Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Wisconsin's women soldiers: 'Watch your back'

She was a small-town girl who joined the Wisconsin National Guard to escape a life of repeated sexual abuse, but she found more of the same among her new band of brothers.

A fellow Wisconsin soldier raped her at Fort Bliss, Texas, where 3,200 members of the state Guard's 32nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team soldiers trained for weeks in 2009 before deploying to Iraq, she said.

"I do get nightmares and I do have really bad flashbacks," the woman said.

The Wisconsin native asked not to be identified in this article because she fears harassment from other soldiers.

"I don't want people to say ‘the girl is a whiner,'" she said.

While the experience has tormented her, reawakening painful memories of childhood assaults by family friends and boyfriends, the woman remains a loyal soldier because the military lifted her out of what she called a dead-end, small-town existence.

Read the full story in the Wisconsin State Journal.