Today I was thinking about media coverage and how unfair it is to women Veterans.
When the bin Laden shooter shared his story of how after 16 years of service and misrepresenting the services available to him, he is granted the audience of our elected officials and getting job offers from all over.
After I told a part of my story of how I was in a combat zone without proper protection, I was said to be overreacting and “in it for the money”.
To be fair, the shooter did receive quite a bit of criticism for what was published. Some of the facts were misrepresented. In my opinion, he should have known better than say he had no benefits and I know for a fact that demobilization briefs are heavy on the planning for your family following deployments.
I didn’t tell all of my story to the media. I don’t feel comfortable doing so because of reactions like the ones I’ve received. I also don’t need the world to know some of the fucked up things fellow soldiers did to me. Will it have made a difference in how I was judged? Possibly. But I am not going to put things out there that I wouldn’t even tell my family. I’m just now telling my father about how I was there without plates in my vest.
And I’ve noticed that it’s not just me getting this pushback. There were plenty of comments of support, but when women Veterans are brave enough to tell their stories, we get comments about how we shouldn’t be in combat, that we are overreacting, or that we are somehow at fault.
I’m not writing this for sympathy. I don’t care about what some anonymous person posts on the Internets, but it does bother me that women Veterans aren’t getting the respect that we’ve clearly earned.