Leesburg Army veteran demands better care for women

Leesburg Army veteran demands better care for women
Army veteran Melody Owens (Source: WALB)
Army veteran Melody Owens (Source: WALB)
(Source: Melody Owens)
(Source: Melody Owens)
(Source: WALB)
(Source: WALB)

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - A Leesburg Army veteran is demanding answers for the lack of medical care she say has not received from Albany's VA clinic.

Melody Owens said changes need to be made to give her and many more women veterans the proper care for PTSD.

"I turned in my weapon and I said I'm either going to hurt myself or someone else," remarked Owens.

Owens was granted an honorable discharge 14 years ago.

But she explained to this day, she hasn't received the care she says she needs to deal with her complex post traumatic stress disorder.

"Getting nervous, getting anxious, having flashbacks," were just some of the symptoms she deals with daily.

She joined the Army at 17 in 1991, serving in Desert Storm, taking a break then later rejoining after 9/11.

She explained after witnessing a gang rape and was later caught in the crosshairs of an ambush attack, she now suffers from severe PTSD.

"The VA system is a beast and I know they're doing the best they can," said Owens.

Owens spent 45 days in a PTSD rehab clinic in Dublin, GA but it wasn't helpful.

"They didn't notice certain things like I was suicidal," said Owens.

Two weeks ago, she said the care she received from the Albany clinic was a joke.

"The help I got was I was offered pamphlets," remarked Owens.

She explained that she has the hardest time getting people to believe she even served.

"A lot of times we're not recognized as being veterans, someone thinks we're a dependent," said Dr. Amy Stevens, the Founder of the Georgia Military Women Facebook group.

There are 90,000 female veterans in the state.

Dr. Stevens said the VA system often overlooks women.

Dr. Stevens also explained most clinics don't have many female providers or enough information for women with PTSD.

"I've learned more from other veterans than I ever did from the veterans administration," said Owens.

Owens recently formed Southwest Military Women Facebook group.

We reached out to Veterans Administration about Owens' claims and they told us "they couldn't comment on any aspect of a veterans care" but gave us this statement:

"We can say that we make every effort to accommodate veterans and are family friendly. And we will make every effort to ensure this veteran is able to get the care she needs."

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