Could an Unknowing Compromised Photo of You be on the Scandalous “Marines United” Website?

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On April 7, 2017, two Camp Pendleton Marines were charged with an association with the scandalous and disgraceful website “Marines United.” Over 55,000 images were stored on the website, and the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) any possible victim to come forward.

What is “Marines United?”

“Marines United” was a private invite-only Facebook Page created in 2015, that contained over 55,000 photos of women either nude or scantily clad. Many of the pictures are revenge porn photos and videos posted by primarily Marines without the woman’s consent. Many other photos and videos are of female Marines who are unknowingly recorded in their barracks or while they were deployed. While the site is now shut down, over 750 Marines are now facing court martials, depending on their degree of involvement in the website.

What Can You Do?   

If you are a female active duty or veteran (especially Marines), and you think that there could be a photo or video of you that could date back as far as 2001, then you should contact the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) at (910) 451- 8071. Tell the Special Agent who answers that you would like to find out if your photo could have been one of the 55,000 pictures stored on the website.

What Will Happen?

After contacting NCIS, they will ask you the location and situation where you think you might have been photographed. Also, if you have suspicions that an ex posted intimate photos as a form of revenge porn, NCIS will ask what is the name of the military personnel.

If there is not a military base close to your home, two NCIS agents (at least one female) can meet you at your home. They will take photos of their facial recognition, as well as take pictures of any tattoos or other markings that could be helped to identify if your photo was posted to the website.  NCIS will ask if you could e-mail them pictures of you from the time that you think the photo or video was taken. Keep in mind also, the conversation will be recorded.  

It can take many weeks for the NCIS agents to discover if your photo or a video was on the website. After that, if you were over the age of 18 when the photo was taken, you can decide if you want to pursue any legal or civil charges.

Even if you think it is remotely possible that your photo could have been on the “Marines United” website, NCIS is asking for any potential victim to come forward.

 

 

Why are Female Veterans Less Likely to be Diagnosed with a Traumatic Brain Injuries?

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                                       What is a Traumatic Brain Injury?

Over 15-20% of all veterans who served in Iraq or Afghanistan since 2001 have been diagnosed with a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI); many are never reported, or the veteran is unaware of his or her injury.  A TBI is a type of brain injury which can occur by a fall, blast, or direct force to the skull. A TBI can cause a lack of cerebral blood flow and can cause the brain to swell, which can result in permanent loss of vision, brain damage, or death. An MRI scan normally is sufficient to diagnosis a TBI.

What are Symptoms of a TBI?

TBIs can be difficult to diagnose because the symptoms overlap with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Symptoms of a TBI include migraines, slurred speech, tinnitus, memory loss, seizures, depression, difficulty making decisions, mood changes, impaired vision, restlessness, loss of coordination, severe fatigue, insomnia, and dilation of one eyes or both. Female veterans who come to the VA complaining of mood changes, depression, memory loss, fatigue, restlessness, and insomnia, are likely to be diagnosed with depression or severe premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), and very few follow-ups or consultations with specialists are ever scheduled.

Female Veteran are Often Misdiagnosed with Not Having a TBI

A serious problem for females who suffer unknowingly from a TBI is at a severe disadvantage for being diagnosed with this potentially lethal injury by both the military and the Veteran Affairs. While it is true that male active-duty and veterans who are between the ages of 18-24 are at a much more higher risk from developing a TBI due to their military job, female veterans who experience a blast or a head injury, are just as likely to develop a TBI as their male counterparts. 

Because most TBI suffers are males, females are often never asked if they suffered any type of head injury or blast when they returned home from Iraq and Afghanistan by base medical, and when they sign-up for the VA once they are discharged. Since females are less likely to be diagnosed with PTSD, many practitioners never question if the symptoms are truly from PTSD, or possibly from a TBI or both, a TBI and PTSD.

How Can You Help?

Contacting your local representatives to explain and to push them to create bills that would ensure the VA are screening every OIF and OEF veteran is one thing that can be done. Another would be starting an online conversation about the lack of medical screening female veterans get when they return from combat would also help push the VA to develop more thorough measures to diagnose every veteran with a TBI.

Lastly, the female veteran needs to be her own advocate when it comes to their own health care. Demand to be screened for a TBI if you ever suffered any type of injury or blast in the combat theater. By female veteran’s continuous demands for the VA to properly screen all veterans who present with classic symptoms of a TBI, will push the VA to develop new programs to ensure every veteran who has a TBI will be diagnosed correctly, and receive all benefits and care pertaining to the injury.

Veteran Affairs Green-Lights Infertility Treatment and Cryogenic Preservation for Female Veterans

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In 1992, the Senate banned fertility treatment for all female veterans, including those whose fertility was compromised by combat or another service-connected disability. The reason for this ban was due to many lawmakers’ beliefs that unused embryos would be tantamount to abortion and murder, regardless that at the time the paperwork female veterans signed required them to donate any unused embryos to other service-members.

Senator Patty Murray (D-Washington) proposed a bill back in 2015 that would lift the 1992 ban and allow female veterans whose infertility was caused due to service, to be given the right to infertility treatments.

Murray stated, “The VA provides treatments for other injuries sustained in war — infertility treatments should be no different.” The bill passed by a vote of 23-7, which enabled Women Veterans and Families Health Services Act of 2015 S 469 and H.R. 3365 to become law on March 20, 2017.

Those who were against the bill cited once again the moral quandary of unused embryos, and the cost of $20,000 per round of invitro fertilization. However, many lawmakers pointed out the artificial limbs which are replaced every few years costs roughly the same amount. Now, all female veterans who have a service-connected injury which can impede their infertility are qualified for fertility treatments free of cost.

Welcome Female Warriors

Welcome,

This is my new website and blog and I want you to know that I am glad you stopped by. I want to create a community of other female combat veterans in order to support and encourage each other, because we are unique. Others who have never returned fire, or see the best-friend die, can know the hardships we are forced to endure; we all have our own story, and we can choose to tell it or not.

This blog is about open and honest communication with other female veterans who have returned fire, and earned the nickname we are proud to have earned, Lioness. We have fought the good fight, served with honor and distinction, but are barely recognized or heard by the military or the VA. Well, we shall not be silenced anymore, and we demand recognition for our sacrifices, and proper physical and mental health care which the males get so easily, all because we could not receive the medals as males, doing the same job and firing rounds down range just the same.

Thankfully, on April 1, 2017 (and it did not turn out to be an April Fool’s joke), female warriors, lionesses, are able to legally see combat, and earn they can receive the medals and ribbons which will enable them to receive proper care when they leave the service.

The first female American Soldier,  Deborah Sampson Gannon in 1782 and enlisted under the name of her deceased brother. She fought in the Revolutionary war, and was wounded twice. The military and VA have for the past 235 years of injustice.

Please, tell your story if you are so  inclined. If not, you are equally welcome to read the inspirations and stories of others.

Keep Fighting Lionesses,

The Unsilenced Warrior