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‘Invisible’–More Women Veterans Are Dying of Suicide and VA Still Lacks Resources, Advocates Say


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When she joined the Navy in 2001, Jennifer Alvarado wanted to excel, to be, in her words, a “stellar sailor.” After boot camp, she worked as a hospital corpsman and pursued extra medical and weapons certification courses to prove her work ethic.

Her home life on the military base was a different story: She hid the stress and increasing danger of her relationship with her husband from everyone. One evening in 2005, with her two small boys in the apartment, Alvarado argued with her husband and the altercation turned violent. He beat her, she said in a recent phone interview, and then stormed out and took her car. She called the police on the military base. “My secret was out in the open,” she said. “The shame just came out of my pores.”

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