With thousands of veterans expected to return from deployment due to the drawdown in the Middle East, some are experiencing discrimination in transition. An article by The Center for Public Integrity highlights a few stories depicting the fact that life for female veterans can be fraught with a lack of respect and understanding, sometimes from official organizations.
Female veterans such as Crystal Sandor have experienced a lack of understanding or recognition for their sacrifices overseas. While Sandor survived an IED attack on her truck and has a 40% disability rating, older veterans at her local VA have made demeaning comments such as “What did you do over there? Did you sell girl scout cookies?”
Hannah Siska served for five years in the Marines as a special communications signals collection operator and analyst, a job that required a security clearance. Despite her impressive qualifications, she’s encountered difficulties in securing a civilian carer. ”They want to hire vets that are males, not females, and that was very apparent,” said Siska, who was deployed to Iraq in 2008 and 2009. “I had everything and my resume looked just like all the other guys that got jobs and I didn’t.”
While the number of unemployed veterans is high, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, “the unemployment rate for post-9/11 female veterans hit a high of 19.9 percent in September 2012.” The average rate of unemployment for female veterans was 12.5 percent throughout 2012, “but that was 3 percentage points higher than the average for male veterans that year.
Have you experienced a discrepancy in the way male and female veterans are treated officially and by the public? Chip in on the conversation and let us know in the comments.