Lauren Trathen and her service dog Basil. Lauren served in the U.S. Army, 2009-2012.

Training provided by Operation Freedom Paws.

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“In the military they give you all these lessons about military sexual trauma and how if you go through it, you won’t be treated like a victim. ‘Nobody will treat you differently, we’ll help you, we’ll prosecute the people, that’s not tolerated here.’ And come to find out when it actually happens, that’s not really true. I had a few senior enlisted who were supportive of me for a little while. But it was really hard to go through and not just because of the actual trauma but in the resulting aftermath of going to court and having people turn their backs on me, being a complete outcast from something I’d spent my whole life dreaming of doing. My dream got taken away from me. One of the most tragic parts is that it wasn’t my fault, it wasn’t something I’d asked for. But it happened to me and it destroyed my dream. That’s a trauma in and of itself.”

-Lauren Trathen

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