State Announces New Women's Veteran Coordinator

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A U.S. Air Force veteran will serve as women's veteran coordinator for the state. Laura McKee, a reservist with the 434th Air Refueling Wing at Grissom Air Reserve Base, will take on the role with the Indiana Department of Veterans Affairs later this month. January 12, 2015

News Release

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - The Indiana Department of Veterans Affairs (IDVA) has named United States Air Force veteran Laura J. McKee as its state women's veteran coordinator.

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.

Over 33,000 women veterans reside in Indiana. They served in every war period, including World War II, and 1,087 of them are military retirees. There are 2,335 women on active duty not including those serving in the Indiana National Guard or who are members of a Reserve unit.

McKee’s first day on the job will be January 26, 2015.

Source: The State of Indiana