Tulsi Gabbard has long been an advocate for our veterans--working hard to ensure their service and sacrifice are not forgotten once they lay down the uniform and that they have access to the benefits, resources, and care they have earned and deserve.

Unfortunately, today we see an increasing number of female war veterans who are largely being overlooked. The suicide rate among veterans is already devastatingly higher than among civilians, but for female veterans, that rate jumps to more than double their male counterparts. Although there are now many services offered by the VA to discharged veterans, many of these programs and services are designed for men and don't address some of the unique needs that female veterans have.

To address this troubling trend, Tulsi Gabbard introduced the Deborah Sampson Act (HR 2452), supported by the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America and a bipartisan group of House members, to address the needs of our growing population of women veterans through the VA. Military sexual assault, PTSD, homelessness, and suicide are major issues that we have to confront and address. Ensuring our women veterans receive the quality VA care they've earned through their service is a responsibility that we must fulfill.

Women veterans are stepping up to lead and continue their service in many ways. Denise Rohan was recently elected as the first female commander of the American Legion, and the Disabled American Veterans elected Delphine Metcalf-Foster as their national commander. Congress needs to listen to our veterans and work to ensure their service is honored. Laying down the uniform does not mean you will be left behind--every veteran deserves our full support.

The Deborah Sampson Act will improve the existing support systems for female veterans and retrofit VA medical facilities to ensure women-specific care is always available.

Don't abandon our female veterans to staggering risk of suicide

Earlier this month, the Department of Veterans Affairs released an updated version of its " Veteran Suicide Statistics by State " report, the most comprehensive examination of veteran suicide in American history which analyzed over 55 million records from 1979 to 2014 from all 50 states and four territories.

More Information & Updates from Tulsi Gabbard: