Showing posts with label military women. Show all posts
Showing posts with label military women. Show all posts

Sunday, March 19, 2023

It happened again, Fort Hood Female Soldier found dead

Female soldier found dead at Fort Hood, the same Army base in Texas where Vanessa Guillén was murdered

NBC News
By Marlene Lenthang
March 17, 2023
“For the Army to say no foul play presumes facts that have not yet been brought forth. For the Army to say no foul play would also indicate a tone deafness to the concerns of the father and the mother of Ana Fernanda Basaldua Ruiz who stated that she had been the target of alleged sexual harassment — repeated and consistent sexual harassment by other service members up to and including an immediate superior to who she reported,” David Cruz, the Communications Director of LULAC, said.
Ana Fernanda Basaldua Ruiz.Courtesy Basaldua Ruiz family
A female soldier died earlier this week at Fort Hood, the same Army base in Texas where Vanessa Guillén was murdered three years ago, officials said.

Combat engineer Pvt. Ana Basaldua Ruiz died Monday at the base, Fort Hood said in a news release.

Basaldua Ruiz, 20, who was from Long Beach, California, joined the Army in July 2021 and was assigned to the 1st Cavalry Division since December that year.
read more here

Wednesday, December 28, 2022

Canadian veteran's best therapist has four legs, and really big ears!

A friend named Bert: A Canadian veteran living with PTSD finds hope in a donkey

CTV News Canada
Joel Haslam
CTV News Ottawa Multi-Skilled Journalist
December 27, 2022
Karen is living with PTSD. She is a veteran of the Canadian Forces, doing her best to live with a painful past.

Karen Stacey, a Canadian Forces veteran living with PTSD, enjoys a gentle stroll with her friend Bert (Joel Haslam/CTV Ottawa)
Karen Stacey swings wide a creaky, stainless steel gate, announcing her arrival.

“Good morning, Bert. Are you still sleeping?”

She’s come to see a friend; a soulmate of sorts, who’s changed her life.

“Hi, buddy,” she says with a smile.

Bert turns his head toward her, clearly recognizing his visitor.

His ears point to the sky.

“Hello, handsome,” Karen whispers.

She locks her arms around his neck and gives him a gentle peck between the eyes.

“He’s a blessing. I couldn’t have asked for a better success story than to have a donkey as my best friend.”
Karen and Bert’s friendship began at the Women Warriors Healing Garden in Blackburn Hamlet.

“It still hurts. So, finding this place and being able to let everything go is fantastic. This is 52 acres of freedom that I can wander as I want. No judgment, no stress, no pain. Just a lot of love,” she says.

Co-founded by an American military veteran, Erin Kinsey, and an Ottawa psychotherapist, Elaine Waddington Lamont, the garden is a place for veterans to heal.
read more here

Sunday, March 20, 2022

Ukrainian women are volunteering to fight

Ukrainian women are volunteering to fight — and history shows they always have

Lauren Frayer
Iryna Matviyishyn
March 19, 2022
Kobzar's late grandmother was an army medic in World War II. It's become part of the family lore — how brave she was, treating soldiers on the front lines. So when Ukraine went to war again last month, Kobzar — a 49-year-old mother of two — decided to follow in her grandmother's footsteps. She left her office job in health care supply chains and enlisted in the army.
Tanya Kobzar's late grandmother was an army medic in World War II. It's become part of the family lore how brave she was, treating soldiers on the front lines. Tanya Kobzar
LVIV, Ukraine — In the lead-up to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Tanya Kobzar was having nightmares.

"I was waking up in the middle of the night, terrified. I would look at a black-and-white photo of my grandmother, which I have framed on a table," she recalls. "She reminds me of how brave a person can be."

Kobzar's late grandmother was an army medic in World War II. It's become part of the family lore — how brave she was, treating soldiers on the front lines. So when Ukraine went to war again last month, Kobzar — a 49-year-old mother of two — decided to follow in her grandmother's footsteps. She left her office job in health care supply chains and enlisted in the army.

"I did this for my children and for my country," says Kobzar, who's using her military nickname in this NPR interview, rather than her full surname, because she doesn't have permission from her commander to speak to the media.
read more here on NPR

Thursday, December 30, 2021

PTSD is "invisible" because they don't want to see it

Invisible and unheard: how female veterans suffering trauma are let down by US healthcare

The Guardian
Rose Empson
December 28, 2021
Gender differences exist in trauma exposure. PTSD is twice as common in women than in men, according to a study conducted by Kathryn Magruder at the University of South Carolina.
Neither Jen Burch’s assault nor her PTSD were taken seriously. Photograph: Courtesy Jen Burch/Handout

For Felicia Merkel, the PTSD trigger is any loud sound – an overhead speaker, a slammed car door – transporting her back to the blistering heat of Afghanistan. For Liz Hensel, it is looking into her daughter’s chestnut brown eyes, their color reminding her of those of a young Afghan girl named Medina, who lost her mother and leg at the trauma hospital in Kandahar. For Jen Burch, the intrusive memory is of the man who assaulted her before she deployed.

More than a decade has passed since these three women were deployed to Afghanistan. It’s now almost four months since the US military withdrew from Kabul on 30 August. Still, specific memories consume them. Three hundred thousand female veterans served in the 19-year war, and as media coverage dwindles and the nation slowly forgets, Felicia, Liz and Jen continue to remember.

Their experiences in Afghanistan differed from those of the male soldiers with whom they served. Now, their stateside lives do too. Being a woman in war comes with its own set of distinct traumas. While congressional legislation that has recently been proposed is welcome, essential bills are still being blocked that would help repair the suffering these women have endured for years.
“If it means sharing the darkest details of my story, then I’ll keep doing this,” Jen said, “until the gendered gap in veteran healthcare is finally closed”.
read more here

It is really time for people to stop using the excuse that PTSD is "invisible" because they don't want to see it. They don't want to acknowledge something that can happen to them. They don't want to face the fact that no one with PTSD wanted it, or even saw it coming. They don't want to think about every day of their own life could stop being the way they were used to and come crashing down all around them in an instant.

It is not just military women/veterans who feel invisible. It is all of us. It is the civilians, female as well as male, who survived death only to discover they entered into a whole new reality as a survivor. It is the men and women who put their lives on the line everyday all over this country walking out the door one day and knowing, they may not come home the same way they left. It is the ministers who never even think about hearing the one more story from their flock that could push the pain put on their shoulders to the breaking point and they end up with PTSD too. It is the doctors and nurses facing death and suffering on their normal shifts, being faced with the results of people who will not accept facts or believe science to prevent the spread of the pandemic and then turn to the same people to save their lives.

It is the kids who are abused by parents, family members and strangers along with everyone else they were supposed to be able to trust. It is the woman, like me, paying the price for loving someone who did not even understand that attempted murder and stalking is not something love caused.

It is survivors of natural disasters, accidents, fires, crimes and even living with someone who has PTSD but has not even attempted to heal. It is the mental health professionals counting the number of dead patients as much as they are counting the numbers of their peers who gave up.

Want to talk about invisible? Over 15 million Americans every year join this club that does not want to grow. We're all invisible because the only people anyone is paying any attention to at all when it comes to PTSD are members of the veterans community. Don't believe me? Ask someone if they ever heard about PTSD, because if they did at all, it was about a veteran and not their next door neighbor.

Friday, March 20, 2020

The general public has twisted ideas about female veterans...time to change the conversation

Kathie Costos on Remember The Fallen

Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
March 20, 2020

Last night I was the guest on Remember The Fallen Podcast with one of my buddies, Sgt. Dave Matthews who was with the Florida National Guard.

The topic was military women and veterans. You would think that since women have fought for this country...before it was one, they would not be regarded as second class anything, but they are.

The general public has twisted ideas about them. Take a man and woman, sitting together, each with a military hat on, the male is thanked for his service, while the woman is lucky to get a reluctant smile. It is the same when they hear about a female veteran with PTSD.

Hear about a male veteran with PTSD and right away, folks assume combat. Hear about a female veteran with PTSD and they think sexual assault. Even now researchers and reporters point to that when offering facts, instead of acknowledging that women are exposed to most of the same traumas males endure...and males are also exposed to sexual assaults too!
In this episode, Dave mentioned a woman during the Revolutionary War who strapped down her breasts so that she could serve next to the males. We did not get to talk more about her, but this is the woman we were talking about.
Deborah Sampson became a hero of the American Revolution when she disguised herself as a man and joined the Patriot forces. She was the only woman to earn a full military pension for participation in the Revolutionary army.
When we talk about our fabulous females, all things are considered and they are equally worthy of honor for their service. The percentage, while growing, remains a barrier to healing, that does not have to be there. We are doing what we can to break that down by helping you #BreakTheSilence so you hear it is possible to #TakeBackYourLife and be defined by what you decide to do from this moment onward!

HEAR HER ROAR on Remember The Fallen Podcast

Monday, March 9, 2020

Women in Military Service for America Memorial

3 remarkable women warriors to honor

Connecting Vets
MARCH 09, 2020

        Rear Admiral Grace Hooper--- Corporal Jessica Ellis---Brigadier General Hazel Johnson-Brown
Women veterans are the fastest-growing segment of the veteran population and have been serving in the Armed Forces since the Civil War. This is why we think it's only right to recognize a few of the women who dedicated their lives to serving their country, some of them making the ultimate sacrifice.
Here are three notable women buried in Arlington Cemetery and whose information is stored in the Women in Military Service for America Memorial.
read it here

Friday, March 6, 2020

100 enthusiastic women veterans fix up shelter for homeless women

Female veterans refurbish D.C. facility for homeless women

The Washington Times
By Sophie Kaplan
March 5, 2020
The Mission Continues, an organization that matches former members of the U.S. armed services with leadership and service opportunities across the country, brought about 100 enthusiastic women veterans, including Ms. Edwards, to Calvary in Anacostia to refurbish the facility.
Veterans Jamicka Edwards (left) and Elis Salamone from The Mission Continues’ women’s leadership fellowship program repaint the outdoor space at Calvary Women’s Services on Thursday in the District. (Sophie Kaplan/The Washington Times)
Jamicka Edwards held back tears when she arrived Thursday to do a community service project at Calvary Women’s Services, a transitional housing provider for homeless women.

The 41-year-old Indiana native was once homeless herself.

“It is even more special to me that I am here being able to give back in this capacity because I know what it’s like for these women, Ms. Edwards said. “Some of their stories, I was there, I get it.”
read it here

Saturday, February 29, 2020

VA Secretary under IG investigation for dismissing Navy Reserve Lt. assault claim

VA Secretary Under Investigation for Handling of Dismissed Hospital Sex Assault Claim
By Richard Sisk
February 28, 2020
Missal's investigation, which could put Wilkie's job on the line, was first reported by The Washington Post. It follows an earlier clash with Wilkie over his claim that Goldstein's complaint of being assaulted last September was "unsubstantiated."
VA Secretary Robert Wilkie. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
Department of Veterans Affairs Inspector General Michael Missal has opened an investigation into allegations that VA Secretary Robert Wilkie sought to dig up dirt on a congressional staffer who filed a complaint of sexual assault at the Washington, D.C., VA Medical Center. Her complaint was ultimately dismissed.

In a letter Thursday to congressional leaders, Missal said he is putting a "high priority" on the investigation into whether Wilkie attempted to discredit Navy Reserve Lt. Andrea Goldstein, who serves on the staff of House Veterans Affairs Committee Chairman Rep. Mark Takano, D-California.
read it here

Friday, February 7, 2020

Kentucky legislators push bill for Female Veterans' Day

This Kentucky legislator wants to create a Women Veterans Day

Courier Journal
Sarah Ladd
Feb. 5, 2020

The bill's language boasts, "women have proudly served their country throughout all periods of the history of the United States, whether disguised as male soldiers during the American 4 Revolution and Civil War, as nurses in World War I, or as combat helicopter pilots in 5 Afghanistan."

A Kentucky legislator wants to set aside a date for Women Veterans Day, and she has a lot of support from her colleagues.

Patti Minter, D-Bowling Green, introduced a bill Tuesday into the Kentucky Legislature that asks for June 12 to be set aside to honor women in Kentucky who've served in the military.

And more than 70 Legislators have signed on as co-sponsors.

Minter told The Courier Journal she's been "overwhelmed and excited" about the support from her colleagues, which has transcended political party and gender.

Minter, who is not a veteran, said setting aside a day for female veterans would be both "celebratory and educational."

When she was first sworn into the General Assembly, Minter was assigned to a committee that worked with veterans. Through that work, she said she was "educated" by women veterans about the "unique challenges" faced by service women.
read it here

Friday, January 17, 2020

Female Veteran “There wasn’t anything out there to help me. I had to figure it out all on my own.”

Female veterans face separate struggles than their male counterparts

Denver 7 News
By: Alicia Nieves
January 17, 2020
“There wasn’t anything out there to help me. I had to figure it out all on my own,” said Del Gaudio.

Women typically have less support in the veteran space and struggle to transition at disproportionately higher rates than their male counterparts.
NEW YORK, N.Y. – A board game created by graduate students at the School of Visual Arts in New York City is providing insight into the veteran life experience, particularly the female veteran experience.

The game is called “Military Game of Life.” Jiani Lin, Teng Yu, William Crum, Kevin Cook, Antriksh Nangia and Alexia Cohen were the students behind the game. They were able to get insight needed by teaming up with the Manhattan VA Medical Center and interviewing veterans there.

In the “Military Game of Life,” when you are a character and you roll the dice, you eventually land on an “XP" space. “XP” allows you to pick up an experience card, relative to the gender of your character. You learn, through the cards, some experiences are the same for male and female service members, but some are not.
read it here

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Lawsuit filed against the VA after female West Point Cadet committed suicide

Family of former West Point cadet who died by suicide alleges death resulted from Portland VA Medical Center’s negligent health care

The Oregonian
By Maxine Bernstein
Jan 14, 2020
Before she got the medication from the VA hospital, Darneille never expressed thoughts of self-harm, according to the suit. She remained positive and had plans to become a pilot, her family said.
Emylee Therese Darneille, a 24-year-old Lewis and Clark College graduate, died by suicide on July 5, 2015, in Seville, Spain. Her mother has filed a federal wrongful death lawsuit against the Portland Veterans Affairs Medical Center, alleging "medical negligence'' contributed to Darneille's death.

A 24-year-old woman who injured her ankle as a West Point Military Academy cadet ended her life due to medical negligence after she was treated at Portland’s Veterans Affairs Medical Center for chronic pain and associated anxiety, her family alleges in a federal lawsuit.

Emylee Darneille was discovered dead in Spain on July 5, 2015, two months after she was prescribed an anti-depressant called fluoxetine, a generic form of Prozac, at the medical center. She had seriously injured her ankle as a cadet in 2008 and over the next seven years developed a complex regional pain syndrome marked by prolonged severe pain. She underwent numerous surgeries and physical therapies.

Darneille quickly began experiencing suicidal symptoms and reported them to her doctors repeatedly, the suit alleges.

Darneille’s mother, Cherylee Bridges, contends that her daughter’s suffering and death resulted from “negligent health care” provided at the VA hospital. She’s seeking $5 million in compensation for the family’s grief, anguish and loss in a wrongful death suit filed against the U.S. government.

The suit alleges the medical center failed to manage Darneille’s medication, investigate the cause of her increased suicidal thoughts or give her appropriate care.
read it here

Saturday, January 11, 2020

39 Army Rangers are women!

Pennsylvania female soldier breaks barriers

21 News
by Brian Sheehan
January 9th 2020
While Farber is the first National Guard member in Pennsylvania to enlist and graduate, 38 other women from across the county are also U.S. Army Rangers.
As the United States military continues moving towards gender equality in the workforce, more women are serving in combat positions.
Sgt. Danielle Farber is the first female National Guard soldier in Pennsylvania who enlisted and graduated U.S. Army Ranger School.

In 2013, the Pentagon lifted the ban on women serving in combat positions.

Farber graduated in December.

She’s originally from Chester County, but is stationed at Fort Indiantown Gap where she currently works as a medic.
read it here

Friday, January 10, 2020

Veteran Angela Peacock's new mission, to save survivors from PTSD

Female Vet Saves Lives with Heroic Fight for Improved Treatment for Trauma

January 9, 2020
Former Sergeant Angela Peacock is a woman who has dedicated her life and her own survival to educating and helping others and is the definition of a true hero.

As we sit on the brink of troubling tension with Iran, many concerned about the possibility of another war, MK Mendoza is joined by Veteran Sergeant Angela Peacock who knows the personal cost of war and what post traumatic stress can do. She is not alone. Nearly one out of every ten people in our adult population is a veteran and in some NM counties, that number is close to every 2 out of ten.

Men make up the more than 90% of veterans. And women just less than ten percent. Yet close to a third of all suffer silently with Post Traumatic Stress. And though women still rank in the vast minority in the service, their population has nearly doubled since Vietnam.
She's found a new mission in life: To help all who suffer from Post Traumatic Stress and gives voice to an invisible population and another experience that can kill. Thirty percent of all people are estimated as overmedicated defined as being on more than 5 drugs at a time, and in our elderly population some studies estimate a rate of 67%.
read it here

Friday, January 3, 2020

Survivors of Sabana Seca Navy Base attack honored at memorial

'It's something we all needed': Navy veteran, others attacked by terrorists honored at ceremony

The Times and Democrat
By Gene Zaleski
January 2, 2019
Each of the service members did eventually receive a Purple Heart for the ordeal, but never have been memorialized until now. Allen was one of two women injured in the attack."This is our big recognition now," she said.

Orangeburg resident and retired U.S. Navy veteran Cottie Boyd Allen's life changed in the blink of an eye 40 years ago.

She was aboard a bus carrying 17 Navy communications technicians to work on a transmitting tower about a mile away from the Sabana Seca Navy base where she was stationed.

Gunmen intercepted the bus and opened fire in a terrorist attack against the unarmed soldiers.

"We were attacked," Allen recalled. "I was wounded four times."

"One bullet went through my face and landed in my temple area; one landed in my buttocks and in my thighs," Allen said. Shrapnel from the bullets is still within her body.

Allen, a native of New Jersey, lost consciousness and was listed in critical condition after the attack. She was transported to Roosevelt Roads Navy Base, which at that time served as a U.S. Navy base in the town of Ceiba, Puerto Rico.
read it here

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

There comes a time when we get sick and tired of being left behind

Leaving behind being left behind

Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
January 1, 2019

There comes a time when we get sick and tired of being left behind. We see others being crushed by circumstances or moved passed the masses as if blessed by a force beyond reason. What do those left behind do when they are not so blessed? Do they stay where they are, as sadness overcomes them, or do they make their own path forward?

We make our own path forward if others will not help us or get out of our way, and then lead the way for others.

My Mom always told me the surest way to get me to do something, was to tell me I could not do it. She was right. I could not look at life as if it was determined by gender. If my two older brothers could do it, so could I.

There was a time when I was about a year old that I thought I would grow up to become a boy.
My Mom took a picture of me in a dress with a football helmet and holding a football. Safe bet I had shinny shoes and lacy ankle socks on instead of cleats. I had no clue girls were not supposed to do something like that.

For the last 37 years working on researching and healing PTSD, I competed in a male dominated field. I worked with veterans, mostly males, even though I am not a veteran. Most say it has been OK since I talk like them. Yet those with the power to help me get the message across, would rather use what I could do for their own benefit, or just take it from me. Much like the football, I have a tight grip on what I want to do and will not let go.

So, here we are in a new year and I found my way to do what I was meant to do because some males finally believed in my ability to do it.

The group that has supported me for over a decade, Point Man International Ministries, decided it is time for me to lead the way for female veterans to begin to heal in their own group. We couldn't wait any longer for this to happen, so when I announced my husband and I were moving to New Hampshire, it was to begin this ministry.

Before I decided to do it, I needed to talk to a few female veterans I knew and they agreed I should do it. Then the hardest challenge was to present the idea to a group of veterans on Rally Point. I was again supported by males. They said as long as I was clear that I am not a veteran, they will take what I say based on my background, which includes being an Army brat and spouse of a veteran. Basically it is in my blood.

While I do not know what it is like to risk my life for someone else, or endure what military women go through, I can understand what it can sometimes do to them. If you read FOR THE LOVE OF JACK HIS WAR MY BATTLE you can catch up on that part.

When we consider that women have done many things they were not supposed to do because they are women, we need to look at the beginning of this country and how they have served in every war, including the Revolutionary War.
"Left to support herself alone, Corbin struggled financially. After she recovered, Corbin joined the Invalid Regiment at West Point, where she aided the wounded until she was formerly discharged in 1783. Then, on July 6, 1779, the Continental Congress, in recognition of her brave service, awarded her with a lifelong pension equivalent to half that of male combatants. Congress also gave her a suit of clothes to replace the ones ruined during the conflict."
After all these years and rich history, one would think, had it not been for women doing things they were not supposed to be able to do, we wouldn't leave any female veteran behind. Well, more and more are deciding they are also leaving behind being left behind, and forging ahead.
Marines have to be able to carry one another if necessary. USMC Cpl. Gabrielle Green hefts a fellow marine as they ready for deployment on a Navy ship at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. Of the 38,000 recruits who enter the corps each year, about 3,500 are women—or, in USMC phrasing, “female marines.”
Want to be part of this moving ahead place and time? Contact me at 407-754-7526. Yes, I know that is a Florida area code, but I am not changing my number after all these years. I am just changing the focus from mostly male veterans to females.

If you find a great story on females in the military or in the veteran community, email the link to me and we can share more of their stories!

Monday, December 30, 2019

Joint Chiefs Senate confirmation shows they do not take military sexual assaults seriously

Why This Veteran Is Suing One of the Joint Chiefs for Sexual Assault

The Daily Beast
Molly Jong-Fast
Dec. 30, 2019

Twenty-eight-year veteran Kathryn Spletstoser couldn’t get the military to take her claims against a decorated Air Force general seriously. Now she’s making those claims in court.

Carolyn Van Houten/The Washington Post via Getty
Army Lt. Col. Kathryn Spletstoser just wanted to fade into retirement. She’d served 28 years in various posts and had done four combat deployments: two in Iraq, and two in Afghanistan. She’d been a White House fellow. She had earned three master’s degrees. She was one of the most accomplished officers of her generation. She was ready to go into private sector work, spend time with her aging mother, and go back to her native Wisconsin.

But in April 2019, when President Trump nominated Air Force Gen. John Hyten, then the commander of the U.S. Strategic Air Command and her boss, to serve as vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff—the second highest ranking military officer in the United States and the second most powerful position in the U.S. armed forces—she put those plans aside.

She claims that Hyten sexually assaulted her numerous times throughout 2017. For two years, she had said nothing about the alleged incidents, but when the oft-decorated Hyten stood to be elevated to such a high position, she went public, reporting him in April.
Trisha Guillebeau, the public affairs adviser to the Joint Chiefs, said: “In response to your request for comment I’d like to state that all investigations found the allegations against Gen. Hyten to be unsubstantiated. All allegations provided to the Department of Defense were subject to comprehensive investigation and unsubstantiated. In addition, the Senate conducted its own exhaustive, comprehensive review of the matter during Gen. Hyten’s confirmation process to be vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Gen. Hyten’s confirmation by the Senate as vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff validates the trust that has been placed in him by our nation, our department’s leadership, and Congress.”
read it here

Monday, December 23, 2019

Female veterans #BreakTheSilence and get your service on equal footing

Yesterday I posted on PTSD Patrol about female veterans service being overlooked. Too many times people have assumed that when you mention a female veteran with PTSD, they try to point to military sexual assaults. Not that they do not happen, but no one jumps to that conclusion when a male veteran has PTSD, even though they get attacked too.

As you can see in this recent report, it happens to males as well as females.
The US military is reporting a disturbing spike in the number of active-duty service members who said they’d experienced sexual assault last year, raising questions once again about the military’s handling of misconduct.
The Pentagon estimates that about 20,500 service members across the military branches — about 13,000 women and 7,500 men — were sexually assaulted in the 2018 fiscal year, based on data from an anonymous survey that’s compiled by the Department of Defense every two years.
That’s a four-year high — and an alarming jump from 2016, in which 14,900 service members said they had been sexually assaulted.
Yet the public assumes that PTSD caused by combat situations in females, on top of everything else, does not happen.

There are, sadly still, too many things that are getting worse while it seems as if more is being done claiming to change all of it.

Things our politicians do, do not work, then everyone wants more done. Huge problem when it is all more of the same and the worst outcome spreads out! If you are a female veteran, or currently serving, use your voice and make sure that your service is honored, your wounds are tended to and you get the help you need to live a better quality of life. #BreakTheSilence

Why do women wonder when their service will count?

PTSD Patrol
Kathie Costos
December 22, 2019

We read about it all the time. A couple is sitting together, both wearing military hats, yet it is only the male who receives a "thank you" for his service.

Someone forgot to inform the "thanker" that women have served this country since before it was a country.
Today over 210,000 women serve on active duty in the military services of the Department of Defense (Army, Navy, Marine Corps, and Air Force), and another 5,955 serve in the Active Coast Guard—part of the Department of Homeland Security in peacetime.
The Reserve Components are federal forces. Guard components play dual state and federal roles. Like most of the active forces, the Reserve and Guard components have an increasing percentage of women in their ranks. As of February 2018, women constituted 158,090 or 19.8 percent—of all personnel serving in the six DoD Reserve and Guard forces. Women number 1,067—or 17.4 percent—of all personnel serving in the Coast Guard Reserve.
Women have been bestowed with every military medal for heroism, including the Medal of Honor. Dr. Walker not only served during the Civil War, she was a POW.

Released from government contract at the end of the war, Dr. Walker lobbied for a brevet promotion to major for her services. Secretary of War Stanton would not grant the request. President Andrew Johnson asked for another way to recognize her service. A Medal of Honor was presented to Dr. Walker in January 1866. She wore it every day for the rest of her life. read it here

Saturday, December 21, 2019

Jennifer Kepner served as an Air Force Medic in Iraq in 2006, killed by cancer caused by burn pits

President Trump signs Rep. Ruiz’s burn pits, law enforcement mental health bill into law

News Channel 3
By Jesus Reyes
December 20, 2019
Kepner lost her battle to cancer on October 16, 2017. She was 39 years old and left behind a husband and two young children. After her passing, her husband continued her fight to end burn pits.
President Donald Trump signed three of local Congressman Raul Ruiz's bills into law, including legislation to stop burn pits and improve mental health services for local law enforcement.

On Friday, Trump signed the bipartisan, $738 billion National Defense Authorization Act into law. The NDAA included two pieces of Ruiz's legislation aiming to end the use of toxic military burn pits.

Burn pits were used as the main way to get rid of waste and garbage on American military bases during the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, hundreds of tons of waste were burned each day including plastics, Styrofoam, petroleum products, human waste, and other items.

Many service members and veterans exposed to burn pits ended up suffering from pulmonary issues, insomnia, cancer, and rare illnesses.

An independent registry by Burn Pits 360, a veteran organization whose goal it is to end burn pits, reveals that over 6,000 veterans have been exposed to toxic airborne chemicals and fumes generated by open air burn pits.

Ruiz's legislation calls on the Department of Defense to produce and implement a plan to phase out the use of burn pits and provide a comprehensive list of all locations where the toxic burn pits have been used.

One local veteran affected by burn pits was at the forefront of highlighting the dangers of the practice years ago.

Cathedral City resident Jennifer Kepner served as an Air Force Medic in Iraq in 2006. She told News Channel 3's John White in Sept. 2017, she was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2016. read it here

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Cranky note left on veteran's car...because she is a female veteran!

‘Women serve too’; Note left on veteran’s car prompts conversation among female vets

WECT 6 News
By Amanda Foster
December 2, 2019

INDIAN TRAIL, N.C. (WBTV) - A female veteran parked in a “reserved veteran parking” spot at an Indian Trail Harris Teeter says someone left a note on her car that was disappointing.
The woman wrote “Women serve, too” in part of a post on the ‘What’s Up Indian Trail?” Facebook page. She says after she parked in the reserved veterans’ space at the grocery store, someone left her a note – on what looks like a napkin - with the message, “R U A Veteran!” written in blue.

“It is disappointing to think there are people out there…but it’s reality. There’s going to be stereotypes everywhere,” Air Force veteran Mindy Mills says.

Mills is one of several other female veterans now commenting on the social media post, sharing their own stories of sideways looks, notes, even confrontations. One woman writes, “I very seldom use the spots but I have been asked twice by men if I am a veteran.” Another commenter tells a story of someone following her into a store and yelling at her for parking in the space.
read it here

Saturday, December 7, 2019

Female veterans it is no longer acceptable to be forgotten warriors!

Female veterans it is no longer acceptable to be forgotten warriors! Isn't it time that your service mattered as much as the male veterans? Isn't it time that you received the same attention to your needs and wounds?

Hell, it isn't as if women did not fight since the Revolutionary War! Considering that women have earned ever medal for service, including the Medal of Honor after the Civil War, you deserve a lot more than you have been getting.

Point Man International Ministries is coming to the New Hampshire-Maine border just for you! My husband and I moved from Florida to Rochester New Hampshire. Point Man has asked me to open the first Out Post for female veterans. While I am not a veteran, the need is so great that we can no longer wait to find a female veteran to take the lead on this.

The goal is to begin to train women veterans from all generations to open their own Out Post and Home Fronts for families.

Consider the following and begin to understand why we can no longer wait for someone else to do it.

The need for female veterans is growing and will continue to grow as more women enter the military. had this in 2019 report With Historic Number of Women in Uniform, the Vet Community Is About to Change
In fact, the number of women in the armed services -- and subsequent veteran population -- is rapidly increasing. According to the Defense Department, women now make up 20 percent of the Air Force, 19 percent of the Navy, 15 percent of the Army and almost 9 percent of the Marine Corps.

Women now make up approximately 10 percent of the current veteran population, the fastest-growing demographic. The number of female veterans treated at the VA almost tripled between 2000 and 2015. As a result of this rapid growth, the VA experienced difficulty meeting the clinical needs of female veterans at all sites of care.
For 2017 according to the VA report on Female Veterans 8,541 lived in New Hampshire and 9,103 lived in Maine.

And another report from the VA in 2018 focusing on female veterans indicated that "between 2005 and 2015 female veterans between the age of 35 and 54 had higher suicide rates than those in other age groups. While we seem fixated on the rise of veteran suicides in general, the most shocking find was that for male veterans the rate went up 35.3 but the rate for female veteran suicides went up 45.2 percent.

It is no longer a matter of we need to do better. It has become we have to do better right now and we have had enough years to get this right! Contact Kathie Costos at 407-754-7526 email