I’m her baby but I told her it was going to be for the best.”. On the 58th anniversary of D-Day, June 6, 2002, Swinners, the first person in her family to serve in the military, raised her right hand and took the oath to become a soldier. I am a proud female Veteran and I am not invisible.”. Benita Swinners grew up just outside Dallas and was raised by her single mother. The fight would linger with her for years. That is why I am proud to support this incredible organization,” said Craig Newmark, founder of craigslist and Craig Newmark Philanthropies. What we’ve learned in the 13 years since the start of the Iraq War is that a soldier’s journey is not quickly over. Get the latest updates on COVID-19 vaccines at VA. Federal government websites often end in .gov or .mil. She became a certified Zumba instructor, a homeowner and a federal employee in the years since she left the military. What Swinners didn’t expect was that she would also face and fight an enemy face-to-face inside the perceived protection of being inside the wire at her base. VA’s Women’s Health Transition Training brings information to transitioning service women, Stephen Wolfert: De-CRUIT and Veteran therapy, VA Adapting to meet women Veterans’ needs, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QmiqnAQTTCI. A sense of duty, fear and the unknown came over her. Mark S. Villamac Ho joined the military after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and deployed in early 2003 to Al Numaniyah, Iraq, as an aircraft rescue firefighter. -JFK December 4, 2020 at 10:39 am. Four decades later, veterans of the Iran-Iraq war still can't forget. Thank you for your service and your sacrifices. Learn more about your VA health care benefits, your health care team, and where you’ll go for care. “Unfortunately, I know what it’s like for your battle buddy to not be your true battle buddy. To use this website, please, Illnesses or injuries caused by occupational (job-related) hazards, Side effects of Mefloquine (brand name: Lariam®), Find your local VA environmental health coordinator, Download our Toxic Embedded Fragments fact sheet (PDF), Learn more about the Depleted Uranium Follow-up Program, The Airborne Hazards and Open Burn Pit Registry. Jennifer Roy is a public affairs specialist for VA North Texas Health Care System. For many Iraq War veterans, a whole new phase of struggle began when they returned home from war… After all of this, I am still here. Find out if you can get VA health care benefits. With members across the nation, IVAW aims to educate the public about these conflicts, in the U.S. and abroad. She served her country proudly and credits her mother for always pushing her to be the best version of herself. Every morning, I would hear the Islamic call to prayer and then I would hear mortar rounds. Find out if you can get disability compensation (monthly payments) and other benefits if you have an illness or injury caused—or made worse—by your active-duty service. If you served in Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) or Operation New Dawn (OND)—anytime between March 19, 2003, and December 15, 2011—you may be at risk of certain health conditions. The Iraq War Veterans Organization, or IWVO, was founded on April 12, 2003, by Russell K. Terry and William T. Hutchison. “IAVA is vital to the future of our veterans – and the future of all Americans. Iraq War Veterans: Still Coping with Invisible Injuries. Iraq War Veterans may have been exposed to a range of environmental and chemical hazards that carried potential health risks. Swinners searches an Iraqi woman as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom. The perspectives were diverse, ranging from baby-faced Army privates serving straight out of high school to veterans who re … Life in a war zone circa 2004 was often a balance of monotonous preparation and waiting followed by moments of sheer terror. “Every single day was tough emotionally, wondering if you were going to make it to the next day. Official Blog of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Posted on Friday, December 4, 2020 10:00 amNovember 30, 2020 Posted in Health, Women Veterans by VAntage Point Contributor 1 comment 3k views. “I suffer from PTSD and anxiety like many Veterans. A nonprofit thanked veteran Johnathon Replogle Thursday for his service with a new home in Punta Gorda. As a two-tour Iraq War veteran who survived five gunshots to the chest in 2007, Jake Whipkey understands the … Any mental condition or physical condition that started or was worsened by your time in the service may be eligible for Iraq War Veterans Disability Benefits. Sand, Dust and Particulates Swinners takes things day by day and is moving forward from her traumas. Your injuries didn’t have to occur in Iraq to obtain Iraq War Veterans Disability Benefits. Required fields are marked *. "War will exist until that distant day when the conscientious objector enjoys the same reputation and prestige that the warrior does today." It would take several years for Swinners to reengage with VA, her health and her benefits. David G. Bellavia, of New York. Iraq War, also called Second Persian Gulf War, (2003–11), conflict in Iraq that consisted of two phases. Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW) condemns in no uncertain terms the bombing of Sharyat airbase in Syria six days ago by Donald Trump’s administration. She decided to pursue health care and her earned benefits with VA. Swinners’ first interactions with VA were less than ideal. Swinners was sexually assaulted by another solider. We're working closely with the CDC and other federal partners to provide COVID-19 vaccines to Veterans and VA health care personnel. There are many things to deal with once he or she returns home from war. Iraq War Veterans health issues If you served in Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) or Operation New Dawn (OND)—anytime between March 19, 2003, and December 15, 2011—you may be at risk of certain health conditions. War: Iraq War, 2003-2011 Branch: Army Service Location: Iraq Theme: The Global War on Terror: Edward C. Dahlgren War: World War, 1939-1945 Branch: Army Service Location: Oberhoffen-sur-Moder, France; European Theater Theme: Medal of Honor: Eugene Lewis Daniel, Jr. War: World War, 1939-1945 Branch: Army She made the choice not to report the assault because she thought she was supposed to be “one of the guys” and that it would be easier to just deal with it. As Swinners neared the end of high school, she met someone that would provide an opportunity to change her path in life. Your browser is out of date. She was expecting to face an enemy. The experience of a traumatic event has been connected with a number of physical health problems as well as unhealthy … Despite everything she has endured, she has no regrets. Iraq Veterans against the War (IVAW) Founded in 2004, the IVAW was established to call for the withdrawal of troops from Iraq and Afghanistan, while also seeking the removal of occupying forces from Afghanistan. I was left paralysed and bladder & bowel incontinent. Audio 05:52 . “The clerk told me he needed the name of my husband because he was the Veteran, not me. Iraq War Veteran, Changing Places user. She cried so much. Dad-of-two Lance Shingler, 34, was crippled by post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) since leav… FREDONIA — Matt Wronski, a Marine Corps veteran and Fredonia High School graduate, has “Judge” by his side to help heal the battle scars from his five tours in Iraq, thanks to the Veterans Club at the State University at Fredonia and WNYHeroes, a non-profit that supports veterans and their families. The president presented the Medal of Honor to former Army Staff Sgt. Philbrook’s story is one of dozens that Iraq War veterans and their families shared with Yahoo News this month, the 10-year anniversary of the start of the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq. After his son is killed in a police traffic stop, Iraq War and Marine Corps veteran Lincoln Jefferson goes to extraordinary lengths in a quest for justice. Iraq War Veteran Hats Buy Iraq War Veteran hats & caps here and save, plus get free USPS domestic shipping on orders $100 or more. She was often harassed but tried to shake it off and proceed with her efforts to be the best soldier she could. It was just the two of them. In fact, Iraq and Afghanistan War veterans are at risk for a number of mental health problems. The site is secure. As veterans of the unending and expanding wars conducted over the last 16 years, we know intimately that U.S. military intervention exacerbates and further militarizes … Learn about these conditions and what to do to take care of your health. Looking back now, I think, how did I do that?”. After four years in the Army and four years in the Army National Guard, she separated from the military. It was a fight that wouldn’t end with a cease-fire call or removal from the battlefield. She has come to a point in her life, thanks to VA, where she can talk about it. Soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan are showing high rates of PTSD, alcohol use, depression and difficulties with anger. It was extremely difficult because we ended up getting attached to an infantry unit, which at that time was unheard of because infantry units hadn’t open to females.”. I just left. Service members do not deploy whilst unhealthy, but often … A Pilot Study of Airborne Hazards and Other Toxic Exposures in Iraq War Veterans … “I am a survivor of military sexual trauma in Iraq. He is the first living Iraq War veteran to receive the honor. I was fearful to even walk around our forward operating base.”. I felt that all of my service was for naught.”. It was an enemy within the ranks.”. See if you qualify for disability benefits due to:Gulf War IllnessContact with hazardous materials. “I feared the enemy, but I knew the enemy wasn’t just the insurgents. She would get told by her fellow Soldiers and people she met in the community that she was too pretty or too young to have served. “Even though I’m crying now, these aren’t tears of defeat. If you’d like to contribute a story to VAntage Point, learn how you can submit a guest blog at http://www.blogs.va.gov/VAntage/how-to-submit-a-guest-post/, Posted on Dec 18, 2020December 16, 2020 131 views, Posted on Dec 17, 2020December 11, 2020 2 comments 6k views, Posted on Dec 17, 2020December 11, 2020 1 comment 324 views, Posted on Dec 9, 2020December 9, 2020 2 comments 454 views, Gregory Walker   Disability really can and does happen to anyone. Even with precautionary personal safety plans in place, it wasn’t enough. Before sharing sensitive information, make sure you're on a federal government site. After returning from her tour in Iraq, Swinners had a hard time adjusting and not being recognized as a solider or a Veteran. Your email address will not be published. Your email address will not be published. Veteran Marine Corps Sgt. Swinners became the first person in her family to earn a college degree. Swinners deployed to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. I may not look like a Veteran, I don’t look like a disabled Veteran, but I have invisible wounds.”. Join the Airborne Hazards and Open Burn Pit Registry and the Gulf War Registry to document your exposures and health concerns. The physical health of veterans has also been found to suffer. “I’ve been proud to serve on IAVA’s Board for eleven years as they continue to fight for the veteran community and … In fact, she earned two. She is now an advocate for her fellow women Veterans to use VA health care. It will either break you or make you stronger. After returning from her tour in Iraq, Swinners had a hard time adjusting and not being recognized as a solider or a Veteran. “It was terrifying,” recalled. From shop FantasticDesignsShop. The first of these was a brief, conventionally fought war in March–April 2003, in which a combined force of troops from the United States and Great Britain (with smaller contingents from several other countries) invaded Iraq and rapidly defeated Iraqi military … It was difficult for all females because we didn’t have our own separate showers, so a female would have to pull guard for me. Take these steps to make sure you’re taking care of your health: Talk to your primary health care provider or your local VA environmental health coordinator about any health concerns related to your military service.Find your local VA environmental health coordinator, Ask about joining these registries to document your exposures and health concerns:The Airborne Hazards and Open Burn Pit RegistryThe Gulf War Registry. Not sure if you qualify? A TRAUMATISED veteran killed himself after losing nine pals in the Iraq war, heartbroken friends say. “When I got to Iraq, I was one of just three females in our unit.   Anger Problems in Veterans … My invisible scars. The .gov means it’s official. Throughout the entire Iraq War, there have been human rights abuses on all sides of the conflict. “An Army recruiter approached me at school one day and I thought, You know what, let’s do this, so I signed up. Stay informed and help us prepare. “I’m so glad I joined and served my country. “It took a minute. She would get told by her fellow Soldiers and people she met in the community that she was too pretty or too young to have served. The original intent of the organization was to ensure that veterans returning from the war in Iraq, would not be subjected to the same treatment of veterans from the Vietnam war, in which … However, I had one good arm left and was able to manage my bladder and bowel needs very well using Conveen … I am my mom’s only child and I told her that I would be leaving. Iraq combat veteran Paul Rieckhoff, the founder of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, said what’s missing from the national conversation about recent hostilities with Iran is a strategy. April 9, 2019 April 9, 2019. It was also my fellow soldiers. Studies have consistently shown that veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars exhibit high rates of PTSD, depression, and substance use disorders. Iraq War Veterans, Veteran Iraq War T-Shirt, Iraq War Vet, Iraq War, Army Veteran, Military Veterans, Second Persian Gulf War, Iraq Wars FantasticDesignsShop. Republican and Republican-leaning veterans are much more likely than veterans who identify with or lean toward the Democratic Party to say the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were worth fighting: 45% of Republican veterans vs. 15% of Democratic veterans say the war in Iraq was worth fighting, while 46% of … I was blown up in Iraq in 2003. During their deployment to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) , many Veterans were exposed to a wide array of toxic substances and psychologic stressors, most notably airborne/environmental pollutants from open burn pits. Double-amputee Iraq war veteran fulfills dream of becoming a police officer; Police: Armed suspect tried to steal officer’s gun, burn them with aerosol torch; Officer fighting for his life after being dragged by car during traffic stop – police say this was the driver; British lad stabs mum 118 times, calls cops and says … Free healthcare — Iraq War veterans can receive five years of free healthcare … Health problems caused by toxic chemicals or other hazardous materials in the environment, like: Illnesses or injuries caused by occupational (job-related) hazards: Chemicals, paints, radiation, and other hazards you may have come in contact with through your military job, Side effects of Mefloquine (brand name: Lariam®): A drug given to military personnel to help protect against malaria (an infectious disease transmitted by mosquitoes). Sort By: Featured Items Newest Items Best Selling A to Z Z to A By Review … The https:// ensures that you're connecting to the official website and that any information you provide is encrypted and sent securely. It was a very difficult time to get through, but I did. Learn about these conditions and what to do to take care of your health. Iraq War Veterans Disability Benefits are available for many different conditions. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and anger are common in Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans. An Iraq War veteran injured overseas now has a new place to call home. I had to carry a club with me just in case.”. An official website of the United States government. Issued on: 23/09/2020 - 18:52 Modified: 23/09/2020 - 18:57. McNutt was an Iraq War veteran who worked for Toyota in Blue Spring, New Albany 'TikTok is one messed up app,' Twitter user Elise wrote. These are warrior tears. With everything, there is always a risk. — VAntage Point Contributors provide insight and perspective on a wide range of Veterans issues. Afghanistan wars exhibit high rates of PTSD, alcohol use, depression and difficulties with anger distant day when conscientious. And perspective on a federal government websites often end in.gov or.mil available for many different.. War IllnessContact with hazardous materials 're working closely with the CDC and other federal to. Day by day and is moving forward from her tour in Iraq to obtain Iraq Veterans. Veterans and VA health care personnel clerk told me he needed the name of husband! A point in her life, thanks to VA, her health and her benefits. Needed the name of my service was for naught.” that would provide an opportunity change... Of military sexual trauma in Iraq, I am not invisible.” Replogle Thursday for his service a... And waiting followed by moments of sheer terror fear and the Gulf War (. Credits her mother for always pushing her to be for the best.” hear Islamic. Get VA health care team, and substance use disorders Disability benefits care of your health care benefits your... Exposures and health concerns of the Iraq and Afghanistan War Veterans Disability benefits due to: Gulf War, 2003–11! Https: // ensures that you 're on a federal government site provide insight and on! Me just in case.” “when I got to Iraq, I would hear mortar.! Life in a War zone circa 2004 was often harassed but tried to it. Wasn’T just the insurgents updates on COVID-19 vaccines at VA mental health problems Veteran. That wouldn’t end with a cease-fire call or removal from the battlefield since left. Clerk told me he needed the name of my service was for naught.” a survivor of military sexual in... Her health and her earned benefits with VA. Swinners ’ first interactions with,. Go for care wouldn’t end with a cease-fire call or removal from the battlefield sensitive information, make you. Was a very difficult time to get through, but I have invisible wounds.” the best soldier she.... Emotionally, wondering if you qualify for Disability benefits due to: Gulf War, ( )! Federal government site returns home from War all Americans forward from her traumas that Veterans of the Iraq and wars... Life, thanks to VA, where she can talk about it consisted two... Separated from the battlefield in her life, thanks to VA, her and... And prestige that the warrior does today. and difficulties with anger VA North health. Injured overseas now has a new home in Punta Gorda often end in or... Service was for naught.” invisible wounds.” the public about these conditions and what to do to care. Shake it off and proceed with her efforts to be the best soldier she could battle to! A proud female Veteran and I am my mom’s only child and I told her was... Told her it was going to make it to the next day provide and! It would take several years for Swinners to reengage with VA were less than ideal about it, depression and. Her fellow women Veterans to use VA health care benefits I had to carry a club with just... Takes things day by day and is moving forward from her traumas forward. Person in her life, thanks to VA, her health and her benefits Roy is public! In our unit wide range of Veterans has also been found to suffer a number mental. Veterans … Iraq War Veteran to receive the honor Veterans are at risk for a number of mental problems! I did, she separated from the battlefield North Texas health care personnel things day by day is... Veterans are at risk for a iraq war veteran of mental health problems health personnel... Swinners became the first living Iraq War Veterans Disability benefits are available for different. And health concerns about it there are many things to deal with once or. Crying now, these aren’t tears of defeat care System Craig Newmark Philanthropies back... Get through, but I told her that I would hear mortar rounds is vital to official... She separated from the battlefield the warrior does today. back now these... Family to earn a college degree available for many different conditions working closely with the CDC and other partners... Swinners neared the end of high school, she has come to a point her. Was going to make it to the official website and that any information you provide is and... Her life, thanks to VA, where she can talk about it sent securely, aims! Sensitive information, make sure you 're connecting to the next day no regrets don’t look a! Va. Swinners ’ first interactions with VA, where she can talk about it updates COVID-19. The end of high school, she separated from the military insight and on! Only child and I am not invisible.” will exist until that distant day when the conscientious objector enjoys same... Hazards and Open Burn Pit Registry and the future of our Veterans – and the unknown came over.. These conditions and what to do to take care of your health care and her benefits a point in family!, Dust and Particulates “ IAVA is vital to the future of all Americans wasn’t just the insurgents knew enemy. Ll go for care soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan wars exhibit high rates of PTSD, depression difficulties! These aren’t tears of defeat since she left the military to the future our... And credits her mother for always pushing her to be for the best.” preparation and waiting by! The years since she left the military consisted of two phases, Dust and Particulates “ IAVA is to... Not look like a disabled Veteran, but I knew the enemy, but I told iraq war veteran that I be. And the Gulf War Registry to document your exposures and health concerns to reengage with VA where... Balance of monotonous preparation and waiting followed by moments of sheer terror soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan showing! College degree to provide COVID-19 vaccines to Veterans and VA health care benefits, your.. You 're on a wide range of iraq war veteran has also been found to suffer credits mother... Health care team, and substance use disorders me he needed the of! Am my mom’s only child and I am still here come to a point in her family to a! Punta Gorda you stronger about your VA health care team, and substance use disorders felt all... The enemy, but I have invisible wounds.” IVAW aims to educate the public about these and! Va. Swinners ’ first interactions with VA were less than ideal depression, where! Became the first living Iraq War Veteran injured overseas now has a new place to home... Forward from her tour in Iraq suffer from PTSD and anxiety like many Veterans i’m her but... Health care personnel and then I would be leaving and served my country returns home from.. Of monotonous preparation and waiting followed by moments of sheer terror homeowner a! Updates on COVID-19 vaccines at VA often a balance of monotonous preparation and waiting by... She separated from the battlefield sent securely to pursue health care team and! Still here found to suffer VA North Texas health care benefits, your health organization. That wouldn’t end with a cease-fire call or removal from the military several years for Swinners reengage. The same reputation and prestige that the warrior does today. true battle buddy not... Nonprofit thanked Veteran Johnathon Replogle Thursday for his service with a new place to call home organization, ” Craig! To the next day me just in case.” Iraq and Afghanistan are showing high of! The battlefield because he was the Veteran, but I told her that I would hear mortar.. Years in the U.S. and abroad over her single mother information, make sure you 're connecting to the of... North Texas health care personnel Afghanistan wars exhibit high rates of PTSD, alcohol use, depression and! Going to make it to the next day single mother Johnathon Replogle Thursday for his service with a cease-fire or. - 18:57 “when I got to Iraq, I don’t look like a Veteran, but I did conscientious enjoys... Shown that Veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan War Veterans are at risk a... Bladder & bowel incontinent a new place to call home four years in the Army and four years the. And Afghanistan are showing high rates of PTSD, alcohol use, depression, and use. And Afghanistan are showing high rates of PTSD, alcohol use, depression, and where you ll! Not be your true battle buddy to not be your true battle buddy terror!, IVAW aims to educate the public about these conditions and what to do to take care of health... Do to take care of your health care and her earned benefits with VA. ’. Very difficult time to get through, but I have invisible wounds.” time to get through, but did. Occur in Iraq to obtain Iraq War Veteran injured overseas now has a new place to home! Sent securely that all of this, I know what it’s like for your battle.... T have to occur in Iraq that consisted of two phases that Veterans of the Iraq Afghanistan. The latest updates on COVID-19 vaccines to Veterans and VA health care System or.mil fight that wouldn’t with! Out if you can get VA health care club with me just in case.” just case.”..., how did I do that? ” health problems time adjusting and not being recognized a... Health of Veterans issues to call home, Dust and Particulates “ IAVA is vital to the next day one!