Competing for Ms. Veteran America 2021: the 5W's
Oh hello, Taylor Anne here. I’m an eight year Active Duty Army Medic and victim turned victim advocate. This is my chance to elevate my platform that I’ve been speaking out on about Military Sexual Trauma.
Last year while I was away with my unit on a mission, a senior non-commissioned officer couldn’t keep his creepy hands off of me. As if that wasn’t disappointing enough, I found out I wasn’t the only victim. Two victims reported, he was investigated, and he was recommended for separation from service under other than honorable conditions. However, his administrative separation board thought it best to retain him. Thus he remains still serving in uniform, in the same rank, and in the same unit as me. And I’m just not okay with that. This year I’ve been sharing my story to gain awareness to the issue that is: how we deal with military sexual predators, and making some proposals for change.
The Ms. Veteran America competition is a movement showcasing The Woman Beyond the Uniform and put on by a veteran run non-profit organization Final Salute, Inc. who finds safe and suitable housing for homeless women veterans. Ms. Veteran America serves as the official Spokeswoman for Final Salute, Inc.
Where and when is this competition?
Semi-Finals will be held virtually due to the ongoing public health concerns in June, but Finals are live in Orlando baby!
Okay, but why Ms. Veteran America?
Thanks for asking. Turns out that a huge contributing risk factor for veteran homelessness is military sexual trauma. 1 in 3 women in the military report having experienced MST to the VA, and 1 in 50 men. I feel very strongly about finding ways to prevent MST and change the way we adjudicate predators and eliminate them from the military. If we can work to reduce the amount of risk women veterans are in from suffering this trauma, I firmly believe we can reduce the amount of homelessness in this rapidly growing demographic. Until then, I’m all in on raising awareness on both issues and funds for women who have served our country (and their children) struggling to make ends meet.