Katie’s Story

Katie’s Story

I was raped by a civilian while on active duty and I was inappropriately touched by another soldier in my unit. When I reported it, the military did nothing but remove the soldier from my unit. He was still stationed at Ft. Lee with the other female veteran that he assaulted and me. My 1st Sergeant said, if you can’t handle getting raped private, then you don’t belong in the military.

After this happened, I became very depressed. I decided that the only way to stop the pain was to kill myself. I was unsuccessful. The people that I trusted with my life didn’t understand what was happening.

I was discharged from the military. While it was an honorable discharge, I was rated 0% service connected disability rating. They told me that I had a pre-existing medical condition, called a Personality Disorder. I have done quite a bit of research and I was not the only veteran who was discharged with a personality disorder due to military sexual trauma. That disorder is considered a pre-existing medical condition, so they don’t feel it necessary to pay a veteran for related issues. While I was in the service, I also injured my left hip, right hip, left knee, and right ankle. I suffer from chronic bronchitis, due to the military and suffered a concussion, which is considered a traumatic brain injury. After years and years of trying, I am finally 90% service connected, but am unable to work due to my PTSD and my inability to walk.

I have been trying to figure out how to change my discharge, so that it doesn’t state that I have a personality disorder. It is an unfair judgment, given to me by the commanding officer at the time of the event.

I would have never left the military, had it been my choice. I was going to retire from the military. I was going to deploy.

Since I have been out of the military, I have been frustrated with the veterans’ psychologist and social workers at my local VA hospital. I have been called a liar. That military sexual assault did not happen. That I was not raped. That because of my brain injuries, I am imagining things. That I like the negative attention that is associated with be a victim of rape. I decided to stop working with that psychologist that day. Then, I was unable to get another psychologist. Finally the Vet Center was brought to my attention and I now receive services through them. I am finally, after 6 years of living through nightmares and sleepless nights, able to get the help I need through the Vet Center.

I am thankful for what you are doing for the men and women who serve.