As the Author of the #1 Amazon National-International Best Seller War Memoir “Battling the Storm Within” about living 20 years undiagnosed with PTSD, MST and the GWI. My mission is to empower others to address their own personal traumas, be healed, restored and live again. I believe in telling the truth, living the truth and being the truth. I will share the truth for it sets you free. I have battled my storm that was within me and won, so can you! Peace and blessings Sgt. Stephanie J. Shannon
Centra “Ce-Ce” Mazyck is a super-mom, a woman who laid down her life for her country and a self proclaimed “adrenaline junkie.” But looking at her you wouldn’t know that she’s also a 22-time national wheelchair veterans gold medalist!
But that’s not the amazing thing about Ce-Ce. She is a survivor and defied all odd against her to walk again.
While deployed for six months with the U.S. Navy, Dr. Marion Henry had all the usual worries about being away from her husband and three children at their home in San Diego, California.
But that 2015 deployment — as the Director for Surgical Services on the USNS Mercy — was particularly hard for her, because it meant she missed the first day of school for Jack, then 8, Maggie, then 6, and Katherine, then 3. It was hard, she told TODAY Parents, to miss meeting her children's teachers, knowing which days they had "specials," and getting to know their friends and their friends' parents. When she came home in October, it was "very disorienting," she said.
FORT LEONARD WOOD, MO. • The hallway leading to the commander’s office is adorned with 40 framed pictures, arranged like a long arrow pointing forward, of the men in uniform who have led this sprawling post in the Ozarks.
Bucking the trend, the latest photo added to the wall is of Army Maj. Gen. Donna Martin, the first woman to lead Fort Leonard Wood since it opened in 1941. She’s also one of few African-Americans to do so.
Last June, President Donald Trump signed a landmark law on veterans’ health care after months of tense negotiations. At the ceremony in the Rose Garden, Trump said the bill would deliver on his campaign promise to let veterans see private doctors instead of using the Department of Veterans Affairs’ government-run health service: “I’m going to sign legislation that will make veterans’ choice permanent,” he said.
Complex trauma is still a relatively new field of psychology. Complex post-traumatic stress disorder (C-PTSD) results from enduring complex trauma.
Complex trauma is ongoing or repeated interpersonal trauma, where the victim is traumatized in captivity, and where there is no perceived way to escape. Ongoing child abuse is captivity abuse because the child cannot escape. Domestic violence is another example. Forced prostitution/sex trafficking is another.
The Defense Department in September released a first-of-its-kind study that estimates the risk of sexual assault service members face at different installations. The estimates were based on more than 170,000 survey responses service members completed in 2014 on whether they had personally experienced sexual assault.
The data has limitations, but military officials will use it to help identify high-risk areas and see what additional steps can be taken to increase safety for men and women assigned there. The data is searchable by service, risk, location and estimated number of assaults.
During a live webcast on Oct. 16, VA's new Under Secretary for Benefits, Paul R. Lawrence, Ph.D. said that VA will begin reviewing tens of thousands of PTSD claims filed by veterans who suffered Military Sexual Trauma (MST).
VA Inspector General Report Found Problems With MST Claims
Amid growing concerns about the water on military bases, Military Times created a searchable database of all installation drinking water systems, monitoring wells and off-base locations where higher-than-recommended levels of perfluorooctane sulfonate or perfluorooctanoic acid, also known as PFOS and PFOAs have been reported. The compounds have been tied to birth defects and cancers.
WASHINGTON – One year ago, Vietnam Veterans of America discovered a Facebook page was using its name to spread disinformation to nearly 200,000 followers. Facebook disabled the site at VVA’s request, citing violations to intellectual property.
The incident sparked an effort at VVA, a congressionally chartered veterans service organization, to find more social media pages that target veterans and servicemembers with sensationalized news and hyper-partisan political content
Beginning in January 2019, military retirees and disabled vets will get an increase in their checks, seeing a 2.8-percent raise – the largest in six years.
Those receiving the largest checks stand to see a $369 per month increase, Military.com reported. An E-7 with 20 years of service would see an increase of about $67 monthly and an O-5 with 20 years of service would see an additional $126 monthly.
After Congress failed to pass a farm bill ahead of the 2018 midterm elections, a Department of Agriculture program that helps veterans transition into farming faces an uncertain future. For soldiers returning from war, farming can offer a new occupation, reintegration into civilian life and even therapy for post-traumatic stress disorder. Special correspondent Mike Cerre reports.
These programs were designed with women service members in mind.
Approximately 4,300 women veterans are homeless at any given time, according to a recent report by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. When Cindy Seymour, a former Air Force sergeant, heard that number, she knew she had to do something to help her sisters-in-arms.
(CNN)High blood pressure. Anxiety. Depression. Insomnia. These are just a few of the possible long-term health consequences facing mid-life women who had experienced sexual assault and harassment, according to a study published Wednesday in JAMA Internal Medicine.
“We’re expanding the number of recruiters we’ll put out in the streets; we’re cleaning up the storefronts; we are moving into 20-plus cities around the United States,” Army Secretary Mark Esper told reporters during the Association of the United States Army’s annual conference. “I think we can and we will do a lot better, but it’s going to take some time to re-position ourselves.”
The Pentagon’s hard line on troop readiness took effect Monday, and 126,000 service members now find themselves on a path to separation if they do not become deployable in the next 12 months.
“Deploy or get out" was an early policy priority of Defense Secretary Jim Mattis to improve the overall readiness of U.S. military forces.
It was formalized in February and gave the services until Oct. 1 to be ready to begin holding troops accountable. Those intervening months also gave troops time to prepare, to get rid of administrative, legal or medical blocks that may have previously kept them in a non-deployable status.
A toxic culture of gender discrimination and inequality continues to exist in the U.S. military. Worse, it isn’t simply gray-haired military bosses who are responsible for this. The atmosphere created by a few junior military personnel can ruin the career of a promising servicewoman before it even begins. I know this because I have seen it happen
“When we came out here this morning to plant these flags, every one of us had a friend or family member in mind,” said Bryant, chief policy officer for Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America. “Some of us standing here could have been one of these flags, but for an intervention.”
WASHINGTON – A senator who championed legislation earlier this year to increase access to mental and behavioral health care for veterans with other-than-honorable discharges is worried the word isn’t getting out to the thousands of veterans now eligible for care they were previously denied.
The Honor Our Commitment Act, approved as part of large appropriations bill in March, requires the Department of Veterans Affairs to provide veterans with mental health screenings and care, even if they received other-than-honorable discharges. Veterans who served in a combat zone or area of hostilities, worked as drone operators in combat zones or experienced sexual abuse or assault are eligible.
A 2018 RAND report on health promotion and disease prevention has painted a grim picture of the military’s physical fitness and sleep standards.
The study, featuring roughly 18,000 randomly selected participants across each of the service branches, showed that almost 66 percent of service members are considered to be either overweight or obese, based on the military’s use of body mass index as a measuring standard.
WASHINGTON – The number of one-star Veterans Affairs hospitals has dropped from 14 to nine since last year, according to star rankings the VA releasedWednesday.
Five VA hospitals remain at the bottom of the rankings for the third straight year, including in Big Spring and El Paso, Texas; Loma Linda, California; and Phoenix, where a wait-time crisis in 2014 triggered a national scandal.
The Pentagon’s hard line on troop readiness took effect Monday, and 126,000 service members now find themselves on a path to separation if they do not become deployable in the next 12 months.
“Deploy or get out" was an early policy priority of Defense Secretary Jim Mattis to improve the overall readiness of U.S. military forces. It was formalized in February and gave the services until Oct. 1 to be ready to begin holding troops accountable. Those intervening months also gave troops time to prepare, to get rid of administrative, legal or medical blocks that may have previously kept them in a non-deployable status.
About 10% of women and 4% of men will develop Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) over their lifetimes. Men and women who have experienced sexual trauma are at increased risk, especially if the trauma occurred at a young age or was repeated. PTSD is a mental health condition that may involve disturbances in threat perception, threat sensitivity, self-image, and emotional functioning. It can cause serious disruption in the ability to have healthy, satisfying relationships or tolerate life’s uncertainties, failures, and rejections without excess distress.
SAN FRANCISCO (CN) – The United States government can’t escape a lawsuit claiming it applies biased rules based on gender stereotypes to block female soldiers from serving in combat roles, a federal judge ruled from the bench Thursday.
U.S. District Judge Edward Chen refused to dismiss a lawsuit challenging lingering barriers to military service for women. Chen said he could not yet determine if Department of Defense policies were enacted for sexist reasons as alleged
Connecticut Navy veteran who was sexually assaulted while serving in Japan has been awarded an honorable discharge after she challenged the “bad paper” discharge status she had been given.
Bianca Cruz successfully defended her Navy record in an appeal to the Naval Discharge Review Board, which concluded that “she served honorably as evidenced by no punitive items in her record.”
She was separated from the Navy in 2015 with a general (under honorable conditions) discharge, started the appeal process the next year and filed her appeal in November 2017. The board ruled Aug. 7 and notified her by email Sept. 17.
WASHINGTON—The rate of suicide among young military veterans has increased substantially despite efforts by the Department of Veterans Affairs to curb the problem, though overall veteran suicides declined slightly, according to new data to be released Wednesday.
The VA’s National Suicide Data Report paints a troubling picture for vets ages 18 to 34, for some troops who served in the National Guard or reserves, as well as female veterans.
The role of women is expanding in the military, yet gender stereotypes remain. Today on Veterans’ Voices, we hear from Army veterans and Wright State students Loghan Young of Huber Heights and Ericka Carter of Dayton who pursued career paths in the military that defied expectations.
America’s veterans have given their all to protect this country — putting their bodies on the line regardless of the cost. Too many are now dealing with the side effects of their service, problems such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and chronic pain. But increasingly, they are struggling to gain access to medication that could help them effectively cope with those side effects.
I would never have guessed that closure would come to me in a small courtroom in Manhattan, Kan. A year and a half ago, on my 34th birthday, I sat on a witness stand and recounted how I was sexually assaulted on New Year’s Day 2006 by a fellow Marine — someone I had considered a friend while we were deployed to the Horn of Africa.
Mattis sounded decidedly unenthusiastic during a visit to the Virginia Military Institute when a cadet asked him about integrating women into combat arms jobs. He said the services are looking into whether it is “a strength or a weakness” to have women serving in units that engage in close combat.
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA) - Officials say three veterans may have died due to the misdiagnoses at the Veterans Health Care System of the Ozarks.
This information comes after a public town hall meeting Monday morning.
The incorrect diagnoses are due to a pathologist who was found to be impaired on the job.
As a result, the VA had to review 33,806 cases and as of last Friday, 14,980 reviews have been made.
From that number, over 1,000 errors and misdiagnoses have been found.
Almost 70% of the misdiagnoses resulted in no or little error, which does not have any negative clinical impact on affected patients.
When Whitney Brown, a National Guard veteran who lives in Wheeling, West Virginia, needs medical assistance, she must travel to U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) hospitals in St. Clairsville, Ohio, a half an hour round trip, or Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, an hour each way.
Without outside medical insurance, Brown can only afford to be treated at the VA for any of her physical or mental health concerns. However, care at VA hospitals in Appalachia is not always prompt or easy—particularly for women veterans.
Stephanie Shannon was just 20 years old when she landed in Saudi Arabia in a tan camouflage uniform still crisp around the edges. She’d enlisted in the Army in November 1989, motivated by the opportunity for a career and seduced by the promise of learning disciplined bravery. Just nine months after she entered basic training, Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein mobilized his forces in an attempt to invade and annex Kuwait, a tiny oil-rich nation southeast of Iraq. Shannon, the latest soldier in a family of military men, was ready.
Black service members are “substantially more likely” than white service members to be punished in four out of the five branches of the U.S. Armed Forces, according to a new study published by military advocacy group Protect Our Defenders.
Data obtained by the organization through the Freedom of Information Act revealed that black service members were as much as two and a half times more likely than their white counterparts to face court-martial or nonjudicial punishment in an average year. The disparity is notable, considering white service members make up the largest racial group in the military.
Fraternization happens all the time in the military. But there is something unusual about “improper relationships” between men and women in combat arms units, where there were no women until the Pentagon formally eliminated gender restrictions in 2016.
President Donald Trump wonders why survivors of sexual assault don’t immediately report the crime to authorities.
We know this because Trump literally asked the question Friday morning, in a series of tweets seeking to cast doubt on Christine Blasey Ford’s story that Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh forced himself on her when they were high school students.
Newly released data from the Department of Defense shows female sailors are at the highest risk of sexual assault, compared to women serving in the Army, Air Force, and Marine Corps. The risk is highest on U.S. Navy ships, including on a majority of the nation's aircraft carriers, the data shows.
Military installations in the Washington, D.C., region were typically associated with the lowest risk of sexual assault for men and women.
Vietnam War Navy veterans claim the new head of the Department of Veterans Affairs, Robert Wilkie, stabbed them in the back by promising to meet with them and instead, fired off a letter trying to kill a bill that grants them Agent Orange benefits
The first time American women fought in a war was during the American Civil War. Women were not allowed to be selected into the draft, so they disguised themselves as men and fought instead. A few of them were only discovered to be women when found dead.
The veterans of American Legion Post 204 ― the “Service Girls” ― as they’re known in their Pacific Northwest home, are speaking out about the American Legion’s membership policies, which currently exclude the spouses of female veterans in every branch of their organization
The House of Representatives has passed a bill that would ban burn pits on military bases. It's a bill that local Congressman, Dr. Raul Ruiz, also a co-sponsor, has been advocating for a year and a half.
A study has shown that the Hispanic community in the United States is less likely to scale professionally in the military, despite being one of the demographics with the highest participation in the Armed Forces.
Joy Ilem, a service-connected disabled veteran of the U.S. Army, is the national legislative director for Disabled American Veterans.
Last month, a Department of Veterans Affairs Inspector General report revealed that roughly 1,300 claims for military sexual trauma were incorrectly processed and denied, leaving veterans suffering from PTSD without the benefits they deserve.
The career of one of the first female infantry Marines has come to an ignominious end after she admitted to having a romantic relationship with a Marine under her command whom she later married, Task & Purpose confirmed on Wednesday.
The number of courts-martial and other severe punishments meted out to misbehaving troops across the military has steadily declined in recent years, raising concerns at the Pentagon’s highest levels that some commanders have gone soft on traditional military discipline.
The total of general, special and summary court-martial cases handled by the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines has plummeted by nearly 70 percent during the past decade — down from 6,377 in 2007 to 1,980 in 2017, according to a Military Times analysis
Assistant Director for Discharge Upgrade Claims in the Veterans Affairs and Rehabilitation Division for The American Legion, Greg Nembhard, testified Sept. 5 before the Subcommittee on Disability Assistance and Memorial Affairs on protecting honorable burials, family members and benefits earned by veterans.
H.R. 4312, The Fallen Warrior Battlefield Cross Memorial Act, will ensure the Secretary of Veterans Affairs allows the display of battlefield crosses in national cemeteries.
“We are on the cusp of a great change,” Wilkie told veterans attending the inaugural meeting of the Military Women’s Coalition in Georgia on Friday. “This is not my father’s or my grandfather’s VA. It is now your VA. We have to change how we do business, and that means making the institution more welcoming.”