APNewsBreak: Buttigieg hopes to name 1st female VA secretary

APNewsBreak: Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg says if elected he'd like to name a woman to lead the Department of Veterans Affairs for the 1st time

WASHINGTON -- Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg (BOO'-tuh-juhj) says if elected he'd like to name a woman to lead the Department of Veterans Affairs for the first time. It's part of a broader plan he's unveiling on Veterans Day.

The South Bend, Indiana, mayor tells The Associated Press that President Trump has "let veterans down" and the needs of female veterans have been neglected for too long.

The former Navy intelligence officer pointed to concerns of sexual harassment and gaps in access to women's health. He says a woman leading the VA could help spur cultural changes.

Women are the military's fastest-growing group, comprising about 17% of those enlisted.

More broadly, Buttigieg's plan would boost core VA health care including suicide prevention. Trump wants to steer more veterans to private-sector doctors outside the VA.

Buttigieg is unveiling his proposal in Rochester, New Hampshire.