An Oklahoma City woman was kicked out of the Army 35 years ago because she was gay, now after successfully getting her discharge changed from “less than honorable” to “honorable,” she’s seeking disability benefits for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder that she says was caused by her treatment in the military.
53-year-old Lisa Weiszmiller was able to get her discharge certificate backdated to June 22, 1979, and now she says her next step is to get the Veterans Affairs Department to pay for a PTSD service disability.
She believes she suffers from PTSD not from combat, but because of the intentional humiliating treatment from Army officials just because she was gay.
“Back then, the treatment was barbaric,” Weiszmiller said.
She and another female soldier were both accused of being gay then interrogated for hours. She said she was assigned extra duties, like mowing fields of grass with a hand sickle, as punishment for her sexual preferences.
She said that the drill sergeants would march their troops around the post and if they happened across them, “they would stop their troops, and we would have to come to parade rest, and they would berate us.”
“These are queers! These are lesbians! Stay away from these homosexual women,” she recalled. “They tried everything they could to try to break us down to what they thought we were.”
After leaving the military she served as an emergency medical technician for a while then as a nurse for 20 years. However she claims that the way she was treated in the military left her traumatized and caused her to have reckless behaviors and get addicted to drugs.
She later became addicted to methamphetamines which got her in repeated trouble with the law. Then in 2012 she was threatened with prison time and it prompted her to reconnect with her military past.
She was steered to a veteran’s diversion program that turned her life around. Now she’s being pushed to get all the benefits she can from the military, which is what caused her to get her discharge reversed so she could collect disability.
“I’m not asking for unreasonable things,” she said. “I’m just asking for the ability to get medical treatment (and disability benefits).”
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