House Concurrent Resolution No. 71




            Whereas, women have served honorably and with courage in all of America's wars and conflicts since the American Revolution; and


            Whereas, the United States military has evolved from a predominantly male force to a force of over 14% women who are currently serving on active duty, and nearly 17% serving in the Reserves and National Guard; and


            Whereas, the population of women veterans is increasing exponentially from 1.1 million in 1980 to a projection of nearly 2 million by 2020, and will comprise more than 10% of the veteran population; and


            Whereas, the projected population of male veterans is expected to continue to decline; and


            Whereas, given that an unprecedented number of women are serving in the military and participating in Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom, the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is working to provide consistent, comprehensive, and quality health care and benefits to women veterans of all eras; and


            Whereas, the number of women veterans has increased over the last decade because there is an increasing number and proportion of women who are entering and leaving the military, and women are living longer than men and have a younger age distribution compared to male veterans; and


            Whereas, even though the VA has been at the forefront of health care and lifestyle solutions affecting an aging male population, there is now a growing need to improve health care services for women veterans, ensure clinicians are properly trained to provide primary care and gender specific care to women of all ages, and identify innovative courses of treatment and solutions to obstacles that are unique to women veterans; and


            Whereas, with a rapidly increasing number of women serving in the military today and returning from deployments as seasoned veterans, and some with exposure to combat, VA facilities and veterans service organizations are working to ensure that the post-deployment mental and physical health needs unique to women veterans are also met; and


            Whereas, even though the roles of women in the military have changed over time and will continue to change, they deserve to be acknowledge for their military service and treated with equal respect:


            Now, therefore, be it resolved that the members of the House of Representatives of the Ninety-fifth General Assembly, Second Regular Session, the Senate concurring therein, hereby encourages the Missouri Veterans Commission and its women veterans state coordinator to work in conjunction with the National Foundation for Women Legislators and the Center for Women Veterans at the United States Department of Veterans Affairs to reach out to all women veterans within the State of Missouri to encourage them to bring their specific needs and concerns to the attention of agency officials so that state legislators and agency officials may work together to identify unique issues impacting women veterans and consider policy solutions that will improve the quality of life for women veterans within this state; and


            Be it further resolved that the Missouri General Assembly formally honors all of the women in this state who have heroically answered their call to duty and recognizes the important role women have played in shaping this great nation; and


            Be it further resolved that the Chief Clerk of the Missouri House of Representatives be instructed to prepare a properly inscribed copy of this resolution for the Missouri Veterans Commission.