Through the House Appropriations Committee approving the addition of $159,424 in House Bill 1, the state budget bill, the Texas Veterans Commission hired a Women Veterans Coordinator for the 2012-2013 biennium. The new coordinator, Angela Shinn, is establishing the Texas Women Veterans Program to assist women Veterans in the state to attain equitable access to federal and state Veterans’ benefits and services.
Since the 1700s, women have played a larger and more effective role in the U.S. Armed Forces. About 10 percent of the U.S. Forces currently serving in Afghanistan and Iraq are women. The higher number of women serving translates to a higher number of women Veterans coming home to Texas. The population of female Veterans in Texas is expected to grow by over 26 percent by the end of the 2013 biennium.
According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, female Veterans access Veterans’ services at a higher rate than men. Many women have deployed abroad and have fought, or are currently fighting, in combat and non-combat units in the Gulf War. Women engage in combat, incur combat related injuries and return home as disabled combat Veterans.
The Texas Veterans Commission Women Veterans Program will ensure that Texas women Veterans have equitable access to federal and state Veterans’ services and benefits, perform outreach to improve women Veterans’ awareness of eligibility for federal and state Veterans’ services and benefits, make recommendations to the Texas Veterans Commission to improve benefits and services, review programs, research projects and start initiatives designed to address or meet the needs of women Veterans, incorporate women Veterans’ issues in the Texas Veterans Commission strategic plan and participate in national forums and committees for women Veterans.
With the addition of Shinn, the Texas Veterans Commission will be better able to address the needs of all female Veterans and continue to bring the best services to Veterans in Texas. Shinn comes to TVC with military, corporate and state government experience. She is the daughter of a career Army Non-Commissioned Officer and was commissioned in the U.S. Army in Ordinance after graduation from the United States Military Academy – West Point. She served in III Corps at Fort Hood and the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault).
Shinn holds a Bachelor of Science(BS) in Engineering Management from the United States Military Academy, a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) from Arizona State University, and a Masters of International Management (MIM) from the American Graduate School of International Business –Thunderbird.
“At TVC, we strive to raise awareness of women Veteran contributions and services to our country and state, as well as inform and educate women Veterans about the benefits and services available to them,” Shinn said. “We assist Veterans and their survivors to obtain the benefits they have earned. By partnering with federal, state, local, and non-profit organizations, TVC aims to provide well-rounded options for serving Texas Women Veterans.” For more information, email Angela Shinn at the TVC.
Additional information about TVC’s women veteran programs can be viewed on their website.
Story by special guests Angela Shinn and Rachel Howell,
Texas Veterans Commission, Austin