In Memory of Colleen Mussolino & Other Women Veterans who Served and Suffered
Military Rape Awareness Week only comes to life with the story of those who've survived it over the years. One such story is that of former Pvt. Colleen Mussolino, founder of the pioneering Women Veterans of America, retold below by veterans advocate Susan Avila-Smith, who continues Mussolino's work with her Women Organizing Women. (There's a "fan page" for Colleen Mussolino on Facebook, linked here.) In Memory of Colleen Mussolino, Trailblazer "I wanted to be an aviation engineer," Mussolino said. "The recruiter said I could get into the program, but I found out that was closed to women." Instead she became a cook. Soon the young WAC would find out just how differently women were regarded in the military. On Dec. 29, 1965, Colleen was raped by four men and left for dead. She spent one night in the hospital and was sent right back to her barracks. Colleen was treated like a prisoner of war, interrogated and blackballed on the post as superiors tried to force her to sign a paper that she would not prosecute. Threatened with a dishonorable discharge, Mussolino signed the paper and was honorably discharged in March 1967. Continue reading at Women's Voices For Change.