New Jersey National Guard member Margaret Stevens barely gets into it in this interview, but this Memorial Day it’s worth noting that the US military is a whole lot keener to deploy women than it is to look after them when they’ve done their service. By its own admission, the Department of Veterans Affairs is barely managing to provide services sufficient for all the women who’ve seen active duty (180,000 in Iraq and Afghanistan alone). From pap smears and mammograms to post-combat and post-sexual-assault trauma treatment, the VA suffers not only from budget shortfalls but from male-oriented traditions. Last year, the VA treated more than 255,000 female veterans. The number is expected to double within five years. Sen. Patti Murray has sponsored a bill
to require the VA to provide female-specific and sexual trauma treatment. But women
still face a military attitude that up to now has been "Because women aren’t allowed in combat, they can’t have PTSD. It must be depression or women’s issues like PMS." Murray’s bill received a hearing last week.