Sunday, May 1, 2016

Home From War Female Veteran Feels Service Devalued

Home From War, Female Veteran Discovers Not All Military Service Is Valued Equally
KPLU
By GABRIEL SPITZER
APR 30, 2016
As a female vet, she was often mistake for a “real” veteran’s wife or girlfriend. And as someone who did a majority of her service within the confines of that Army base, she discovered that some soldiers played down what she went through.

Marine Corps translator Vanessa Davids (second from the left), on one of her rare trips off base.
COURTESY OF VANESSA DAVIDS
Vanessa Davids did most of her military service “inside the wire,” as an Arabic translator on a base in Iraq. Her job called on her to translate audio and video recordings, in hopes of gathering intelligence, foiling attacks and probing enemy action. She translated bomb plots, beheadings, even in some cases child pornography. As a result, she got an intimate, and dark, perspective on human nature.

“Doing the work that I did, it really seemed to me at the time that evil was in every single person, and it was just a matter of how well they hid it from you,” Davids said.

But upon returning from her deployment, she discovered that not all military service is treated equally by either the military itself, her fellow vets, or the civilians she now moved uncomfortably among.
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