Military men and women who serve and protect the United States come from all walks of live. They are parents, children, friends, and, even, Pure Romance Partners. Today, we honor all American Veterans who have served and protected our country, while paying special tribute to the Pure Romance Partners that are part of the 11% of female Veterans. Below, you will hear from Pure Romance Partners and what Veterans Day means to them.
“Veterans Day to me, means honoring all the men and women who took an oath to serve and protect this great nation, knowing that there is a chance they might never return. It also means acknowledging there are men and women who will carry the weight of war with them for eternity. We owe all Veterans a debt of gratitude for keeping us all safe.” – Beckie Burlew, U.S. Navy Veteran
“I served 20 years in the U.S. Navy, right after high school. It was the best 20 years of my life. I met, served with, and said goodbye to a lot of really cool individuals. Veterans Day is a celebration of my service and that of my husband, my uncle, my brother, my oldest sister, son, my nephews, my niece, and my daughter-in-law, as well as the sacrifices we made and are still making, because we answered the call to serve our great Nation.” – Tyler Holmes, U.S. Navy Veteran
“Serving in the military definitely taught me how to be independent, look for the good, even if in a bad situation, and to be resourceful. I have since continued those skills into present day. But, especially on Veterans Day, I take time to reach out to those I served with (friends for life) and remember those we have lost.” – Andrea Cekovsky, U.S. Army Veteran
“My experience was awesome. I learned a lot, traveled the world, and met a lot of great people. The Army taught me discipline, structure, and how to manage things. Being a Veteran means a lot of things. I’m proud to be a Veteran. I was able to serve my country to make it a better place for you and I.”- Gina Nesbitt, U.S. Army Veteran
“I enjoyed my 7 years in the United States Navy. Serving my fellow sailors, as well as the local community, was a big part of my life and an experience that I will be forever grateful for. Veterans day is meaningful to me because I can reflect on my time in service, while celebrating the accomplishments of my brothers and sisters as well.” -Cara Murphy, U.S. Navy Veteran
“Veterans Day is about those that have served. It’s about sacrifice, honor, duty, and the support of our family and friends for the hard experiences we have to endure.”- Ashley Medder, Active Duty/Navy
“I served as a nurse for 14 years and did 2 tours. I get really emotional on Veterans Day because I’m reminded that I was a part of something where I was able to help so many people. Knowing I helped make a difference and that I’m someone my nieces and nephews look up to just makes me swell with pride.” – Karina Resendez, U.S. Army Veteran
“The sacrifice to give up their day-to-day world, leave their families and serve our Country – to give to something greater than themselves … that is something to be honored and respected.” – Shannon Fisher, U.S. Active/Air Force
“I am a Gulf War Veteran who enlisted in 2001. I was proud to earn my title as a United States Marine and was selfless to sacrifice my life for a country I loved. My career was taken early due to retaliation after being a victim of Military Sexual Assault. It forever changed my life and my family’s life. I came home to none of the promises given as I joined. To see the lengths that those responsible went to coverup what happened to me, I feel a sense of betrayal. I came home homeless, feeling alone and like a nobody, my ability to make a livable wage, no GI bill or health insurance with an enormous amount of service-related injuries has been the worst thing about coming home at all. Veterans Day is bittersweet for me because I accomplished a goal most would dream of. I am a part of history of serving in an elite group as an indigenous woman of color. I use my trauma and pain to help other women heal from whatever life throws at them. On Veterans Day I am reminded of the ultimate sacrifice I paid to protect this country and vow to help end military sexual trauma in the department of defense. Pure Romance assisted in my healing journey. I am forever grateful for teaching me how to love myself in order to love others again.” – Aliya Fitz El, U.S. Marine Corps Veteran
Currently, one in four servicewomen report experiencing a sexual assault in the military.
That statistic does not reflect the true number of sexual assaults servicewomen experience, since they are often pressured and harassed into silence. Victims also rarely see justice. Only .8% of reported sexual assaults in 2020 ended in sex-offense convictions under the Uniform Code of Military Justice. Many servicewomen leave the military after experiencing sexual trauma. Their departure is usually not their choice. A 2018 survey of active-duty service members by the Department of Defense reported that 38% of servicewomen who reported their assaults experienced professional retaliation afterward.
This Veterans Day lets focus our attention on supporting servicewomen who have experienced sexual assault while serving and protecting their country. Check out the resources below for survivors of military sexual violence and programs designed to deter military sexual assault.
For Survivors of Military Sexual Violence
Safe Helpline: Sexual Assault Support for the DoD Community
Safe Helpline, operated by RAINN, is the DoD’s sole hotline for members of the DoD community impacted by sexual assault. The hotline is a completely anonymous, 24/7 specialized service providing help and information.
Effects of Military Sexual Trauma
Make the Connection, a national campaign from the VA, helps connect veterans and their loved ones with fellow veterans who share their challenging experiences. The website walks military sexual assault survivors through the process of reaching out for treatment from VA Mental Health Services — and includes a helpful Resource Locator.
Help for Veterans Affected by Recent Public Discussions About Sexual Abuse
Find tips for survivors impacted by public discussions of sexual violence, links to resources on coping and recovery, and information for veterans on reaching out for professional support.
This website explains how to access services the VA provides to veterans who have experienced military sexual trauma.
You’re Not Alone in Recovering from Military Sexual Trauma
This brochure explains common reactions to military sexual trauma and resources for victims.
All veterans and their loved ones can connect with this crisis line for free and confidential support via phone, chat, or text.
Service Women’s Action Network (SWAN)
This is a member-driven network of women, who have served or are currently serving in the military. They are dedicated to supporting, connecting, and advocating for the individual and collective needs of servicewomen: past, present, and future.
This national organization is dedicated to ending the epidemic of sexual assault in the military. It offers free legal and other assistance for military sexual assault survivors, including active-duty service members, veterans, and civilians.
SAPR or SHARP Military Programs
United States DoD Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office
The Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office (SAPRO) is responsible for oversight of the Department’s sexual assault policy. SAPRO works with the Services and civilian community to develop and implement prevention and response programs.
The U.S. Army Sexual Harassment/Assault Response & Prevention program.
The U.S. Marines Sexual Assault Prevention and Response program.
The Navy Sexual Assault Prevention and Response program.
National Guard SAPR
The National Guard Sexual Assault Prevention and Response program.
Air Force SAPR
The Air Force Sexual Assault Prevention and Response program.
Coast Guard SAPR
The Coast Guard Sexual Assault Prevention and Response program.