Tens of millions of veterans in the United States are women. The U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs estimates up to 15 percent of all veterans receiving care will soon be women–and this means care and outreach must expand to address the needs of women where VA centers have historically treated mostly men.
Women are now in the trenches–and hospitals, and mortuary centers–right alongside men in increasing numbers, and are experiencing the long-term effects like trauma and PTSD like their male counterparts.
Shiloh Morrison was part of the 2007 troop surge in Iraq. She saw the cost of the conflict, in human lives and bodies, for four months while assisting Army Mortuary Affairs.
Morrison’s needs were recognized during a routine checkup because a multidisciplinary team was able to pinpoint and begin addressing specific issues, says Natara Garavoy, a doctor and the director of the Women’s Prevention, Outreach and Education Center. Morrison has already made progress and the center continues to follow up with her regularly, Garavoy says.
“Women have different needs. We deal with anger in different ways; we deal with stress in different ways,” says Morrison of the unique approach the women’s center provides. “I just don’t think I could’ve been the person I am today without it.”
Watch the whole profile on the Marine Reservist, and hear the stories of more American veterans at the U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs Office of Public Affairs page.