Ed. note: On March 11, 2009, President Obama established the inter-agency White House Council on Women and Girls to ensure the programs and policies of the federal government are being crafted and implemented with the wellbeing of our women and girls at the forefront of our thinking and priorities. This post is part of a month-long series highlighting government-wide progress toward that goal. Read more posts here.
In his State of the Union Address, President Obama declared, “We are stronger when America fields a full team.” As we move to leverage the power of a fully represented “Team America,” VA is advancing the cause of our 2.2 million women veterans.
Women veterans are one of the fastest-growing populations of veterans. Now 10%, by 2020, they will constitute over 12% of all veterans.
America depends on the traits veterans embody -- dependability, resourcefulness, diligence, a team focus, and a can-do attitude – to make good on the President’s efforts to re-energize our economy. After serving our country in uniform, women veterans go on to serve our communities and our workplaces as a positive force for America’s strong and growing middle class.
VA’s commitment to women veterans is second-to-none. Our department-wide Women Veterans Program, led by VA’s Center for Women Veterans, is the focal point of our advocacy – the nexus for enhancing access to our services, and the driver of our initiatives. Our work to better serve women veterans includes the following:
In short, as VA works to serve the surge of women veterans in recent years, we have gained significant ground. But as the nation’s advocate for veterans, we won’t rest until we will serve all of them as well as they have served all of us.
Eric K. Shinseki is the Secretary of Veterans Affairs.