By David Madden
TRENTON, N.J. (CBS) — A pair of New Jersey Assembly committees today listened to concerns surrounding the specific needs of women military veterans and the problems they face.
One out of every five new recruits is a woman. They constitute 15 percent of the American military. And it turns out that, no surprise, women face the same federal bureaucracy as their male counterparts.
US Navy vet Holly Stoll, 28, says she needed care for a pulmonary embolism and went to the VA.
“I have gone through so many doctors within the VA health service,” she told lawmakers today. “None of them know what happened. On a daily basis I suffer, and worry if I’m going to get another one (embolism).”
Penny Cleaves got hooked on drugs while serving in the military. Today, she’s 18 years clean and sober. But she says she did that herself, with no help from Uncle Sam.
“That was a hard journey,” she said today. “There was no one to help me out when I got out of the military. Even though my unit knew I was having troubles, they turned a blind eye.”
Another issue for the women is mammograms, which the VA often farms out to private providers who complain about how slow Washington is to pay the bill.
State officials insist they work with the feds when they hear stories like that. Legislators in Trenton are considering formation of a web site tailored specifically to the needs of female veterans, as well as better transportation options to get them to doctors and hospitals.