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"The Dr. Oz Show" Confronts Alarming Health Issues for Female Veterans


Dr. Oz Raises the Topics of Military Sexual Trauma, Homeless Female Veterans, PTSD and the Effects of War

NEW YORK, April 12, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- In a special episode of "The Dr. Oz Show" airing Thursday, April 21 (check local listings for time and channel), Dr. Oz goes on a mission to uncover our military servicewomen's greatest health issues and raises the question of whether our infrastructure is doing everything to recognize and address their problems.

Dr. Oz puts a face to the problem of female military sexual trauma as one veteran shares her story of survival and her coping mechanisms. The question of whether female soldiers respond the same ways to war as men is answered with surprising results. The show also discusses women's battle with post traumatic stress disorder and whether female soldiers respond to duress differently than men. In addition the show lends insight to our servicewomen's difficulty of re-integration into family life. For some female soldiers, returning to their roles of wives and mothers from deployment differs from the experience of male soldiers drastically.

Dr. Oz leads an open and frank conversation with an audience of 26 female veterans that includes Dr. Sonja Batten from the Department Of Veteran Affairs; Office Of Mental Health Services, Colonel Rebecca Porter, chief of the Behavioral Health Division in the Office Of The Army Of Surgeon General; Corporal Ana Alzarez, Specialist Dawn Barber, a 14-year veteran who served in Desert Storm; Victoria Givens, a former Marine Corps staff sergeant and Sergeant First Class Tara Hutchinson.

Then, Dr. Oz uncovers an alarming problem facing female veterans today: homelessness. Dr. Oz visits the Beacon House, a shelter for homeless female veterans in Long Island, New York and spends a day in the life of four homeless veterans who are fighting their way back to a normal life. Joining him on the show are United Veterans Beacon House Vice President and Specialist, Jackie Deleonardis, and Specialist Gail Barnette and Petty Officer Patty Rene, who are both homeless veterans and residents at the Beacon House who share their emotional stories of returning home from war only to find themselves living on the streets. With nearly 13,000 estimated homeless female veterans, Dr. Oz and his guests discuss why so many have fallen through the cracks after protecting our nation and address what can be done to help them.

"As women have moved into roles traditionally occupied by men in our military such as combat, we are now beginning to understand how post traumatic stress ravages those who so bravely gave their time and their health to keep us safe. This problem is new, and the Department of Defense should be commended for taking that first important step in dealing with its vast scope: talking about it. These women are heroes in the truest sense and will inspire you and touch your heart," said Dr. Mehmet Oz.