Posted on: November 15, 2017
There is an organization that beliefs the motto of the Department of Veterans Affairs needs to be updated. Why? Because it’s outdated and more importantly excludes the contribution of the women in the military.
The Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans group’s leaders want to see a change to those words issued by Abraham Lincoln.
“By excluding women,” Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America Executive Director Allison Jaslow wrote in her letter to VA, “it … communicates to women veterans that they are unwelcome outsiders.”
The concern for this couldn’t have come at a better time, as studies show the suicide rate for veterans is at an all-time high. According to the study, female veterans’ risk for committing suicide is more than double that of American women who have not served in the military. Combined that with a 2015 study that found only 58 percent of female service members felt “respected and valued” as service members (only 71 were surveyed).
These studies could point to the sense of women not feeling deserving of mental health care. Feeling this way may not lead to suicide, but it can definitely create some roadblocks to seeking help.
It may not seem like much, but changing the VA’s motto could be a step forward to inclusivity. That, along with eradicating the belief that women are not valued military members and veterans could be huge. What kind of change would you like to see?