LANSING, Mich. — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced Friday a proposed investment of $105.8 million to modernize women’s facilities used by the Michigan Army National Guard (MIARNG). She also declared June 12 as Women Veterans Recognition Day.
According to the state, the investment will go to 37 facilities used by the MIARNG. At the time of construction, most of the MIARNG force was male and the buildings were made with that demographic in mind. Whitmer said the force is now much more diverse, with nearly 1,500 women serving, and changes need to be made to reflect that.
“It is a matter of fairness and equity that the state should embark on a mission to update these facilities to ensure parity with the facilities provided to male soldiers,” Whitmer said. “Women are a growing segment of the population stepping up to serve our state and nation and the facilities available to them should match this commitment.”
“Michigan’s armories and readiness centers must be modernized and improved in order to address inequities that exist in the facilities provided to our female soldiers,” said U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Paul D. Rogers, adjutant general and director of the Michigan Department of Military and Veterans Affairs. “This investment would clearly demonstrate Michigan’s commitment to them.”
Women veterans represent the fastest-growing veteran population in the country, according to the state. By 2045, women veterans are expected to account for 16% of the state’s veteran population. Whitmer declared June 12 as Women Veterans Recognition Day to honor Michigan’s 44,700 women veterans.
“Michigan women have put their lives on the line to serve our country for generations and it’s time they get the respect and recognition they earned,” Whitmer said. “While I am proud to declare June 12th Women Veterans Recognition Day, we need to make sure our women veterans have the year-round support to employment and educational opportunities, healthcare, mental health services and housing when they return home.
“With this proposed investment, we are also demonstrating to our female service members that we are serious about ensuring equity within our state.”
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