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After years home, female Iraq vets endure the wounds of war

Veteran Eunice Ramirez did maintenance work at Norwalk Post Office by day and took classes at Norwalk Community College in the evening. She now lives in Milford. (Tony Bacewicz photo)
Veteran Eunice Ramirez did maintenance work at Norwalk Post Office by day and took classes at Norwalk Community College in the evening. She now lives in Milford. (Tony Bacewicz photo)

It’s been nine years since Eunice Ramirez served in Iraq, but she still suffers from war wounds – post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, respiratory problems and frequent crying triggered by her memories.

Suzanna Smaldone, who also returned home from Iraq in 2005, lives in constant pain and can’t bring herself to talk about her war injuries.

Cheryl Eberg, home from Iraq for seven years, counsels other veterans, but their war stories can trigger her own mental health issues.

Though it’s not unusual for veterans of both sexes to struggle for years with war injuries when they return home, officials say that women veterans have their own unique challenges, which can make their transition to civilian life particularly hard.

See the complete story at Connecticut Health I-Team.

Comments

2 responses to “After years home, female Iraq vets endure the wounds of war”

  1. EveT

    Wow, this is a powerful story. Especially the ending (follow link) about the constant fear of sexual assault. Makes you wonder why we glorify military service when there are men who treat their fellow (female) service members this way.

  2. Suzanne

    I am not a proponent of solving the world’s problems using military means. However, these women do project a reality that exists in the military that shows the world we live in still requires men and women to be of service in this way. My sister served two tours in Iraq and likewise had a fear of sexual assaults: her solution was to make a buddy. A big, strong buddy that no other guys would mess with. He is married as my sister now is and they still have a good friendship. The way the VA has mishandled treatment for everyone is demonstrated in an article below. It should be a crime. The culture, however, has been inculcated into the VA system since at least the Vietnam war. (My Auntie was a military nurse who, after WWII, worked at VA facilities. The care was much different.) If a person is going through Medical school residency and a VA is nearby, they are required to go through rotation, considered the “trenches” of medicine, whether they are prepared for the unique difficulties of military service or not. This, among many other things, leads to substandard care and a very sad outcome for a lot a these people. It is so wrong: while I disagree with the reasons we have gone to war in the past few skirmishes, I don’t believe those who have hit the ground to whatever purpose should be punished for it. They should be shown the best, the kindest of care and rehabilitation.

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