Indiana Welcomes Women’s Veteran Coordinator, Laura McKee

State officials say more than 33,000 female veterans live in Indiana and have served during each war period since World War II. They will now be well represented by lifelong Indiana resident, Laura McKee.

Senior Master Sergeant McKee is an Air Force Reservist with the 434th Air Refueling Wing at Grissom Air Reserve Base, Indiana. She is an Assistant Chief Inflight Refueler with the 72nd Air Refueling Squadron at Grissom. She has been deployed numerous times in support of operations during Operation Iraqi and Enduring Freedom and has honorably served her country for 25 years. McKee has over 4,000 flight hours and almost 1,000 combat hours.

McKee, a lifelong resident of Indiana, earned her bachelor’s degree from Indiana University and also graduated from the Community College of the Air Force with two Associate of Applied Science degrees in Aviation Operation Aircraft Technology and Systems Maintenance Technology.

“We are very pleased to announce the selection of Laura McKee for this vital role,” said Governor Mike Pence. “McKee’s service history is filled with honor, dedication and commitment beginning with Operation Desert Shield and Storm to the most recent Operation Inherent Freedom. She has an extensive and decorated record of service to our country. Her experience in the military and her extensive knowledge of the issues and challenges facing female veterans make her the ideal person to help them find the benefits and services due to them for their selfless service and sacrifice.”

The Indiana General Assembly in 2014 passed unanimously legislation authorizing this position during a session where Governor Mike Pence championed veterans’ issues.

“Being selected as the IDVA state women’s veteran coordinator is an extraordinary honor,” said McKee. “My career has provided me with the insight to understand concerns and questions shared by other female veterans. I have experienced, witnessed and have an awareness of the challenges that are often specific to female veterans. I am looking forward to continuing my service career by helping others in this role.”

McKee’s responsibilities will include performing outreach to improve women veterans’ awareness of eligibility for federal and state veterans’ services and benefits, serving as an accredited state service officer, reviewing programs and advocating for additional initiatives to address or meet the needs of Indiana’s women veterans.

Laura’s job will take her to every VA facility in the state. It will entail making connections, spreading the word, she is there for them.

Out of the more than 35,000 female vets in the state, the Indiana Department of Veterans Affairs says just 750 have registered to find state benefits.  Women vets have different needs than their male counterparts.

“Reproductive health, childbirth, childcare you have your cancers like ovarian cancer, uterine cancer, vaginal cancer, osteoporosis,” says McKee.

Women vets also have post traumatic stress syndrome.  Research shows women get it easier and have a more difficult time overcoming it.

Kelly Weeks is a veteran, a mom and she could use McKee’s help.

“I didn’t have anyone there telling me what I was eligible for. I didn’t have anyone saying, ‘you’re a mother of a child’ this is what we can do to help,” says Weeks.

Helping Kelly and many others will test McKee’s skills.  By trade she is an air force reservist, with the 434th Air Refueling Wing out of Grissom Air Base. She’s logged 1,000 hours of combat, as an Assistant Chief Inflight Refueler.

Now this woman from rural Indiana is being called on for a much different job.

“I want to break the ground for some of the people that might have problems with dealing with sensitive issues,” says McKee.

You can contact Laura McKee at 317-232-3910 or the Indiana Department of Veteran’s Affairs at 317-232-3910

DISCLAIMER: Neither Indiana VA Mortgages (IndianaVAmortgages.com) nor LeaderOne Financial Corporation is affiliated with any government agencies, including the VA.

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