Kim created Invisible Combat after serving in the Army and suffering Military Sexual Trauma that led to a Traumatic Brain Injury that was left undiagnosed for years leading to her spiraling out of control. Check out how she went from rock bottom to helping veterans and make a positive impact today!
Kim was adopted and always felt like she didn’t belong. And in her search for belonging, she joined the military. When she went to boot camp and Advanced Individual Training, she felt like she had found her family and was excited about her career in the Army, but she soon faced challenges that had a huge impact on her life.
First Assignment – Medic
Her first assignment was to Landstuhl, Germany. As a medic, she worked in-patient care and when there would be a demand for medics due to war casualties, they would be sent to the ER to take care of the service members coming in from Iraq and Afghanistan. It was high paced and she saw the injuries and casualties of war first hand. But she was part of the team and was doing her job.
Then she was sexually assaulted and suffered a head injury during the assault. She didn’t want to tell anyone about the incident and threw away her sheets before going to work the next day. But four weeks later she found out she was pregnant. She sent home on leave for a month and was convinced to not keep the baby.
She tried to move forward with her life and ended up getting married and having a baby girl. About 8 months after her daughter was born, she attempted to commit suicide. She went to the mental health ward and in her attempt to tell the mental health professional what she was dealing with she was shut down.
Leaving the Military
When she transitioned out of the military she planned to be a military spouse and didn’t advocate for herself or take advantage of the resources to veterans because she thought she would have the resources through her husband’s service as a dependent. Shortly after leaving, her husband was accused of sexual assault and was sent to jail and await a trial. He was the only income provider and he stopped receiving pay so they didn’t have any money.
Life After the Military
She moved off base and tried to find a job. Her mother-in-law took the kids and she ended up starting to use drugs and was in and out of jail three times before finally realizing she had to make a change. She moved back to California, went to Veterans Affairs, and started to use her GI Bill while also working to help other veterans.
Since then she has turned her life around and has a BS and Masters and works full time as a social worker. She also continues to help veterans through her new organization Invisible Veteran.
Currently, it does not hold a non-profit status, she does mostly volunteer work and uses her own resources and support from local organizations. However, they are considering obtaining Non-Profit status in order to provide a wider range of supportive resources and mental health workshops for female service members and mental health supports locally.
Helping Others with Invisible Combat
She is currently in the development stages of her website. It will showcase her mental health research, as well as the stories in which she uses her experiences and those of the collective female voice through military culture and mental health theoretical lenses to help increase the discussions about mental health and military culture. It will help identify the gaps that can lead to things like veteran homelessness, mental health challenges, incarceration, and suicide.
She also has a local committee she is starting in Fresno, CA to help better collaborate with local organizations supporting female veterans and bring relevant awareness, empowerment, and transformation to my sisters in arms here in her town.
Connect with Kim:
Resources to help with MST/PTSD
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