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'I just pulled up my pants and went back to work': Women veterans reveal the shocking sexual and physical abuse they suffered in the US armed forces (35 Pics)

Homelessness among women veterans is expected to increase at greater rates as more women in the military reintegrate into their communities following their military service, according to the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans
While women currently make up eight percent of the total veteran population and 14.6% of the active duty military, those figures are expected to increase to an estimated 16% by 2035. 
In light of these trends, the number of homeless women veterans has doubled from 1,380 in 2006 to 3,328 in 2010.
Now a new photo essay offers an unvarnished glimpse into the lives of those women who served in the armed forces only to find themselves without a roof over their head in their post-military lives. 

US Air Force veteran Lurae Horse was a 19-year-old B-29 bomber mechanic when she was raped by an anonymous member of her squadron

She never reported the brutal sexual assault. 'I just pulled up my pants and went back to work,' she said

Homeless, she shelters in a corner of a friend's dining room in Paramount, California

Homeless veteran Darlene Matthews has been living in her car for over two years while she waits for a housing voucher from the Department of Veterans Affairs

She joined the US Army in 1976 and was sent to Fort McLellan, Alabama. She is seen above near her car in Costa Mesa, California

'I was going to join this all women's army and there would be no sexual problems, but I joined and there were sexual problems,' she said

Alishaa Dell, 25, spent five years in the US Navy. Homeless, she lives off a disability check from the VA and has been couch surfing with friends until she wears out her welcome

Even after her discharge from the Navy, she is not ready to discuss her experience as a victim of sexual assault

'I'm treating all the problems that come with Military Sexual Trauma without talking about the MST. I'm treating the symptoms and repercussions,' she said

Former US Marine Sarah Jenkins, high on drugs and on the street, accepts a bag of food and water from the National Veterans Foundation outreach van

Jenkins says she has a place to stay in Anaheim, California

Melissa A. Ramon clutches her US Air Force uniform under the watchful eyes of her dog Princess

Ramon spent nine years in the US Air Force where she endured military sexual trauma at the hands of her training instructor and fellow airmen

Ramon walks past a man waiting to sell drugs outside her room at a motel she calls 'The Jungle' in Pomona, California

Ramon and her son, Sam, rest at her grandmother's grave after his eighth grade graduation ceremony in Pomona


While Ramon gets ready to to go to the VA, her US Air Force uniform hangs in the closet of her room in 'The Jungle'

Ramon's predicament is particularly difficult given that she is not only suffering from the aftereffects of her trauma but is also a single mother

Ramon is on a cocktail of pills prescribed by her doctors at the VA to treat the symptoms of her condition

Ramon is seen above with her son while he holds what appears to be a gun. She has sought help from the VA and several veteran NGOs

Ramon recites the Pledge of Allegiance with other veterans at the 4th Annual Heroes in the Shadows, San Gabriel Valley Veterans Stand Down. The purpose of a stand-down is to offer a safe retreat for homeless veterans

Ramon is seen above cheering for Sam during his 8th grade graduation ceremony

In preparation for the graduation ceremony, Ramon attempts to tie a knot in Sam's tie

Sandra Sherman, 51, left, salutes the color guard at the Goodwill Industries Los Angeles stand-down, an event for local homeless veterans that gives them access to medical and housing services

Sherman had only been in the US Army for a few weeks when she was drugged and raped at a party that she attended with her female buddies from basic training. She never reported the assault to her command

Homeless women veterans sleep in women's tents at the San Diego Veteran's Village Stand Down. 'It was well known if you reported rape you would be killed or chaptered out with a less than honorable discharge,' Sherman said. 'To this day if I have a male supervisor, I am apprehensive, nervous and afraid'

Debra Filter has been homeless for 10 years despite having a Master's Degree. Having enlisted in the US Army in 1978, she says she and other female friends in her unit were raped at a graduation party. She was given an honorable discharge after symptoms of post-traumatic stress forced her to cut short a planned career in the military

Liz Luras competed in the Ms. Veteran America pageant and used the opportunity to share her story with the other contestants. She is seen above in Leesburg, Virginia

Luras was raped three times during her military career and received a personality disorder discharge

She has struggled with the ramifications of her discharge and has found it difficult to find a job and has had stints of homelessness

Glendy Golden, 58, enlisted in the US Army to escape a sexually abusive home life. She said the Army 'was a way out'. She was sexually assaulted several times during her 18 month military career and when she told her chaplain about it, he simply sent her to medical where she says, they tied her down and beat her

US Army veteran Wilma M. Herndon watches TV in her room at the Mary Walker House for homeless women veterans in Coatesville, Pennsylvania. She was married to another soldier who beat and sexually assaulted her

At the conclusion of the San Diego homeless veterans stand down sponsored by Veterans Village of San Diego, Paula Anderson (left) and Patricia Butts (right) carry their belongings in the pouring rain with the help of an unidentified man on the far left

Butts was a young US Army soldier stationed in Ft. Devens, Massachuetts, when she witnessed a steady campaign of rape within her unit. At night a sergeant or a lieutenant would come in and take a woman to the bathroom. 'You could hear them struggling and screaming and they would come back crying,' she said

When Karen Scott joined the US Army in 1985, she was a lithe, slender and attractive young woman who attended and finished flight school and had a bright future in telecommunications and arial observation

Instead, she became a target for sexual assault and over the next seven years was raped several times and endured a steady campaign of innuendoes, threats, harassment and sexual badgering. She is seen above in Long Beach, California

1 comment:

  1. Welcome to the AmeriKan military ladies. Now open your legs.
    Disgusting nation disgusting military