Angel was raped during AIT at Fort Bliss

Angel, United States Army

In 2006, I joined the Army at 17. I was going though a rough time with family and had dropped out of school and received my GED. I thought the Army would hold so much opportunity for me. I wanted to make something of myself. Basic training landed me with stress fractures in my hips, knees, and ankles. I spent time recovering and finished basic late. I was sent to AIT in Fort Bliss Texas. I enjoyed it there I was glad to finally be learning my job. That is until the stress fractures came back. I was deeply saddened to be stuck healing again. One weekend while people were out on pass I was at the barracks. A guy that I had talked to and was friends with took advantage of the fact that I was on pain killers. I was left pretty messed up. I just couldn’t concentrate he had threatened me and I believed him. I was terrified so I left. I left and I was awol for 10 days until I heard he had left to come find me. I returned thinking I would be safer there then out in a city I didn’t know. He didn’t return while I was there but I was a wreck I couldn’t handle what had happened to me. I had panic attacks and nightmares. I was put on medications to help me sleep and help with the depression and it didn’t. My chain of command got tired of me. They didn’t understand even thought I had reported it and spent 3 hours going over every god dang detail I was shunned. People hated me they didn’t think HE was capable of what he had done. I just wanted to get away from all of them. I was discharged because no one was giving me the help I needed to heal. The counselor wasn’t helping all she wanted was to give me meds and ship me back to my unit. I have been in counseling for 3 years now and I am doing better. I have 2 kids and a loving husband that help me get through my day. I still have panic attacks, nightmares, and PTSD. It is a very long road towards healing and I am just at the beginning. I encourage anyone who has been through this to seek some sort of help.

4 thoughts on “Angel was raped during AIT at Fort Bliss

  1. We’re standing with you, soldier. ❤

    So sorry for what you've been through. It really is an awful realization that the details are completely unimportant to a command – they will still choose to disbelieve a survivor because it is more convenient for them to just get rid of us than to actually act on the report and seek a conviction. So barbaric and tragic.

  2. You hit the nail on the head when you said that you are beginning to heal. I am with Sarah on this. We’re standing with you. For those that did this to you and those that help them cover it up, we’re not going away.

  3. So sorry to hear this happen to you. I too was at AIT in Ft. Bliss, Texas. And the plattoon Sgt. Graza, rape me, because his wife was pregant, I was under his control or else. He was give me a hard time always, until he told me (order me) to this empty building. The worse of this is I left there and later return there for a assignment, with a husband and a year old child. I saw him again after 18 months, back in Ft.Bliss, and he try to avoid eye contact. Again, I could not yell “rape”, because he outrank my husband and I, we were just E-4. He knows that he got away with this. Now I am always shamfull and angry and scare of closed rooms and men. What care would I have gotten in the 80’s? None. Only a bad elva report, and a discharge with a lie, attach. The is a neverending war and a lifestyle that eats at your brain, till you just end it, to relive the pain, hurt, and the low life the Army gives to women who, are not willing to please the Army team leadership! Time is running out on most PTSD veterans, so now we have MORE cementries to bury us instead!

  4. Angel, it is so strange to read your story, which in many ways is like mine. I was a young woman in an MP unit on Fort Bliss many years ago, in the army for less than a year, and only an E-3. An E-7 caught me alone one day doing field prep. What started as him flirting quickly turned into rough grabbing, forced kisses. When I tried to fight him, I was hit hard in the face, pinned down, and raped. During the rape I was brutally choked. He left me broken…. so broken. I didnt want to report the rape because I felt he would be believed over me, and, I felt he would come after me. I felt maybe I would be okay. But just like you, I, years later, still suffer from anxiety, panic attacks, nightmares. I transferred to a different unit, but a bad reputation preceeded me, I was labeled a trouble maker even though I never pressed charges. I got on the bad side of some of the higher ups and had a miserable time until I finally ETSed. Thought I would be better when I got away from the army, but all I did was isolate myself and get worse and worse. I have a sexual dysfunction, hate to be touched. I hate anyone to be too close to me. I’ve been suicidal over this because I just cant get past it, even though I want to, I have had long periods of unemployment, broken relationships etc etc. I hope I too can heal… I wish my assaulter knew the impact of the rape had on me…. I wish I could ask him why he did that to me. Maybe if I had gone direct to the hospital and gotten a rape test kit, gone direct to therapy, gone direct to law enforcement, maybe things would have been better. I recommend to any woman who is raped: act immediately or you will have no proof. And do not go to the military hospital and MPS, go to civilian hospital and police 😦

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