25 February 2010

Help for Homeless Female Veterans

Most Americans believe that our women do not serve in combat and that their roles are merely to provide support (ahem) to their male counterparts facing shots fired with intent to kill and that the occasional or accidental event of a woman in a full combat situation is random or accidental.

Today's asymmetrical warfare renders any such assumptions, sensibilities, or rules and regulations in support of those beliefs absolutely irrelevant.

When George W. Bush and his coven of liars, thieves, mendicants, cut-purses and scofflaws began sowing Dragon's Teeth in Iraq, they put the women of Today's Modern Army in the middle of their war of invasion and occupation. Again, in today's asymmetrical warfare, there are rarely any established lines or "rear echelon" areas, which is to say, even cooks, clerks, and other "pogues" can find themselves in the midst of attack whether through IED, ambush, mortar or surprise suicide attack.

The upshot of this is that female veterans suffer the same savage post-combat effects as do males. They are as subject to Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome, alcoholism, drug-addiction, broken relationships, unemployment and homelessness as are males.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics tells that there are at least one-and-a-half million (6.3% of the total) post 9/11 veterans mired in deep unemployment. Elsewhere we learn that there are 131,000 homeless veterans of which 13,100 are women. Understand, these are not static numbers, they grow daily with females outpacing males in joining this category.

Indiana Republican Congressman, Steve Buyer, along with 14 other republican co-sponsors have put forth HR293 (Homeless Women Veteran and Homeless Veterans with Children Reintegration Grant act of 2009)

President Obama responded by placing $5-million dollars to support this project in his 2011 Budget request. I would suggest that, despite some of the overtones of posturing---one sponsor has announced a run for the Senate in Arkansas, in the real world of today's politics of acerbic name-calling, and unmitigated republican obstructionism, this is an example of bipartisanship of which all of us can take some comfort.

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