8 VA health centers focus on women
Is the VA prepared to take care of the increased numbers of women veterans?
Answer: The VA has established eight Women Veterans Comprehensive Health Centers that develop new programs focusing on the health care needs of women veterans, including research on medical and psychosocial issues. The closest centers to Hawaii are at the VA Medical Centers in San Francisco and Los Angeles.
In addition, an advisory committee on women veterans was established to assess their needs. The committee also will review VA activities, research projects and initiatives designed to address or meet the needs of women veterans, and will make recommendations to improve, modify, and affect programs and services for women veterans.
Between 1990 and 2000, the women veteran population increased by 33.3 percent to 1.6 million from 1.2 million, and women now represent approximately 7 percent of the veteran population. By the year 2010, it is projected that women veterans will comprise more than 10 percent of the veteran population. Currently, women make up 15 percent of the active duty force and approximately 23 percent of the reserve force.
There are designated Women Veterans Program Managers at VA medical centers and Women Veteran Coordinators at each regional office.
For more information contact the VA at 433-0600, or the Honolulu Regional Office at (800) 827-1000, or check out the VA Web site at www.va.gov/womenvet.
Q: Who is eligible to receive a burial flag?
A: Generally, the flag is given to the next-of-kin, as a keepsake, after its use during the funeral service. When there is no next-of-kin, VA will furnish the flag to a friend making request for it. The National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific does have an Avenue of Flags, and families of veterans buried in Punchbowl may donate the burial flags of their loved ones to be flown on patriotic holidays.
Call Punchbowl for further information at 532-3720.
If you have questions about your benefits as a veteran, call Fred Ballard at the Veterans Affairs at 433-0049 or visit the VA Web site at www.va.gov/hawaii
or the Star-Bulletin at 529-4747.