More Veterans who submit compensation claims based on sexual assaults during their military service are receiving benefits. VBA grant rates for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) related to sexual trauma increased by approximately 22 percentage points since 2015.

This year, the grant rate for conditions related to military sexual trauma (MST) is at 72%, up from 50% in 2015 and 68% in 2020. As of April 30, 88,875 Veterans were service-connected for MST-related PTSD, with 67% of those rated 70% or higher. The dramatic increase in the grant rate is due to a concerted VA effort.

VA is committed to providing the benefits Veterans have earned and deserve in an accurate and compassionate manner. This is especially true for Veterans who have experienced MST because so many sexual assaults are not reported when they happen. Processing claims for PTSD related to sexual trauma is particularly challenging because of the personal and sensitive nature of the MST stressors, and it is often difficult for the Veteran to report or document the event when it occurs. As a result, evidence is often unavailable.

“We’re treating military sexual trauma claims with a special emphasis,” said acting Under Secretary for Benefits Thomas Murphy. “We are allowing only experienced, highly trained Veteran Service Representatives and Rating Veterans Service Representatives to process these claims, then we are giving them enhanced training and performing special focused quality reviews.”

In May, VA centralized its MST-related rating claims to a limited number of regional offices to improve benefits delivery to Veterans who file MST-related claims. Centralization enhances efficiency, accuracy and timeliness by placing these cases in the hands of well-trained, experienced employees.

An MST Remote Operations Center will open at the New York Regional Office in the first quarter of FY 2022, which will allow VA to streamline operations even more and ensure tighter control and accountability for MST claim decisions.

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41 Comments

  1. Norma August 25, 2021 at 9:27 pm

    I Don’t believe this article.

    It’s “smoke and mirrors”, just more ‘Government Deception and Propaganda’ created solely for the purpose of Appearance. The military knows all about MST because it’s “all too common”, which is exactly WHY they constantly post articles on the subject. However, make no mistake, the military doesn’t give a $%@#. Seriously, if they did, then they would provide links (as another comment pointed out) to ‘Substantial Information’ in their articles.

  2. John Doe August 22, 2021 at 10:48 am

    “…in an August 2018 report, the VA Office of Inspector General (OIG) found that about half of the military sexual trauma claims denied between April 1 and September 30, 2017, were not properly processed under VBA procedures, resulting in premature denial. These premature denials could have resulted in veterans not receiving the benefits they deserved. The OIG made six recommendations intended to help VBA review and correct all prematurely denied claims since October 1, 2016, and to better process them in the future.

    This report examined whether VBA effectively implemented the OIG’s 2018 recommendations and found that processors did not always follow the updated policies and procedures. VBA leaders did not effectively implement the OIG’s recommendations and did not ensure adequate governance over military sexual trauma claims processing. The OIG concluded that VBA was not properly implementing the recommended changes.

    The OIG recommended the acting under secretary for benefits should establish a formal procedure to correct all claims processing errors identified by the OIG. The OIG also recommended the acting under secretary fix continuing military sexual trauma claims processing deficiencies and strengthen controls to effectively implement and promote compliance with the OIG’s 2018 recommendations. Lastly, the acting under secretary should ensure VBA strengthen communication, oversight, and accountability for the processing of military sexual trauma claims.” From: https://www.va.gov/oig/publications/report-summary.asp?id=4987

    Chairman Mark Takano issued the following statement on the VAOIG’S report on the VBA’S handling of MST related claims and the MST Coordinator situation: ““Today’s OIG reports showcase major failures in VA’s claims processing for survivors of Military Sexual Trauma (MST) and for veterans who use VA healthcare. While OIG has only recommended VA re-process the sample of claims it reviewed and found were prematurely denied, I call on VBA to readjudicate all denied MST claims. This the only way to know for sure that more claims are not inaccurately processed. VBA must promptly implement all four of OIG’s new recommendations to improve overall compliance with existing MST claims processing requirements. VHA must also take steps to ensure that veterans who have survived MST have access to necessary support, regardless of where they live or which VA medical facility they use. I urge VHA to move expeditiously to implement OIG’s recommendation to examine staffing requirements and resources for MST coordinators and ensure staff in those roles have adequate training, time for duties, and resources.

    “To all survivors of MST: please know that you are heard. I’m confident that under Secretary McDonough’s leadership, we can right these wrongs.”

  3. Vickie Taylor August 20, 2021 at 7:02 pm

    My heart goes out to all of these people (women and men alike) that were victimized by sexual abuse and misconduct during their time in the military. It’s sad and unfortunate that just because someone else felt they could get away with it, they did it. Until now, I was not able to even speak about what happened to me. I too was a victim of sexual abuse (and tear up when I think of it), and felt and still feel the shame, total embarrassment, and that it was my fault. I didn’t encourage it, nor did I deserve it.

    Although, I have been married for years, it has not been easy, we were separated for over five years, because of my defense mechanism, abruptness, lack of trust, role reversal, and so much more. I still can’t stand being touched, especially if I am caught off guard. I have solid trust issues that have plagued me since I was preyed upon during my time in the US Army and the US Navy. I haven’t spoken up because of the shame, fear of disbelief from others, and ridicule that goes along with it.

    It was not until recently when I spoke with my primary care physician (at the VA), and she inquired if it happened to me. I wasn’t able to acknowledge it, I just replied, “I can’t talk about that.” Outside of medical issues that I have acquired during my military time, I just didn’t and don’t feel that it will be addressed to facilitate my being a whole person again. Thank you all for being so brave and speaking up as it gave me the courage to even acknowledge that I too was a victim of sexual assault, and misconduct that I wasn’t able to until now. Blessings!

  4. c August 20, 2021 at 2:42 pm

    I was raped a few times while active duty in the Army. I came in young as many do and with youth comes nativity and for me drinking helped me cope with being around new people and away from family. Drinking helped me be accepted to groups and parties in order to socialize because for most people that is what they did on their free time is drink. Drinking made me not think of how depressed I was and how I really was going nowhere in the 4 yrs I had in the Army. Well you take a small female and she drinks and then she passes out and then your “battle buddies”/these Army males just decide to gang bang and move on. No remorse. I got in trouble one time for waking up in some barracks I did not live in. I got in trouble because apparently it was my fault for drinking too much. The male(s) had no fault in totally raping an unconscious person. I couldn’t seek help because it would expose the troop and bring embarrassment to the troop. Bring embarrassment especially to the new CO and new 1st Sgt. and all the other little team leaders that wanted to move up in the ranks. There was no talk of punishing anyone who rapes but I was threatened with being removed from the troop and even the Army.

    If the Army really cared then this little article that was written about MST and how much they are doing for MST would have had a hyperlink for people seeking to get help and compensation for MST today. If the military really cared they would make it easily accessible to make a MST claim virtually. It is true that at the time a MST has occurred, due to denial, attempts to repressing negative thoughts and shame, people will not report MST in a timely manner. It isn’t until years later that you wonder why the heck you can’t get along with people, why the heck you hate yourself, why the heck you think of suicide, why the heck you feel you will never romantically connect with someone and why you always feel so angry that you start to say gee maybe that rape really has impacted my life. This negative impact does affect you socially, emotionally and financially and this is why MST compensation and therapy is needed.

    The VA still does not work. I have been trying to get a PCP appt to finally report an increase in anxiety and anger and pain but I can’t because they never pick up. I had seen a VA PCP in the past and I am in the health system but due to strict rules like having to see your PCP yearly they pretty much kick you to the curb. My VA clinic is too far for me and I work multiple low wage jobs with uncertain scheduling and juggle other obligations so it is hard to plan a whole day just to see a PCP yearly. If the military did care they would make the system easier. Allow for online appointments even to “establish” a PCP. The military needs to start with more classes on respecting the individual and some sort of automatic sexual trauma reporting that is independent from the chain of command. The military needs to also readily and purposefully move up the ranks women, LGBTQ+ and other marginalized groups in order to cultivate a culture of respect for the individual. The military should also provide more constructive things for soldiers to do in their free time that is free and single soldier friendly.

    If the military did care about MST they would have some high ranking important military person read these comments and take note. This is how out of touch and disingenuous the military is about MST that they provide a section for these sensitive personal comments and require you to give your name! Think about why this is not a good idea. People still blame the victim FYI.

  5. Semprini Richard Lino August 19, 2021 at 3:09 pm

    I was a victim of mst in 1966 in on the USS Repose in Vietnam. I never said anything because of the shame and embarrassment and the fear of retaliation. I was beat up for not doing a job I was not comfortable doing, hanging over the side of the ship painting. I feared I also might have been pushed over the side of the ship underway, and never to be seen again. I am 75 now and have lived with the guilt, the shame, and the embarrassment until August1, 2019 when an article in a newspaper about priests sexually abusing young kids. That is the day my life has changed forever. I was a victim of the priest and the church and they knew about it. In fact they found a letter from my mother in 1969 telling the dioceses. I came forward, but what it has done to me know and it’s two years later and because all these years I had remembered but not said anything to anyone, I am now dealing daily trying to remember the how, the whys, and now not sleeping because of all the nightmares from both events. I am going to St. Petersburg Florida next week for a C &P exam..

    • Semprini Richard Lino August 19, 2021 at 3:21 pm

      During my time in the Navy some corpsman sexually pinned me down in the bunks and abuse me sexually, and after going to a therapist now for two years , we are connecting what happened to me as a kid and how this corpsman realized I was vulnerable and that is how he knew and did what he did. I Will never forget what he looks like what he had on what he did but other than that I can’t remember why or how I allowed myself to be put in that position. It sickens me to think now about this corpsman all these years and now this priest who I just remembered what I went through in1969

  6. Chrissy R. August 19, 2021 at 12:58 pm

    I have a male friend that was raped while in the Navy. He is suicidal and has prolong crying spells as well as depression. He has filed for MST but has been denied at least twice. It appears that the military addresses female sexual assault differently than that of their male counterparts. It is like they are in denial that sexual assault occurs with males and/or in the Navy which obviously they have been under a rock if they don’t have insight into these occurrences!!!

  7. Sherri H. August 19, 2021 at 10:46 am

    I suffered 6 assaults at Eglin AFB Fla., 33rd CRS squadron between 1981 and 1987. These assaults were from my squadron commander on down to my work center Master Sgt. All out ranked me. I even endured an assault from a civilian contractor. I think these predators talked to each other and decided I was an easy hit. I was 19 years old and not mentally or physically able to defend myself against this pack of wolves. I’m now 59 yo. I have lived in isolation all of my life. When civilians say to me “thank you for your service” I cringe. I did not simply serve my country, I had to survive MST in order to have the honor of service.

    • Ann August 19, 2021 at 5:34 pm

      So sorry to hear your story. Yes, our training did nothing to prepare us to resist sexual assault or what to do if it happened.

  8. Male Victim August 19, 2021 at 10:22 am

    Filed with VA in 1997. Had never heard of PTSD so filed for depression. I had been in counseling prior to discharge and Army psychologist only diagnosed depression. MST Incident in 1972 completely ignored by C&P doctor. He made me feel like sh!t and did not believe me. He did not even note it in the C&P paperwork. My depression was so bad I literally could not appeal the results. Tried counseling at VA many times but no help. VA counselor told me in 2012 that I could not have PTSD since I was never in combat. 2019 visit to emergency room at VA when I was suicidal got me to a counselor who finally helped and encouraged me to refile. After 2 more years of fighting VA got 100% disability. 23 years after I first filed. No back pay for those years. Just back to last filing. I have NEVER been able to work or keep any relationship. Cannot trust anyone. Especially the VA. Requested a copy of VA medical records back to 1997 and never received 3 years later. Requested DOD medical records at the same time and never received. PTSD incident at VA got me beat up, locked up and faced with federal charges all because I requested help with my claim.
    Male Victim

  9. David E. August 19, 2021 at 1:56 am

    I have been reading everyone’s comments, and the more I was reading, the more it was looking at my own history! It happened to me twice, 1982, I could not get anyone to listen to me. I was transferred across the base and told to forget it. I talked to the chaplain many times, but nothing ever changed, and no one was arrested. One of them was going through his separation day and tried to hurt me again. I fought back as best I could, then others thought it was funny, and joined in. I was cut and bleeding in my groin area, and was ashamed to still be alive.

    I was hurt in an accident (over 35 years later) and went to the VA for medical help. I was without any medical insurance, and I was accepted that day, and a couple of weeks later I had my first VA appointment with my PCP! I always wanted to talk to someone, anyone about what happened so long ago but was afraid I would lose my medical benefits.

    Later on, I was transferred to a PCP that was only 20 minutes away, and I no longer had to drive almost an hour to my appointments. To my surprise, my PCP Doctor was also stationed at the same place I was! I felt more comfortable talking with him than anyone since my entrance into the VA system. But it took a couple of years before what happened to me that a conversation began on this topic.

    After a few weeks, I was able to start seeing a Psychologist, finally! After almost 2 years, I was awarded a 50% disability, but only retroactive to when my claim was filed, not back to my time of service. My checks (electronic) came in the fall of 2017, 50% MST-PTSD.

    Now I read the following: “This year, the grant rate for conditions related to military sexual trauma (MST) is at 72%, up from 50% in 2015 and 68% in 2020. As of April 30, 88,875 Veterans were service-connected for MST-related PTSD, with 67% of those rated 70% or higher. The dramatic increase in the grant rate is due to a concerted VA effort.”…”

    I’m going to try and investigate what needs to be done to get a review process going to get a raise in my decision. I’ve never thought it was right to only receive a 50% rating when 100% of my life has been affected since 1982!!! Wish me luck. David E.

  10. AirmanSLT August 18, 2021 at 11:36 pm

    My MSTs happened in 1990, well before ‘don’t ask don’t tell’ was in place. I was raped by 2 other male military members and then was made a daily sex puppet for one of them. And the other guy was allowed to use me for all the guys he wanted on the weekends. Long story short, this went on for the first three months of my training before my first duty station.
    I tucked all that away for nearly 28 years and while the feelings intruded into my life, I never allowed the memories to surface until I was raped again. I automatically returned to that state of mind and obeyed the two guys delivering my furniture as they assaulted me like all those guys did almost 3 decades before. During and since that rape, all those awful memories have been pouring back from the past.
    I only went a few months of sleeplessness and anxiety attacks before I sought help at the VA. They started off with the sleep issues and nightmares. It took several months to finally get into counseling. I have been in either trauma counseling or regular monthly counseling ever since.
    I filed a claim after about six months in counseling and pondering whether is was worth even doing. As I expected, it was rejected pretty easily since I never reported anything. I filed an appeal and it is awaiting a judge’s decision. It has been in that status for over a year. I don’t expect anything soon, nor do I expect it to be approved. That’s the issue a lot of us will face and makes it hard to even take the step to file a claim.
    On the plus side, I am very happy with the two psychologists I have worked with they are amazing.

    • Narvell Barker August 19, 2021 at 8:51 am

      Keep trying and don’t give up. It took many years of isolation, hopelessness , a lot of fight and much prayer to overcome the difficulties associated with MST, much more dealing with a system ill designed to address the mental issues associated with MST. We paid a high price trying to serve our country the least they should do is compensate us. I finally received 70% but I conceived a son from my rape and my son passed away not knowing. The regret, pain and sorrow I carry with me cannot be compensated for.

  11. Connie Miller August 18, 2021 at 8:59 pm

    How did you get paid back to your date of discharge? I have always been told that you can only be paid from your date of “application”.

  12. Connie Miller August 18, 2021 at 8:57 pm

    How were you paid back to the date of your discharge? I have always been told that you can only be paid from the date of your “application”.

  13. susan slough August 18, 2021 at 8:11 pm

    i tried several times to apply for compensation and have never received an answer. i served in the us army from1988 to 1993. i didn’t take the g i bill or any other benefits because i wanted to serve for life(20 yrs+). I too have issues with being touched or even starting a relationship. i went through counseling and talked to many priests and such. eventually i had to advance return my dependents just to get to the states. i signed in at a military installation and filed for a hardship discharge. my papers were accepted and i was out approx. 2 months later. honorable under honorable. but this was not the outcome or career path i wanted. and now i don’t get compensated either.

  14. John D August 18, 2021 at 7:30 pm

    You know this is the hardest thing that one has to deal with. As a man when you go through it and are scared to admit it because of the stigma placed on us. Oh your bigger then them, you should be stronger, it was your fault, you wanted that. It is just a horrible feeling. It took me 20 years to finally admit that I was the victim and it was not my fault.

  15. Delisha Oakley August 18, 2021 at 7:09 pm

    I was assaulted 2 days after my unit lost two Soldiers while deployed to FOB Salerno in 2007. I was having a hard time sleeping and decided to go to the laundry tent to do laundry. I never heard about any assaults so I felt safe to do so. He came up from behind me and told me not to scream. I never saw his face. I blame myself for this error in judgement! I was ashamed to tell my story but something led me to click on this link and after reading your stories, I wanted to tell mines.

  16. K. Johnson August 15, 2021 at 2:15 am

    “Many of us did try to report it but was told prove it or we will ruin you career so we do anything we can to get away from our abuser.”

    This is what happened to me. The AG they sent to talk to me told me they believed me but what would happen was the Army would make my time in service worse than it was after I reported ( moved to a new unit, threatned by my old unit, harrassing phone calls, his colleagues begging me to think of his wife and family). We got all the way to a trial/hearing and I just said I could not remember to end it all. The C.O. told me to go home and come back after getting some help and so I signed the papers he gave me, not knowing it was a Separation and in doing so I was entitled to nothing. Decades later in therapy this rape comes up and as we unpack it all I realize this one single situation is the cause for so much pain, anger, confusion, depression, inability to trust and feel safe in the world, fear of authority. I hope to get all I was entitled to reinstated and the compensation I deserve for my pain, suffering, anxiety, ptsd, and insomnia.

    • Sally August 18, 2021 at 10:23 pm

      If a veteran submitted a PTSD MST claim years ago and was denied for not being able to prove it happened because she, her friends and the doctor she saw never called the police, her claim might be approved today because police evidence isn’t necessary now. Having been jerked out of her job and stuffed alone somewhere in an office or trailer with no work is clear evidence that the rape was swept under the rug. This is organized, dishonest behavior on the part of her chain of command ensuring that rape victims weren’t validated or helped.

      I think these claims should be backdated to the date of the original claim, even if the veteran missed the one year appeal deadline. PTSD veterans are often homeless. When the VA sends that notice of the one year clock starting, it can happen anywhere from 6 months to 4 years after the claim was submitted. If the veteran never received the letter because she became homeless, how is she supposed to know the one year clock for the appeal started. Today you can go online and track your claim but 10-20 years ago, everything was done through USPS mail.

      Who can we discuss this with at a policy level so that VA administrative policy recognizes the damage done to soldiers who were raped, Then treated inappropriately by the military and again by the VA staff who denied their claims even though the originally submitted evidence is perfectly valid today? If that evidence is good today, that means it should be good for the original claim and those claims should be backdated.

      Who can we discuss this with so that VA policy is to recognize the original claims were valid, not just the most recently submitted claims that are the same claim that has been repeatedly submitted over the years?

  17. MC August 13, 2021 at 2:18 pm

    I (a PFC) go back in age to ’80s where the doctor who took care of me treated me like a hore… said I needed to be a Marine and take responsibility. I was a young Marine with no one to turn to for support. My Maj was also frisking me at the time so silent I served.

  18. A. L-S August 12, 2021 at 11:57 am

    In regards to…. “VBA grant rates for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) related to sexual trauma increased by approximately 22 percentage points since 2015.

    This year, the grant rate for conditions related to military sexual trauma (MST) is at 72%, up from 50% in 2015 and 68% in 2020. As of April 30, 88,875 Veterans were service-connected for MST-related PTSD, with 67% of those rated 70% or higher. The dramatic increase in the grant rate is due to a concerted VA effort.”…..

    I understand that more women are reporting MST and the statistics will always go up. BUT, what about us Veterans that were previously diagnosed with PTSD, albeit from MST though it was not originally written that way for whatever reasons, and have spent years off and on in counseling since being separated and received VA disability for it? Will our records be reviewed and back-dated to for the additional compensation from those ratings? My guess is not.

    I spent a year in DEP, did my 4 years and would have stayed if I wasn’t ‘medically retired.’ I wanted to devote my life to service, following my father’s 36+ years between the navy, national guard, and air force). The first gang MST was not reported, but the second gang MST one was and I ended up on the psych ward for months during my time in the service. My last 2 years in were h*ll. Limited, free, civilian resources were available as the military as a whole were not sure how to handle this back in the early 90’s. After separation, it took time to get into the VA system and to start getting the necessary counseling to try to make my life whole. Every other week for 7-10 years with an MST PTD psychiatrist, because of all the aftermath issues that MST & PTSD have affected my entire life from employment, schooling, relationships, etc. After his retirement and my relocation, it again took time to get back into counseling, but for the last 18 years, I have undergone numerous counseling visitation rounds (as you get limited to the number of visits allowed each time) and am currently doing another round of counseling sessions, whereby the effects are still there living with them on a daily basis. Currently unemployed due to medical treatments which is partially, or maybe mostly related to PTSD and anxiety, whereby I have increased counseling sessions that interfere with maintaining a job.

    For 3 decades, the effects are still there and I know it will be there for the next 2 or 3 decades, but 50% disability rating for PTSD, ultimately as a result of multiple gang MSTs is a slap in the face if our records are not automatically reviewed, additional/increased rating/corrected disability codes, and back pay provided since you are reporting that the more recently separated Veterans are awarded a greater disability rating. All Veterans should be treated equally and ”no one should be left behind.” I intend for no disrespect toward my fellow Veterans, especially those more recently separated than I, but the VA needs to start with your older Veterans, review those records, adjust accordingly when implementing any disability rating changes – not just for this type of disability either, but for all the other types of disabilities and rating changes. (If there is not enough staff to do this, provide a package that would be more than unemployment with covid payments, it would assist in so many areas – veterans assistance, unemployment, food share, etc. H*ll, I’ll cast my resume in for the opportunity though I am unemployed, and do NOT take unemployment so I don’t get anything but my disability.)

  19. ZsaZsa Brown August 11, 2021 at 10:45 pm

    I would love to see this happen.

    • Melissa Carter August 18, 2021 at 9:16 pm

      That’s what we (women and men alike) all have, wishful thinking. Highly trained specialists, a joke. When I had my C&P, the doctor made me feel as if it was something that I had done to make this man put his hands on me. Where does the VA get these doctors? It’s bad enough that we have to go through explaining every despicable detail and have no one to actually believe us. It’s as it has been, they’ll believe the high ranking over the low ranking. Since my trigger, I’ve only left my home when it was absolutely necessary (Hurricane Michael didn’t even make me leave). From being suicidal to wanting the worst imaginal for this person. I’ve lost faith in what the VA can do for us.

      • K H H September 5, 2021 at 10:25 am

        It was the pandemic for me. Years and years of silence since 1986. Imagine having to be on trauma loop for decades because your duty station is basically your hometown. When the sleepless nights caused by repeated nightmares of me seeing and feeling my sexual assault ramped up, my hair fell out. By then, I was done being silent. Fortunately, we weren’t hit with the noisy 17 year cicadas as bad as some. I decided to become a 35 year cicada. Came out screaming and I absolutely refuse to be silent ANYMORE. The Air Force does not have enough money in their operating budget to compensate me for my ruined life. I live with un fathomable physical and mental scars from that time.

  20. Dr Ed Joseph August 11, 2021 at 10:23 pm

    Men are victims too!

    • HC August 12, 2021 at 10:29 am

      There is literally nothing in this article that emphasizes females over males, but rather uses the term ‘veteran’. You are not wrong though.

    • Chris H. August 18, 2021 at 8:07 pm

      Yes we are. We are thought though to be strong and never show a weakness. Male or female means not a thing when someone is faced with a predator!

  21. Lesa Smith August 11, 2021 at 9:47 pm

    I am Lesa Smith (My married last name is Sanchez) I have been waiting for a response from Acting Director Thomas Murphy for two (2 +) years. I relayed my constituent concerns to my former California politician now Vice President Kamala Harris after her first thirty (30) days in her first of many “Breaking the Ceiling” moments position.
    Please copy and return my medical disk, please. I know you did not throw my statement in the trash. Right! I am waiting to have Dr Michael A. Mont preform “ Right Hip Resurfacing”. It has taken so long that my service connected injury has affected my left hip where I now I believe I will need “Left Hip Resurfacing”. Why do we/us women have to wait so long for the new innovated care on the East Coast. I am a Black woman who has to lick my body worn until help arrives.
    Please, stop making me wait. The wait makes us women confused. Do you care or not! Just need to know so we know on which direction to turn next. I am not a Robot!

  22. LcplD The Marine Who Asked to Be Gang Raped August 11, 2021 at 9:14 pm

    I will never forget my experience with being gang raped and beaten. I was at Camp Johnson and I will never forget Detective Walker talking about how I was going to be the one to be arrested for supplying alcohol to minors I was 20. He is the biggest piece of crap that ever served as a Police Officer or Detective I have no idea why they thought he was the greatest thing since hand grenades. I have heard many women complain about how he handled their rape and assault cases. If there is anyone that should be held accountable it is him. He sides with the rapists and the criminals never the victim. He degraded me and told me that I was lucky to have had such a good night the only thing missing was that I didn’t get paid for my services. I made a promise to myself that I will never come forward or tell the truth because it doesn’t matter someone is always out to screw over the victim. You know what I got for my lie of a story and inconvenience absolutely nothing but a bill for an attorney because I was going to be arrested! Can you believe this they wanted to arrest me the victim with a broken face and ribs, but yes Detective Walker I asked for it!

  23. M.Webster August 11, 2021 at 6:41 pm

    I was raped at my first duty station and I was eighteen years of age. I am now 53 and it never gets better. Being raped stagnates growth in many areas if your life and creates other issues. MST was just recently made available so image others who have suffered. I am grateful that there is a program and it is being acknowledged. Is there more work to do absolutely. Should it be 100% disability absolutely. Nothing worth having is going to come easy so dig your toes in and don’t get discouraged. The documents are there don’t give up. Hold everyone accountable because they are…

  24. SLH August 11, 2021 at 6:30 pm

    I reported my MST and I was the one treated like a criminal. In 1999, the Army only cared that the man who assaulted me get his retirement. What about me? He got his retirement and I got pain, suffering, a lifetime of pain. He was never even identified as a sexual predator nothing. The Army should be liable for anything he did because they only cared about his career. They let him retire, I should have been medically retired as well, but no. I was even negatively counseled for seeking out the Chaplain. I was told time and grade stopped being a factor around 2015. WTH????

    • Arlene L Rivera August 12, 2021 at 11:24 am

      You can still file a claim for VA disability due to sexual assault disability. I was awarded compensation 15 years later and the VA paid me in arrears to the date of my discharge. As for how they treated us when we sought help in the Army, I was forced to go through group counseling where I was the only female. That traumatized me even more because I could not empathize with men at all then. But, an astute evaluator with the VA saw that I was detached even 15 years later, although I thought I was just cold-hearted. The compensation lasts a lifetime, and that is valuable. As for revenge, I learned my commander/rapist was allowed to leave the service peacefully, however, he ended up divorced, lost his children’s custody, and has not had an easy time transitioning to the real world where women matter and women fight back. I wish you the best in recovery and peace of mind.

      • SLH August 12, 2021 at 2:47 pm

        Thank you so much for your response. Really helps and means a lot.

        It’s been a bit of a battle with the VA. I filed for PTSD because I was told MST is part of PTSD. When I asked for a rush, the changed my date of file. I have been waiting almost two years for my hearing. I think the Army just wanted to sweep it under the rug and ignore it.

        Over 20yrs later it’s very fresh after having been buried for so long. The mind is an intricate and complicated thing.

  25. Mary T Grassl August 11, 2021 at 10:25 am

    Is this a joke–because the majority of servicewomen who have experienced sordid abuses at the hands of coworkers, supervision, and command staff, all the while said servicemen in a position to do something looked the other way. This article is a slap in the face of male and female servicemen as the V.A. does again when servicemen and veterans seek help to become whole from these abuses. There will be justice, it’s too bad the V.A. refuses to be a part of helping to bring health and healing to the wounded vets. It has been 10,430 days since my first incident which was reported to the USAFOSI, and several other incidents since. However, sitting in the V.A. listening in on conversations with policing staff who found these records to be “unavailable”: how convenient. We offer names, dates, places, details, the V.A. does not listen. If I were investigating allegations, I’d want all evidence available to make a wise and fair decision: the V.A. does not. If I were in a position of services, support, and resources, I would want to provide those to all people I work to serve: not true of the V.A. Instead, the V.A. makes hurdles in sickening and diverse ways-making it discouragingly difficult for deserving vets to get the help promised to them. I take this article above as a joke, as do tens of thousands of us vets. Because if you really meant it, we could have a stronger nation, stronger families, stronger troops. Back up what you say, or shut up and don’t waste our time. You sound no different than a politician.

    • Melissa Carter August 11, 2021 at 9:42 pm

      You hit the nail right on the f’ing head. When I was able to get away from the assault I was experiencing from a CSM, I could only utter the the words that I didn’t want to go back to that office because I felt “uncomfortable”. I buried the what happened and decided to leave the military. It was until I had a “trigger” years later that I began to talk about it with VA Mental Health. The dirty-ness, anger, regret of not saying anything when it happened sent me to a place of wanting revenge since the VA denied me because I didn’t talk about it. After giving them explicit details of what I went through. I came to believe that they didn’t want to do anything because of his rank. Your so right saying this is a joke. The VA just doesn’t fucking care about what happened to men and women. The military trains you on how to kill but when you feel that way about someone that sexually (physical/assault), you’re the one that’s in the wrong.

  26. Mary Grassl August 10, 2021 at 9:38 pm

    Is this for show? Is this a joke? Because after how we came into the armed forces healthy, excited about an opportunity to serve our country and learn new skills and develop our character, this article is a slap in the face to how you actually treat us. After rapes, assaults, attacks all in various forms, the abusers have even been arrested but my voice is silenced in your C&P’s, in your denial of disability despite service connection because somehow the arrest records and mental health counseling records are not available. Amazing, when I suggested where they could be found and was willing to give names, dates, places, anything you ask for–the V.A. slams the door in my face. Disgraceful. No honor. The very first incident, 17 days at my new duty station, that’s days ago. I have counted, my sleep depravity shows it; but the V.A. could care less. I reported it to OSI. I later went to a V.A. center to request the records with the V.A. staff in their office: I sat in on the phone calls. Records and reports were withheld, “not available,” how convenient. Years have gone by, where the V.A. seems to put obstacle after obstacle in our way to prevent us from getting help, telling us to take our disability compensation forms back and fill them out all over again on your new forms. I have actually written to the V.A. that I assume from all these obstacles that the V.A. wishes we would just fade away and die rather than fulfill the promise we were given that they would be there for us after we were there for our nation. After some abusers saw that the military at every level did nothing to prosecute, nothing to punish, nothing to change my having to face the abusers again every day in the same workplace, it happened again from other abusers in the same workplace. No protection was afforded me. While one had his hands going around my throat as I slept and my roommate walked in, I still to this day live it in my dreams and live in fear or near panic state and find myself unable to function. I remember the inspiration, excitement, health, character, and dedication I gave to my country; but when I was abused in every way and again and again, the V.A. closed its ears when I was merely asking for help-asking for the help to become whole in return for damage done during my time in service. It happened in PACAF, 35th FS frequently: so much so it was sickening and not just to me-I saw it happening to women all around me. It happened in USAFE, 23rd FS frequently as well-and at every rank level, especially on deployments. I entered the United States Armed Forces perfectly healthy: but the V.A. denying my injury denies the US Armed Forces the honor of making things right both now and in the future. I laugh, but not with delight, reading the above article. Because if MST was treated as it ought to be, our nation would be a greater and stronger force to reckon with and our families could be whole instead of walking in brokenness. I am available to talk, if the V.A. would call me in sincerity (757-560-6335) and not as it’s always been. Show me you’ve changed, maybe I’ll listen then. Otherwise, this just sounds like a politician talking.

  27. Alberta Newkirk August 7, 2021 at 6:19 am

    After all these years, now attention to MST. Why did someone of importance report it. I know being in Alpha Co 17-5, no one believed you in Sep 76! 15 women of the same platoon had a cargo Sl infection and no one questioned how or why? Then at permanent party, you are just a whore if you joined the military. Now, I have 100%, from a leg and PTSD. Wow, too bad I joined the Army to serve my country and in my mind, I am still serving my country, with a lot of sleepless night and CHRONIC PAIN!!

  28. P. Renz August 6, 2021 at 4:29 pm

    He made me afraid to report. I was barely 18, I was in basic training, he was the company commander and he threatened to have me thrown out. I wasn’t the only girl he raped. I spent the last four weeks never knowing when he would pull me out of training for a “talk”. Symptoms of PTSD began 7 months later, but I didn’t know that’s what it was until my VA doctor diagnosed me 15 years later. I’m still depressed and suicidal after 43 years.

  29. Marie smith August 6, 2021 at 2:54 pm

    Many of us did try to report it but was told prove it or we will ruin you career so we do anything we can to get away from our abuser. When asked later especially in the 90s were called sick bay bandits or accused of lying because the person was higher in rank that hurt you so years later you sit alone and cannot stand to have anyone touch you.

  30. Bobbie Henderson August 6, 2021 at 12:10 pm

    Words are easy spoked about how much you care about veterans, but actions are totally different. You don’t tell about MST cause it is embarrassing and you try to forget what happened, you blame yourself and you have no desire to be touched then you find yourself not being able to maintain a relationship.
    You all want fact/proof when there are other factors that come along with that.

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