POSTED: Tuesday, April 30, 2013 - 9:35pm
UPDATED: Tuesday, April 30, 2013 - 9:46pm
Tyler , TX (KETK) — The Department of Veteran Affairs announced a new hotline for women veterans.
The new hotline is specifically aimed for women veterans but is open to all vets.
The call center provides information about health care services as well as claim information, health care appointments and other benefits.
The department also says the call center can provide referrals to mental health facilities and homeless shelters.
Linda Reed, women's veteran coordinator with the American Legion Post 474 says this new hotline will benefit many in east Texas.
"Women, they are going up. They are earning their stripes and their ranks and the listening ear. I think that is what this is and the tree to span and grow," said Reed.
According to the Department of Veteran Affairs, women make up almost 15% of active duty military forces.
And the number of women using VA health care has doubled since 2000.
Reed says there is a lot of veteran women out there needing these services and hopefully this hotline will lead them in the right direction.
"Now that women are deployed, we know the issues of course have increased. We have women veterans that are married, we now have specific medical issues due to combat in a remote area. I think it's an outstanding step forward for women veterans," said Reed.
But other veterans, like retired military officer John Furlow says the Department of Veteran Affairs should have created a more personal tactic for women veterans than the 1-800 number.
"The resources could have been spent more usable here because we have invested interest. We have experts here for local female veterans finding what their benefits are and what they are eligible for," said Furlow.
To get in contact with other local women veterans contact Linda Reed: