One of the state’s leading veterans advocates is imploring state lawmakers to create a new position to connect the rising number of female veterans across the state with new services designed for them.
There are about 30,000 female veterans in Kentucky. But Margaret Plattner, a retired Lt. Col. with the National Guard and the deputy commissioner for the Kentucky Department of Veterans Affairs, says just under 2,000 of them have applied for benefits.
She says that the number of homeless female veterans in Kentucky, about 250, is growing faster than that of their male counterparts, and they suffer from domestic violence trauma in greater numbers than men.
Plattner implored a panel of lawmakers in Frankfort to create a position for the state to bridge the gap.
“We really need to have a full-time women’s veterans coordinator. There are other states that do, currently we do not have the funding for that," said Plattner. "I’d like to put out to your committee and to the legislature to contemplate giving a fully funded position in the 2016 legislative session for a women’s veterans coordinator.”
In response to Plattner’s suggestion, Gov. Steve Beshear said in a statement that he is, quote, “open to ideas to help ... better connect all veterans with the programs, services and education they deserve to enhance their quality of life.”