Female veterans face growing challenges at home - Los Angeles News | FOX 11 LA KTTV

Female veterans face growing challenges at home

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NEW YORK (MYFOXNY) -

As more female veterans return from serving our country, the Department of Veteran's Affairs is making some new accommodations to insure they receive adequate healthcare.

Former Marine Lucy Turek knows the challenges of being a woman serving her country.

“It's hard enough having been in the military service and oftentimes being pushed aside or not treated equally” Turek said.

She didn't realize she would also face challenges receiving healthcare.

“As a woman veteran, walking into the VA is very isolating. Umm when you walk in basically it's one in a million. There are probably about 500 to 1 men to women" Turek said.

The number of women seeking care through the Department of Veteran's Affairs has more than doubled since 2000 according to the VA and many female vets like Turek feel like they are just an afterthought in the system.

Administrators at VA hospitals in New York and New Jersey are trying to change that, by creating women's only emergency rooms.

For some veterans having that separate space is vital.

“For female veterans, especially those who may suffer from military sexual trauma, sometimes they're hesitant to come in to what can be a predominantly male environment" one administrator told us.

Female veterans say the VA system needs to evolve just as the military has to include women, and that these women's emergency rooms are a good first step.

“I think it's time that we all stand up for the women that have served and have put you know their life on the line for this country” Turek said. “And who do deserve the dignity and respect of having proper medical care.”

Last year the VA invested $1.3 million dollars into the care of female veterans and reps say they are training more health care providers to address the specific needs of women who have served in the military.

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