This past January, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta announced that the Department of Defense has removed the ban against women serving in combat. While it remains to be seen how this new policy will be implemented, this news story made me think about several female military veteran Social Security disability clients of mine who are alleging disability not for combat injuries but for PTSD arising from physical and sexual harassment that occurred while they were serving in the military.
I am glad to see that this issue – sexual harassment of female soldiers – is being reported. The New York Times ran a story on February 27, 2013 entitled Trauma Sets Female Veterans Adrift Back Home and the examples set out in this story reflect the experiences of my clients. One of the soldiers profiled in the NYT story describes a brutal rape on a U.S. Military base on South Korea. The emotional scarring arising from this incident has left the victimized soldier suffering from PTSD, living out of her car and beset by homelessness.