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MISSION ADVOCACY Taking action. Shaping legislation.


suicidal thoughts, cardiovascular disease, arthritis, and other prob- lems according to a new study, coproduced by MOAA, looking at the health of female veterans. Female vets report higher


Female Vets Face Health Obstacles W


omen who’ve served in the military are more likely to suffer from


rates of cancer, mental illness, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and depression when compared to women with no military experience, the Health of Women Who Have Served Report found. MOAA teamed with Unit- ed Health Foundation to produce the report. More than 8 percent of the


female veterans surveyed over a four-year period reported having suicidal thoughts in the past year — nearly twice that of their civil- ian counterparts. About a third reported arthritis, compared to about 26 percent of civilian women. Other findings include: • About 13 percent of women who served had cancer, compared with roughly 11 percent of women who did not. •Nearly 42 percent reported get- ting insufficient sleep, compared to 34 percent of civilian women. • About a third of female veterans reported mental illness in the last year, compared to about 22 per- cent of women who didn’t serve. There are about 2 million


female veterans and another 200,000 women on active duty, according to the report. Since 2000, there’s been a 30 percent increase in the number of women


Fighting for MOAA’s interests are, from left, Lt. Col. Aniela Szymanski, USMCR; Capt. Kathy Beasley, USN (Ret); Amanda Meyers; Cmdr. René Campos, USN (Ret); Forrest Allen; MOAA President and CEO Lt. Gen. Dana T. Atkins, USAF (Ret); Col. Dan Merry, USAF (Ret); Col. Jim O’Brien, USAF (Ret); Brooke Goldberg; Col. Mike Barron, USA (Ret); and Jamie Naughton (not pictured).


who’ve joined the military, says Rep. Julia Brownley (D-Calif.), who serves on the House Com- mittee on Veterans Affairs. “While we have made im-


provements, the VA remains ill-prepared to deal with grow- ing number of women veterans whose mental and physical health care needs can be different from their male peers and from civilian women,” Brownley says. The data on female veterans


from the MOAA-United Health Foundation study, Brownley adds, will help congressional vet- erans committees set new policy that benefits them. Now that there’s data on some of the health problems facing female veterans, it’s important to research their causes, says Capt. Kathy Beasley, USN (Ret), director of MOAA’s government relations health affairs. — By Senior Staff Writer Gina Harkins


72 | MILITARY OFFICER | January 2018


HIGHLIGHTS FROM VA TESTIMONY


In late October, MOAA submit- ted testimony on 1) drafting legislation to establish a permanent Vet- erans Choice Program and 2) the Veteran Coordinated Access and Rewarding Experiences (CARE) Act. Go to www .moaa.org/oct 24testimony for the full state- ment.


CALL FOR MOAA RESOLUTIONS Any member may propose a resolution, which should address a legislative or management issue related to MOAA’s missions and goals. A committee on reso- lutions will review all submissions. Email your proposal by March 16 to msc@moaa.org, or mail it to: Committee on Resolutions, MOAA, 201 N. Washington St., Alexandria, VA 22314.


IMAGES: ABOVE, KANATE/SHUTTERSTOCK; TOP, BOB LENNOX/STAFF


NEVER STOP SERVING


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