Female Veteran Shares Her Story and Talks About Women's Roles - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Female Veteran Shares Her Story and Talks About Women's Roles

Posted: Updated:

KENNEWICK, Wash.-- The most recent U.S. Census Bureau's census estimates there are 23.6 million veterans in the United states, but only 1.8 million are female veterans.

Alfie Alvarado, Deputy Director of Washington State Veteran's Affairs and a veteran herself, says when she enlisted in the army in 1971, only about three-percent of armed forces were women.  Now, she says, about 20-percent of the people going through basic training are women.

Alvarado was in the Army for 22 years, and she served in the medical and dental field all over the U.S. and in Germany.  She says one of the highlights of her service was seeing Berlin wall go down in 1989, and one of the highlights of her life is seeing the changing role of women in the military.  She explains, "I know of women that have had a difficult time in being able to adjust, especially when women went from being all together, living in the same place, and all being in one side of the barracks, to being integrated in the units."

Alvarado says there are many issues women in the military face, and she feels they are largely underappreciated and the un-sung heroes of the military.  Alvarado also says she decided to work with veterans so that she could still continue her service to our country and those who serve our country.