Grinder appointed to VA advisory committee

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Tennessee Department of Veterans Affairs Commissioner Many-Bears Grinder has been appointed to the VA Advisory Committee for Minority Veterans.

The committee provides advice to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs secretary on the needs of minority veterans regarding health care, rehabilitation benefits, compensation and other programs administered by VA.

According to the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, the number of minorities serving in the Armed Forces is increasing, leading to a more socially and ethnically diverse military.

However, officials say minority veterans are less likely to utilize VA health care or file claims for federal benefits.

There are nearly 83,000 minority veterans and more than 51,000 women veterans living in Tennessee.

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