Workshop helps female veterans

The Gazette Opinion Staff
Published: January 2 2014 | 2:34 pm - Updated: 29 March 2014 | 1:34 am in
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I’m a woman Iraq War veteran (2003-04) with the Iowa Army National Guard.

Since my military service I’ve written “All I Could Be: My Story as a Woman Warrior in Iraq.”

I have traveled Iowa and spoken at many venues about my experiences.

But I want to talk about a different, more excruciating side of America’s recent wars: military sexual trauma, or MST.

Medically, it is like PTSD, with many of the same symptoms and social problems. Twenty-three percent of women military veterans claim to have been sexually assaulted in the military.

The vast majority of these women did not report the crime, many because of fear of retaliation.

I have personal experience with MST and my experiences of speaking to other MST-injured women during my tours have convinced me that something must be done.

I have teamed with the Veterans National Recovery Center to host a workshop to develop a contact service for these women veterans.

If you are a concerned or affected woman, please come to the MST Strategic Action Plan Workshop, which will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at the Holistic Wellness Center, at the southeast corner of 86th Street and Hickman Road in Des Moines.

Miyoko Hikiji

Des Moines


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