Sen. McCaskill visits Mo. military bases and operations

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JEFFERSON CITY - Senator Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., visited the Missouri National Guard headquarters Wednesday to talk with members of the military about what they need and the challenges they face on a daily basis.

“I’ve spent the last several days traveling around the state to all the military installations, all of the National Guard operations we have in our state because, as a member of the armed services committee, this is where I learn the most,” McCaskill said.

Chief Warrant Officer Michelle Struemph said an issue military couples face is weekend child care. A lot of National Guard work is done on the weekends and if they don’t live close to other family members, it can be hard to find someone to care for their children. She added that sometimes one parent has to take a step back from work.

Not only are there challenges in military families, but also for active duty women who are planning to begin families.

Struemph said women in active duty who just had a child need to be ready to work six months postpartum and it's hard to pass the physical tests in such a short amount of time after giving birth.

Staff Sergeant Jacob Sherlock said he would like to see a change in making VA care more beneficial and efficient.

McCaskill responded saying she wants to hold people accountable, but it “gets murky when you are dealing with the VA and the military at the same time.” She added that she needs specific cases to learn more about the problems.

As a member of the Armed Services and Homeland Security Committees, McCaskill hopes this Security and Defense tour of all Missouri military bases and operations will help her learn, “and understand the support systems and benefits they need and making sure that they are getting them.”