Tuesday, September 1, 2015

The first female VFW chief in Florida is reaching out to younger veterans

Leaving no Florida veterans behind: Front and Center
Orlando Sentinel
September 1, 2015

VFW Commander Amber Putnam: Veterans deserve better care.
Florida is veterans friendly, says VFW Commander Amber Putnam.
The first female VFW chief in Florida is reaching out to younger veterans.

Former Gov. Jeb Bush, one of the herd of GOP presidential hopefuls, recently made a bid to stake out leadership in one vital area: veterans' affairs.

His VA reform plan would enlarge options for care outside the VA and boost focus on female veterans care. Paramount issues in Florida, home to America's third-largest veteran population and more than 166,000 women veterans, including Amber Putnam, the first female state commander of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Department of Florida. Putnam, a panelist on the Sentinel's November Florida Forward veterans forum, recently shared plans for the VFW.

Q: What challenges do you foresee as the first female head of the Florida VFW?

A: The challenges I face are in many ways no different than those of state commanders that have come before me. As a woman, I of course come from a different perspective, but first and foremost I am a veteran. One thing we pride ourselves on as an organization is that we embrace and support all combat veterans regardless of race, religion or gender. It was that way when we served in the military, and it remains that way as we continue to serve.
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