Female Veterans encouraged to learn about and pursue benefits

RENO, NV (KOLO) - These days more and more women are serving in the military.

Upon honorable discharge these same women are entitled to benefits.

One local veteran tells us during her service, she ran into complications in the very male-dominated environment, and those complications continue today--even after her honorable discharge.

“I was told because I was a female, I didn't deserve to be called a vet. I was just a girl,” says Marie.

Nevada's senior senator says in her roundtable conversations with female veterans across Nevada, she began to understand how many women did not identify themselves as veterans.

“Many don't know they have the opportunity to seek these health care services. And that's why I introduced this act. Because of the conversations like you just had with some of our female veterans,” says Nevada Senator Catherine Cortez Masto.

The senator has introduced a bill directing all branches of the military to encourage women to participate in the Women's Health Transition Training Program.

The program provides information about VA resources.

There have been pilot programs like this for women veterans with 98 percent reporting the program was helpful.

It's estimated only 31 percent of women veterans receive benefits from the VA.

There is no one reason for that low percentage.

But it's not because there are a lack of health services for female veterans.

The senator says the training sessions are open to women transitioning to the guard and reserve as well.

On Tuesday, July 30, 2019, a first-ever virtual training program was offered in Nevada.

The next one is slated for August 14, 2019.

Women veterans in Nevada are encouraged to participate.

Marie says female veterans shouldn't short change themselves.

“You served. You served proudly and honorably. And you deserve these benefits,” she says.

Copyright KOLO-TV 2019