While the Military May Be Dealing with Women, the VA is Stuck in 1946

Prosthetic appliances designed for men. VA facilities that don’t have women’s restrooms. In other words, governmental incompetence. On a national scale. One female veteran’s epic quest for a ‘foot that fits’ – The Washington Post

Mostly the story of a woman vet who lost a leg and needed a prosthetic one. The one they gave her was for man. It didn’t fit. It fell off repeatedly in public.

Last year, a VA specialist cut off the toes on Reed’s prosthesis and shaved off the sides in an effort to make it fit into her shoes. Reed said that not only didn’t it fit, but she also found that she couldn’t walk on it. She was given another prosthesis and told to make do.

She didn’t. She “nearly went ballistic” and took her case to the VA secretary’s office, calling and e-mailing McDonald repeatedly.

Finally, this summer, the VA hospital in Tampa notified Reed that the agency had located a foot that it could customize for her. Of an estimated 2,100 female veterans with amputated limbs, now at least one has a VA-issued prosthesis tailored for a woman.

Reed remains unsatisfied, resentful that she had to go to “absurd lengths to get what male veterans receive within days.”

It gets worse.

Army National Guard Spec. Crystal Sandor almost died in a nighttime roadside bomb blast when she was driving an armored 5-ton truck with a gun box in the back northeast of Baghdad.

She was 19 at the time and was awarded the Purple Heart.

But when she returned home to Ohio and told her doctor at the VA hospital about her injuries, Sandor recalled, “he stopped me and stated that he didn’t understand how I was injured by an IED since ‘women didn’t leave the base and weren’t involved in combat roles.’ I was amazed by his ignorance. This was a VA doctor!”

We owe our veterans much more than this.