By: Leo Shane III
4 hours ago
The largest veterans organizations have long been seen as dominated by men, especially before the recent wars dramatically increased the number of women with military and combat service. Army vet Mary Stout served as commander of Vietnam Veterans of America from 1987 to 1991, but none have followed in the last 25 years.Army veteran Delphine Metcalf-Foster was named national commander of Disabled American Veterans on Aug. 1, 2017. (Courtesy of DAV) Correction: This story has been updated to reflect that Vietnam Veterans of America had a female commander in the 1980s.
WASHINGTON — Nine years ago, when Army veteran Delphine Metcalf-Foster went to her local Veterans Affairs hospital for a knee replacement, she asked her doctors if they would use a female-specific prosthesis.
They said they never considered getting any.
“I realized then there needed to be more education,” she said. “Women don’t have the same bone structure as men. But they just always used a unisex knee. Maybe if (the injury) hadn’t happened to me, I would have just assumed that it wasn’t a problem.”
Now Metcalf-Foster is hoping to shine a bigger spotlight on those types of overlooked women veteran issues as the first female commander of Disabled American Veterans. She was sworn into the post on Aug. 1, becoming the first woman to lead one of the major American veterans organizations since 1991.
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