On Thursday evening, the CBS Evening News with Katie Couric will air a story about Women Veterans.
By the year 2020, one in five veterans under the age of 45 will be women. Currently, women make up about 15 percent of the active duty forces in Iraq and Afghanistan.
CBS News is taking a look at this growing group of women warriors, female soldiers returning with wounds of war. How do they adjust to civilian life as women with disabilities? And, is the VA system prepared to treat women with the same quality of care it has given men for decades?
CBS News Correspondent Kelly Wallace visited the VA's D.C. Medical Center and met with the experts grappling with those issues. She also interviewed four women veterans who told compelling stories about how their lives have changed since returning from war.
"Chicks love scars. I heard that all the time at Walter Reed," said Army SPC Diane Cochran (Ret.). "Well, do guys love scars?"
Of the 1.7 million troops who have deployed in support of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, more than 190,000 — or about 11 percent — are women.
Most people in this country still do not have to be touched by the war and it's effects unless they choose to be. It's no longer just Johnny marching home; Jane is marching home, too. As these young women come home to middle America, broken from war, we will see how we deal with their "badge of honor of combat wounds". It's not pretty, but war isn't Hollywood and it certainly isn't pretty. These women stood up for this country and it's citizens; we must stand up for them, as well.
6.19.08-UPDATE: Here is the report