Female Vets Harrassed at VA Facilities

| July 1, 2019

WASHINGTON — Corey Foster spent her Army career caring for wounded troops, both as a flight medic in the Iraq war and at Walter Reed hospital, so she looked forward to one of the most celebrated benefits of military service — health care for life from the Department of Veterans Affairs. Then she walked through the door at a V.A. medical center in Temple, Tex.

“You felt like you were a piece of meat,” said Ms. Foster, 34, who retired as a sergeant. “Standing in line at the registration desk, I was getting comments from the male patients behind me, looking me up and down. It was a major source of discomfort.”

The treatment was the same at the Veterans Affairs medical center in Murfreesboro, Tenn., where Ms. Foster moved after living in Texas. At that point she gave up, and opted for her husband’s insurance outside the department. “They need to make the facilities not feel like an old soldier’s home,” Ms. Foster said. – Article

Women vets being sized up by the male vets at the FHCC? So far, this hasn’t happened to me, but I don’t haunt the VA for much of anything. I generally just go there to get the flu shot and that’s about it.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/12/us/politics/women-veterans-harassment.html

I do understand that it’s a problem depending on where you are, but some of the things mentioned in the article, e.g., asking for a husbands’ social security number instead of yours, seem rather illogical to me. I’ve never been asked for anything like that at the FHCC that I go to infrequently. That might be due to the large female military population nearby, which goes there for sick call.

But don’t these women, who surely had some seniority before they left the military, have enough gumption to face these jerks down? If not, then why not?  I think that the VA has come up with some kind of solution to this particular problem, which is registering online. That takes some of this bad behavior by jerkwads and dumbasses out of the picture. You can also make appointments online. Probably should have been started up much longer ago.

Come on! We aren’t Olive Oyl or Harriet Nelson and Father Doesn’t Always Know Best these days.

Not pointing fingers or doing the blame game, but it seems kind of silly to me that they think they have to put up with this kind of bad manners and obnoxious crap from anyone at all, just because they’re women, when they don’t have to put up with it at all.

However, if the people who staff some of these facilities are so unenlightened that they think women don’t have their own SSNs, or that there are not women vets, I want to know where that started. And I’d also like to know why there are any VA FHCC facilities with staff that act like this, at all. There are, as the article indicates, about two million (that’s 2,000,000) ++plus of us coming into the system and we expect to get good care, and not have to worry about our own safety.

 

Category: "Teh Stoopid", Veterans' Affairs Department

Comments (67)

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  1. 5th/77th FA says:

    It all goes back to proper home training. We were taught to be respectful and courteous to all people.

    We were also taught how to stand up for ourselves and how to handle jerks.

    • MustangCryppie says:

      Spot on.

      I know that both of my parents would have smacked the shit out of me if I did something like what this lady describes.

    • Kevin Via says:

      I call bs on the whole thing…not to mention learn how benefits work before you fabricate a story.

      • B4letta says:

        My husband and I, both veterans, went to Wilmington VA today and at the entrance 4 old ass, dirty looking veterans were talking about a female who had just walked out. I began to say something but my husband stopped me. Women should not have to continue being subjected to this behavior. It’s bad enough we were constantly harrassed and/or assaulted during active duty. Some men are beyond disgusting!

      • Lisa says:

        Just out of curiosity which story was BS to you?

      • Sarah Waters says:

        Yep. I agree. I’m a woman vet and have never seen this kind of behavior in a VA. Stop earning your living as a professional victim and get a real source of income

  2. Animal says:

    I can’t read the article without signing up for the NYT and I ain’t doing that. Did the article reference anyone besides Foster?

  3. Hondo says:

    The NYT article’s author is a bit clueless when it comes to military benefits (no surprise there). Last time I checked, unless one is service-connected 100% disabled or falls into one of several defined categories (former POW, PH recipient, a couple of others), the only VA medical care that’s guaranteed is for service-connected conditions. All other VA medical care is provided on a “funds-and-facilities available” basis. (At present the VA is funded well by historical standards, so policies regarding who gets VA healthcare are fairly liberal – but that can easily change if budgets get tight.) Plus, those who have a VA rating of less than 50% are subject to copayments.

    • Anonymous says:

      Progressive left/libtards for ya– they wouldn’t actually (eww) even know anybody who serves, but they “care” (and want to be seen that they do) a lot.

      • MustangCryppie says:

        And they think that anyone who serves in the military must be someone who just couldn’t get a job anywhere else.

        I have (former) “friends” who made it pretty clear that they pitied me for having joined the Navy, that I could have done “better.”

        Fuck them and the horse they rode in on.

        • Mason says:

          Well that’s true. You could have done better. You could have joined the Air Force. ;P

          • MustangCryppie says:

            HA! LMAO!

            • John says:

              Two things; 1. The guys that behaved like thec article describes are classless jerks who need to be called out for their behavior. 2. Its your responsibilty to call somebody out for bad behavior, stand up to them and not be a victim. Its not the VAs responsibility.

          • Queen says:

            I know I wish I did. But even the AF have disrespectful men that are now at the VA harassing women.

          • Kevin Via says:

            He obviously wanted to join the military.

        • Cameron Kingsley says:

          I can’t blame you there, MustangCryppie. Definitely a case of with “friends like this, who needs enemies?”

        • Jorge says:

          Exactly. The “I Learn Russian So You Don’t Have To” and “In God We Trust, All Others We Monitor” T-shirts I wear around here show exactly how I feel about my time in the service. Loved it, hated it, still proud of it. Screw them.

          CTIC(SS)

        • Ret_25X says:

          those folks from HS and College sing a different tune when they realize I”m cashing retirement checks (28.5 yrs X E9!) and they know that at age 67.5 they will have nothing…zip…zilch…nada…

          Last HS reunion I went to I got “pitied” for the “hard life” I had to “endure”…after laughing right in their face I told them, let me get this straight…you think I wasted my life?

          How many foreign countries have you lived in?

          How diverse is your friend pool?

          How much retirement will you have?

          Has anything you have done in your life actually made a difference for…well…anything?

          Shut him up quick.

          • MustangCryppie says:

            Whenever I hear shitbirds like that talk, I always think of Roy’s “Tears in Rain” monologue in Blade Runner.

            “I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate….”

            I’ve seen and done things in my career that they can’t even imagine. During the last 10 years of the Cold War, I had the coolest as fuck job ever: a Russian linguist who got to go on skimmers, boats, and recce birds, chasing Rooskies all over the oceans from California to the Arabian Gulf.

            I pretty much spent the 80s underway and if I had the chance, I’d do it all again. Just better the second time.

    • rgr769 says:

      Many of us who have always had employment provided health insurance since leaving the military have never darkened the door of any VA facility. I have never been in a VA facility, and I know I would have to pay for any VA care because I have no rated military disability.

      • Mason says:

        Yet. No rated disability yet. Since you were in country, you’ll qualify for the Agent Orange exposure at a minimum.

        • rgr769 says:

          Yes, I should go to the VA about the peripheral neuropathy I have in my feet. It was just an annoyance a three or four years ago, but it is getting worse. I suspect the two weeks my rifle company and I spent in a heavily defoliated section of jungle west of An Khe has something to do with it.

      • John Mizell says:

        I’m a 100% service connected combat veteran, would never set foot in a so called V.A. Hospital again, wish they would close everyone

        • Anonymous says:

          Concur. If you drew from my grandfather (World War II) you’d never know the VA even existed– would have no truck with it whatsoever. As a veteran, I won’t go anywhere near it either. I understand now.

    • timactual says:

      ” provided on an funds-and-facilities available…”

      The medical equivalent of flying “space available”. You get what you pay for.

      The article says her age is 34. Unfortunately the article does not mention the cause of her early retirement. Given her whining about being harassed by basically the same people she cared for during her entire (albeit short) “career” I am guessing it’s not life-threatening. I am still a bit puzzled why, if she is indeed retired, she is not using her TriCare instead of her husband’s insurance.

      • Hondo says:

        She’s using her husband’s insurance because doing so is mandatory under Federal law.

        By Federal law, virtually any civilian health insurance other than a designated TRICARE supplement policy pays first – before either VA or TRICARE. TRICARE or the VA by law pays second, after the civilian insurance has paid whatever it will pay for the claim. The VA also wants to know about TRICARE so it can coordinate benefits.

        Disclosing the existence of any current commercial health insurance coverage to the VA and/or TRICARE is also mandatory when you either use those healthcare providers or file a claim. You also do the same when you first apply for VA healthcare and are asked each time you use VA healthcare whether or not your insurance info on-file is current or not. TRICARE does much the same; it also wants to know about all other health insurance(s) under which you’re covered.

        • timactual says:

          Didn’t know that. Thanks. Rejoice that you have decreased the amount of ignorance in the world, no matter how slightly.

      • B4letta says:

        My husband and I, both veterans, went to Wilmington VA today and at the entrance 4 old ass, dirty looking veterans were talking about a female who had just walked out. I began to say something but my husband stopped me. Women should not have to continue being subjected to this behavior. It’s bad enough we were constantly harrassed and/or assaulted during active duty. Some men are beyond disgusting!

    • Diane A Drumright says:

      You dont have to be 100% to be guaranteed health care. I know people who have done a couple of years who use the VA hospitals.

      • Hondo says:

        You might want to, you know, read what I actually wrote above – and do a bit of homework – before taking issue with what I wrote. In particular, see the section titled “Priority Groups” in the second link which follows.

        https://www.va.gov/healthbenefits/resources/publications/IB10-441_enrollment_priority_groups.pdf

        https://www.va.gov/opa/publications/benefits_book/Chapter_1_Health_Care_Benefits.asp

        As I very clearly said above: with some exceptions, the only healthcare that the VA is obligated to provide is for service-connected conditions. All other care is provided on a “facilities-and-funds available” basis.

        The VA has eight healthcare priority groups. Due to the fact that the VA has for the last decade been funded at what is historically high levels, the VA is very liberal in providing healthcare services today – which means it presently provides routine healthcare to many. That wasn’t the case 2 decades ago. And if future budgets don’t keep expanding (or get cut) current policy will change when money gets tight.

        It’s great that you know people who are getting healthare from the VA. But they would be wise not to expect that situation to be permanent and/or remain comprehensive.

        • timactual says:

          Not that I wish for the VA budget to be cut, but if it is I hope I am around to hear the weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Women have been in the military for a long time now, so is the NYT making a dig at the VA or soldiers in general? (So hard to tell… )

  5. If I can’t say anything nice about the va, I won’t say anything.

    • Steve1371 says:

      Me too. I don’t go there often but haven’t seen any of that at White River Jct.

    • Ex-PH2 says:

      I haven’t seen it where I go, either, so I think it depends on which facility you go to.

      • Female Veteran says:

        I’m a female veteran and I’ve been using the Murfreesboro VA Hospital for 36 years. I personally have never experienced any harassment there. But several months ago I went to the new Urgent Care. There was a young female Dr. assigned to see me. When she walked into the cubicle she looked at my husband and addressed him. If she had looked at the name and the reason for the visit she would have know that there was a female veteran waiting to be seen and not a male. She obviously has a lot to learn about working at a VA Hospital.

  6. Thunderstixx says:

    As a Father with a Disabled Veteran for a daughter, I can second the harassment complaint along with the obvious secondary level of treatment because they are girls.
    Unfortunately, that is how the system works as it is right now.
    I’m working with her and the idiots at the VA that know more about medical treatment than any neurosurgeon on the Planet….

    • NEC338x says:

      If your daughter needs a specialist in brain injuries, I suggest you reach out to David Brody, now at the Uniformed Services University. When he was affiliated with BJC in St. Louis, I pointed a civilian friend who had sustained a TBI to his office.

  7. 26Limabeans says:

    “Corey Foster spent her Army career caring for wounded troops”

    Unlike Jan Spann

  8. JarHead Pat says:

    Sounds like utter bullshit to me, the VA hospital here in Seattle is only staffed my large over weight black ladies, gays/trannys, and almost all the vets are in such bad shape I don’t think sexual harassment is even on their mind.

    • Ex-PH2 says:

      No gladiators, huh? (giggle)

    • Comm Center Rat says:

      Same here in the PDRMA. And many of the Vets are Incels. Standing in line behind a female at a VA facility is probably the closest an Incel will come to a non-relative living, breathing female. After his appt. he heads home to Momma’s basement and blows-up Suzy, the stress relief doll.

      • Dustoff says:

        I’ll further agree with the above comments. The VA I go to here in NC is staffed by primarily (at least the admin. staff) obese ladies with a poor command of English (most are fluent in Ebonics however).

    • West Point 1987 says:

      It’s not the staff harassing her, it’s the other older vets.

  9. GDContractor says:

    What’s with all the negative waves about females getting harassed? Thank God we have companies like Gillette that are going to fix this shit.

  10. Club Manager, USA ret. says:

    You have to remember the majority of VA users are NOT retired military, many are two year wonders. I do not believe she would have been subjected to the same uncalled for abuse had all in the room been retired service members. Although, I will admit to reckless eyeballing when the wife is not watching.

  11. rgr769 says:

    We should all keep in mind that the NY Slimes is a major Progda propaganda arm for the left. It will never publish anything that is favorable to veterans or the military. Remember their Moscow correspondent, Walter Duranty, was a closet Communist and an apologist for the Stalin regime. I wouldn’t believe anything they published that didn’t have multiple corroborating sources/evidence. They don’t employ anyone who isn’t a Prog or other form of leftist.

  12. Hate_me says:

    Retired at 34? As a flight medic? Hopefully, that’s just the reporter being an idiot.

    I do believe that a bunch of old vets in line at the VA behind her made some inappropriate comments… not sure how that reflects on the VA… are vets to be punished by the VA for lacking social grace? If that’s the case, we’re all up a certain creek.

    Can’t say I’m overly interested. Those old guys usually don’t have the most discerning palates.

    • MSG Eric says:

      I’m guessing the reporter is showing an example of his 0.005% knowledge of the military and how it works.

      “oh you were in the military and you’re not now? Okay, so you’re retired, got it!”

  13. Just An Old Dog says:

    Someone harassed her? I’ve seen better looking faces on a Pirate flag…

  14. L.C.Sumrell says:

    I must agree that many men, anywhere you go act like big, slow-witted children.
    That being a fact of life, and understanding that, in a facility filled with mostly male veterans, who, understandably feel that they are in a ‘boy’s club’, there are going to be coarse remarks, and general rude ignorance. I’m 60 years old, 5’11”, and still attractive, I’m told. I have no trouble. I can stare a fool down with no trouble, or even engage in a little banter, myself… Pull up your big-girl panties!🙄😂

  15. My husband who is a Marine Veteran, go to the VA in Ann Arbor, Mi. There are many women veterans there never have i seen or heard of a woman being harassed. I guess u might be at the wrong VA.

  16. H D says:

    I was assaulted in an elevator at my VA by a male veteran. Don’t be such an ass hole. These things are real and are happening.

    • rgr769 says:

      That was likely an elevator in the Social Security building in Portland. Your harasser was a certain lawer who harasses anyone he encounters. Don’t take it as personal.

      • B4letta says:

        As a spc I was sexually assaulted by my 1st sgt in Teagu, South Korea in the early 80s. I reported it to my command sgt major who in turn told the 1st sgt. The remainder of my tour was a living hell.
        You guys making these insensitive comments are a bunch of lowlife, slimy pigs! It’s people like you who make it easy for garbage like them to get away with this unwanted behavior.
        And for women saying it never happened to them and we should suck if up, you’re just as bad as the men who make a joke of it. That shit affects our lives for the rest of our lives. Lord forbid your wife, daughter, sister ever have to endure such behavior. How funny would it be then?

  17. Ex-PH2 says:

    I think that it comes down to women realizing that they are allowed to be confrontational when some guy who is being a colossal jerkwad needs to learn some manners.

  18. FatCircles0311 says:

    File this under shit that never happened but anything to disparage males and the military.

    The trend for awhile has been women in America wearing next to nothing then scoffing when they get attention from people they don’t want out in public. I see this every day numerous times a day. Prance around showing your bits expect attention even from guys you don’t find attractive.

    Boo-fucking-hoo

  19. thebesig says:

    Is that her real name, or someone else’s? I checked the white pages. A few hits came up with that name, different middle name. The middle names were masculine, with the final middle name possibly being gender neutral. If that’s her real name, and one of the last two entries were her, she isn’t either a sergeant or retired.

  20. Kim Hill says:

    The VA Clinic in Decatur GA has a separate entrance for Women Veterans for Primary Care. The conversations beyond standing in line are held for the other female veterans to hear. This makes seeking care and getting information for us more manageable. Also, there are areas to pull care givers aside rather you are a Male or Female veteran to get the privacy required. I wish all veterans obtain the care they deserve without obstacles.

  21. O-4E says:

    I’ve worked for the VA a couple of years now

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again

    Shitbag 18 and 19 year old E-2s turn into shitbag 60 and 70 year old E-2s