Today we are happy to present a guest blogger, Doug Karr, a veteran seaman with the US Navy.
Women are among the fastest growing segment of the population that are seeking health services from the Veterans Administration health services. With the current military actions occurring around the world, female soldiers are playing even more important roles in the military today. As a result, women’s health care issues have come to the forefront of health care needs.
Women and Trauma
One of the areas that health care for female veterans has received a great deal of attention is how women are affected by trauma that is different from their male counterparts. Women have higher rates of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) than men; or at the very least are more willing to seek treatment for their symptoms. Unfortunately, because more women are affected by mental health distress, they are also more stigmatized and perceived by their colleagues as unable to handle the stress of being deployed in dangerous situations.
Female soldiers also are experiencing higher rates of physical trauma than ever before. Veteran’s Administration hospitals are providing services to women for traumatic brain injuries, limb loss and other severe injuries that have not been seen very frequently in the past. This is because women are more likely to be deployed to dangerous environments in the current military actions. Even though they are in support positions, they are still subject to the potential dangers that their male counterparts are exposed to and run the risk of injury.
Long Term Care
Unfortunately, one of the unaddressed issues for women veterans is often what the long term effects of military service can be for females. Recent news reports indicate that women have higher rates of homelessness, depression, PTSD and other stressors than men, especially within a few years of returning home to civilian life. Often, this is because women also hold more family responsibilities in the form of raising children and maintaining personal relationships with family.
Just like health concerns like mesothelioma and asbestos cancer that have arisen from asbestos exposure, female soldiers should be on the lookout for symptoms that can arise from events that occurred during their years of service. If a health care issue can be attributed to a service-related injury, you may be eligible for disability payments and additional health services from the Veterans Administration.
The needs of female soldiers should not be ignored or forgotten. Women have long-term health needs that are uniquely different from men. Aside from immediate health concerns upon returning home, female veterans should seek and receive health services for cardiac care, menopausal symptoms and breast cancer screenings, among others.
Special thanks to the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance.
Today is the Monday after Veterans Day, and as our employees are chatting about what we did during this glorious fall weather, we are all in agreement that our Veterans Day and 11-11-11 promotions on Friday went really well.
I was in Flag Shop for much of the day on Friday, and we really enjoyed meeting so many of our veteran customers! I wanted to share a few pictures and accompanying stories for these brave and proud Americans:
This fascinating Vietnam veteran brought us a yearbook from his time at Fort Knox, KY. He served there in the 2nd Armored Division from 1965-1967 and we loved seeing photos of the armor soldiers from that era. He also brought his honorable discharge certificate and some other special memorabilia.
He chose the 2-ply Koralex II polyester Valley Forge US flag as his free US flag.
We had the pleasure of meeting this former Chaplain Bob, who brought his daughter along to pick up his free US flag. He also chose the Valley Forge American flag. As always, all of our US flags (as well as historical and many many other items) are made right here in the USA.
Two Vietnam war veterans came in for their top quality Koralex II Valley Forge US flags, and John, pictured at right, even brought his uniform jacket to show us.
Former Navy nurse Mary came in with daughter, her name patch that she wore on her uniform, and her military ribbons. One of the most interesting was the Saudi Arabian Kuwait Liberation Medal, which was awarded only during the dates of 17 January 1991 and 28 February 1991 with in-theater service of the Gulf War.
Mary chose the Annin Signature American flag, with top-quality nylon fabric and extra-large embroidered stars.
We thank all of our veterans and especially those who took time out of their day to share their story and memories with us!
Flag Lady Gifts would like to send a sincere thank you to all of our local veterans. We appreciate the incredible, and usually thankless, job that they have done and are currently doing fighting for our country's safety and for our way of life.
Flag Lady Gifts is giving one FREE US flag, 3x5 or smaller, to each local veteran who comes in to the store this Friday during Veterans Day to tell us about his or her service to our country. Up to a $56 value!
Service to the United States is very close to home for us here at Flag Lady Gifts. Owner Jan Hartman grew up as an Army brat in several states, and spend several of her teen years living in the European theatre. Our Flag Shop Manager's husband served as a paratrooper in the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, NC. He has deployed three times to Iraq and Afghanistan, and currently teaches ROTC to cadets at Temple University in Philadelphia. In addition, the son of another employee is a fighter pilot.
Many of us know what it is like to have a loved one in the armed forces, but none of us here at Flag Lady Gifts has firsthand experience of boot camp, training, or holidays spent in the wet or extreme weather without family around. I don't think we can overstate how much each citizen in this country owes to each veteran. This Friday (and any day), try to buy a veteran a cup of coffee, hold the door, and most importantly, thank that person. Sincerely.
Are you a veteran? Please share any thoughts in the comments!