The passing of the 19th Amendment was a pivotal point in the history of women’s rights. The ratification of the U.S. Constitution in 1920 paved the way for women to vote and is one of many historical milestones shaped, in part, by ladies who have served.
“That amendment passed in large part due to the service of women during World War I and every other major war,” writes Elizabeth M. Collins of the Defense Media Activity. “Although not always in an official capacity or in uniform, women have faithfully served the United States Army since 1775.”
The fastest-growing demographic
The photo above shows the Marine Corps’ first all-woman drill platoon in 1985.
Through the years, millions of women have served honorably in a variety of occupations in the U.S. military. They officially enlisted as early as 1917, but could not serve in front-line combat roles until 2013.
Fast forward to 2020. Women are the fastest-growing demographic in the military and Veteran populations. Since 2000, the number of female Veterans using VA health care has tripled, with more than 750,000 currently using it or other benefits.
To improve access to care, every VA medical center has a female Women Veterans Program Manager (WVPM) ready to help Veterans access medical services, including comprehensive primary care, gynecology, maternity care and mental health resources.
“Made me feel like they were concerned”
Cherissa Jackson, an Air Force Veteran, knows she can trust the care she receives at VA’s women’s health clinic. “My experience at my VA has been really good.
“When I walked into that office, they were concerned about me, no matter how many questions I had. They answered my questions and made me feel like they were concerned and wanted to give me their time.”
To receive VA care, Veterans can contact the WVPM at their local VA medical center. The Women Veterans Call Center can also make direct referrals to WVPMs. Text or call 1-855-829-6636 for assistance.
Every female Veteran has paved the way forward for those who follow. VA recognizes and thanks these Veterans for service, sacrifice and contributions to our nation, both on and off the battlefield.
VA’s Women’s Health Services Office is part of The Women Veterans Health Program, created in 1988, to streamline services for female Veterans to provide more cost-effective medical and psychosocial care. VA’s Women’s Health Services Office provides programmatic and strategic support to implement positive changes in the provision of care for all women Veterans.