CANTON - State officials want to hear concerns affecting the day -to-day lives of female veterans who at some point in their lives fought for their country.
Assemblywoman Addie J. Russell, D-Theresa, is asking women veterans what the state can do to create or strengthen benefits and solve ongoing issues that affect their quality of life and how to address other concerns. She is hosting an informal round table beginning at 10 a.m. today on the 11th floor of the Dulles State Office Building, 317 Washington St.
"There is such a wide range of issues that affect veterans, especially female veterans," Mrs. Russell said.
"Every time I talk with a veteran I become aware of even more issues. Having this discussion is an opportunity for me to learn what more of those issues are. It's a way for me to hear what their priorities are and work to address them in the upcoming legislative session."
She said some of the concerns that have been brought to her attention affect all veterans, such as better health care and counseling for post-traumatic stress disorder, but there are some issues unique to women veterans that sometimes get overlooked.
"There are problems related to custody battle when the service member is a mother who is deployed," she said. "There are also some concerns with domestic violence and the way state law deals with some of the problems."
The round table is open to female veterans as well as service providers for female veterans.
"This meeting is open to veterans of any war, of any era, and not just those deployed to combat locations," Mrs. Russell said. "We can dive into issues that have been prevalent for decades and try to find solutions to those problems. The discussion will help me to formulate a legislative platform for the upcoming year."