped to 315,000—and is expected to increase in the coming years.

As more female Veterans use VA services, VA is determined to change its culture to be more understanding and accommodating of their needs. Check out the PSA below and learn more about Women Veterans Health Care.


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