When the draft ended in 1973, women represented just 2% of the enlisted forces and 8% of the officer corps. Today, those numbers are 16% and 18% respectively, a significant increase. Historically, the Air Force has had the highest percentage of enlisted and officer women, however, by 2016 the Navy had nearly caught up. In both services, approximately one-in-five enlisted members and officers are women. The military offers many opportunities for women such as good pay, excellent benefits and career advancement, but there are also significant challenges.
Memorial Day was this last Monday. We don't often think about the meaning behind the holiday. But, sometimes you get a good reminder of what Memorial Day is all about. A colleague of ours, Frank Bennett, wanted to share a personal story about his experience this Memorial Day and what it lead him to uncover.
After feeling as though the system is failing our veterans and seeing too many of our service people homeless and on the streets... a group of 4 veterans take on the challenge of creating tiny houses for those who have served our nation. Please read their story.
Every Day - 20 U.S. Veterans Commit Suicide
In 2014, the latest year statistics are available, 7,400 veterans took their own lives.
Back in 2014 this blog was one of the first to report on the troubled Veterans Health Administration facility in Phoenix where 40 veterans died while languishing on an eternal wait list to see a doctor. Since then, we've maintained a set of blog posts and articles that have related updates and status changes at the VA, as well as other issues that are affecting our veterans. A subsequent investigation uncovered a system-wide inability to offer vets timely medical treatment. 57,436 newly enrolled veterans faced a minimum 90-day wait for medical care, and 63, 869 veterans who had enrolled over the past decade never received any appointment at all. In addition, a corrupt administrative culture was falsifying wait-time records in order to protect management performance bonuses and punishing whistle-blowers who tried to bring the wait-time mess to the public’s attention.
Back in March of 2014 the FAMCare blog reported on a controversy that erupted within the Phoenix VA Healthcare System. VA employees had reported that patients were dying while awaiting appointments and that administrators were issuing phony wait-time data while collecting bonuses. This local scandal led to inquiries across the nationwide VA Healthcare System revealing untimely care, false data, and problems with transparency, whistle-blower retaliation, and accountability throughout the system.
In today's rapid news cycle, we tend to hop from sensational story to sensational story rarely lingering long enough to get the full picture. In the past, this blog reported on the scandalous wait times that our veterans have endured in the VA system. It was so bad that some veterans died before getting in to see their VA Doctor. When the scandal came to light, many administrative heads rolled and the entire VA system was cast in a poor light. As is so often the case, however, there is so much more to the VA story.
Social workers report that the rate of PTSD among veterans and active military personnel is significantly higher than in the general population. PTSD occurs when one branch of the nervous system generates massive amounts of survival (fight or flight) energy to meet a threat, only to find the threat so overwhelming that there’s no way to use this energy for self-protection.