I would just like to say that I am a survivor of domestic violence and harassment that exacerbated my PTSD. My unit sought to discredit and dismiss my trauma. I sought mental health and they worked in tandem with my unit to perpetuate that I was suffering from a personality disorder and had me disqualified from service. I was seven years from retirement.

This book, I hope, will inspire more people to come forward and be heard and not beat down!!!


Anonymous (United States Air Force)

I joined, the United States Air Force, three years ago with the intention of staying in for a full 20 or more years. Graduating from Basic Training, I was so excited to begin my journey and to see what I could learn about myself and the others around me. Within my first two weeks of my technical training, I was sexually harassed and assaulted. I blamed myself for what happened. I confided in a good friend that I trusted, and he was able to talk to the person and ask them to stay away. That was all I wanted.

However, a third party found out and reported my situation. I was called out of class by my chain of command and forced to talk about what had happened, even though I wasn’t ready to talk about it yet. I was placed in what looked like an interrogation room and asked repeatedly to talk about what happened. I did not remember many of the details, and I still don’t to this day. I sought out help from mental health, and eventually was placed on medication. My case was handled incorrectly from the start, with SAPR sending me to EO, and there never having been an official report filed. I was never offered the support I needed.

Almost three years later, I am living in a constant state of fear. I am afraid to go to the store alone or to even go for a walk. I want people to know that they are not handling cases the way they need to be handled. People are getting brushed off and ignored. Something needs to change.

Mark P.

I met Jakia at her first duty station. When we were first introduced, her and “SJ” were in a relationship (but not married). Eventually, I got to know “SJ” after they got married. Kia and I grew closer over the years, so I accepted her husband. But, after they moved to Florida, I learned about their marital issues. I am an understanding and caring person, so I listened to “SJ” as he begged and pleaded with me to advocate on his behalf. I reasoned with Kia, to see if she could resolve their issues and stay together. Kia agreed, and I regret that decision every day!

Later, I learned about the abuse Kia endured both physically and mentally. It makes me sick to my stomach that I advocated for her abuser. I apologize often for trying to convince her to stay with her abuser and I regret it almost daily. I see Jakia as a little sister that I have to protect, and I felt like I failed at doing that. I had no idea what she was going through, and I wished that she informed me sooner. I understand she did not want to paint “SJ” as a bad guy, since she is a caring person, but this is one of those times I wish she would have reached out for support. I am happy that Jakia and “Reign” are in a better situation now!

Henry C. (Retired Technical Sergeant, United States Air Force Veteran)

I never should have joined the Air Force and much of my military career is a regret for me. There’s so much I could have done differently, and that time holds some of the darkest moments of my life.

I partied excessively hard. I don’t enjoy drinking but used it as an escape. I drank because I was hurting, and alcohol helped me to temporarily forget. I fell into depression, never sought counseling, and I thought about hurting myself. While on terminal leave, I woke up and realized that everything around me was an illusion. I did not go to counseling because if I did, I knew how people were going to treat me. Now that I’m a happy and HEALTHY man, I can say this: Being in the military, you do not know what somebody is going through. You will be led to believe that it is just a part of the day-to-day. That is the culture, it’s unhealthy.

Scott C. (United States Air Force Veteran)

You were the prime example of why I did not want to go to counseling. You spoke up and they isolated you. For me, it turned out the people who I thought were fighting for me ended up contributed to me getting kicked out. I want you to know, that I was in the same spot as you, but experiencing different circumstances. Things turned around for me when I first met my wife … she saved me. In return, I honestly, thought your “ex” saved you.

If anyone is reading this book and considering joining the military, know that Kia is trying to change the culture. Be patient. People are starting to be aware. Please do not hesitate to seek help. Keep fighting. You got this!

Anonymous (United States Navy Veteran)

When I was getting out of the military, people told me, “You’re gonna be flipping burgers and you’ll turn into a deadbeat wife and mother.” Now I make over $70k a year and recently got my real estate license. I am happily married and can proudly say I am a great mother and celebrating my sixth-year anniversary. I am currently in therapy for the trauma I endured while serving (constant bullying and sexual harassment). I made a complete 180-degree shift, and I never want to be in that mindframe again.

“I may be running out of options, but running out isn't an option.”

– Mark Lawrence