Rep. Gutwein Supportive of New VA Position

He had a bill prepared, but 16th District State Representative Doug Gutwein says he is just as pleased with a new resource for female veterans in Indiana.

There are 38-thousand vets in the state who also happen to be women.

Plans have been in the works for some time to hire a female state coordinator for the Indiana Department of Veterans Affairs. A hire has been made according to Gutwein. That decision was announced Monday afternoon, naming Senior Master Sergeant Laura McKee to the post.

Gutwein says he was prepared to introduce a bill to create the position in the instance the role wasn’t allowed through the state budget process.

“My bill wouldn’t change anything that’s happened over the last six months,” says Gutwein. “It’s a done deal. It’s a done deal unless something comes out of the Senate and I have not heard that any legislation is coming from there yet.”

The new resource would offer an avenue to resolve concerns that the state’s female service members may not wish to discuss with a male serving in the role.

It’s rumored a similar position may have existed at one time in the state. As the process was being completed over the summer of last year, input was gathered detailing how to proceed from the VA and other organizations.

Gutwein says he’s looking for great things for female veterans in the state.

“I just think this is going to be an avenue for them and it’s going to be like something they’ve never seen before,” says Gutwein.

Funding was found in the current budget cycle to fill the position – which will be continued for the position.