• Jacksonville veteran turns her struggle into action

    By: Amber Krycka , Action News Jax

    Updated:

    Each year, hundreds of local, young men and women will enlist into the armed forces. A Wounded Warrior Project survey said four out of five of those who complete their service, will end up with some form of post-traumatic stress disorder.

    “These are places that exist here that wouldn't rehire me,” said Elizabeth Odell, a veteran. 

    It has been difficult over the years for her to find a job. 

    “And they said you took a medical leave there and then you’re coming down here so I’m going to need you to recover, and then come back with us,” she said. 

     

     

    A new survey by Wounded Warrior Project said the transition out of the military is still a struggle for many. Odell said the interviews have been the most difficult. Around 33,000 warriors participated in the survey.  

    “Even getting this commonly inappropriate, but extremely common question, 'So did you kill anybody over there?' during an interview," she said. 

    According to the survey, 78% of all veterans they surveyed, live with PTSD symptoms. Sexual assault led to Odell’s PTSD. 

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    “I was paralyzed in my own isolation, I felt disgusted,” Odell said. 

    While veterans still face some tough obstacles, there are some hopeful signs. In the past five years, the unemployment rate for nonactive duty warriors dramatically improved – a 40% jumped for injured veterans. The survey also showed 1 in 3 warriors received a bachelor's degree or better, and a 1 in 5 enrolled in college. 

    As for Odell, she has suffered, and want to turn that suffering into action. She is working to open a boutique to inspire younger girls. 
     

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