Lawmakers consider giving female vets their own veterans offices

DENVER – There are 40,000 female veterans living in Colorado right now, and many of them say their needs are not being met by the offices set up for veterans across the state. This week, Colorado lawmakers will consider a bill that would create a Women’s Veterans Office in Colorado.

“The current culture does not support women and their needs,” State Sen. Angela Williams, D-Denver, told Anne Trujillo on this weekend’s Politics Unplugged. “I want to make sure that women’s needs are being taken care of.”

“It’s a lot of silo activity that puts the onus on us even as we’re leading our homes, trying to work,” Leanne Wheeler of the United Veterans Committee of Colorado added. “We are the ones bearing the brunt of trying to put those pieces together and doing that without a context of what is available and how to go about doing that.”

Wheeler told Anne about one disabled veteran who has a child with autism and cannot work a traditional job.

“She was met, unfortunately, with a lot of patriarchal energy when she went to one of the existing agencies to say here’s what I need, so she didn’t go back,” Wheeler said. “So she’s been struggling with her mental health, her physical health, her child is struggling and they don’t know which way to turn. And that woman for instance, makes up more of the women veterans than we know.”

Politics Unplugged airs Sundays at 4:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. on Denver7.

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