Harry S. Truman Memorial Veterans’ Hospital
Operation Warrior Mom
There are about 45,000 women Veterans living in Missouri and close to 2,000 use Truman VA for health care services. Brandy Clark is one of those Veterans. On November 2, she gave birth to a beautiful boy, Brycen. Brandy is an Army Reservist, has served two tours in Iraq and is also enrolled as a full-time student at the University of Missouri. She is a great example of the many “Warrior Moms” around Missouri and our nation.
Like many women Veterans, Brandy uses several of the resources that VA has to offer. VA Medical Centers offer women’s health care including well-women exams, mental health and reproductive health. Truman VA is not able to provide prenatal and labor/delivery care on site. Therefore, the facility contracts with community providers to offer this care. Brandy said, “I would be lost without Truman VA. They’ve been so helpful every step of the way. I wouldn’t be able to afford maternity care if not for them.” For mothers wanting to breastfeed, Truman VA offers aids such as breast pumps, nursing pads and nursing bras. Brandy added, “You don’t realize just how much you need these items” until you start breastfeeding.
Since women Veterans use community providers during their pregnancy, Truman VA requests Veterans to stay in contact during and after pregnancy. The Women Veterans Program Manager helps educate about the resources and services available and encourages Veterans to return to VA for services after their babies are born. Operation Warrior Mom is a way to welcome new moms back to VA healthcare.
Operation Warrior Mom is a gift bag with diapers, wipes, baby powder, lotion, shampoo, and a bib. The items in these bags are donated by the American Legion, VFW, AMVETS, and their Auxiliary organizations. On average, 20-25 women Veterans per year are currently using maternity care services through Truman VA. The Women Veterans Program Manager and Veterans Service Organizations plan to send an Operation Warrior Mom bag to all enrolled female Veterans after delivery. Brandy was the first to receive a Warrior Mom Bag. She said, “I love the bag and the picture on it! They are very well put together, and I especially like the saying on the baby bibs - My Mommy wore combat boots.”
For more information about this program, contact Cindy Stivers, Women Veterans Program Manager, at 573-814-6457.