My story goes back several years to when I was a young Army officer. A date rape resulted in a pregnancy. A friend suggested an abortion and I went along with it. I had a duty and a career to fulfill. However, that abortion affected me in ways that I could have never imagined. After the abortion, I was unable to focus or concentrate on my job. I lost all self respect and self esteem. I turned down opportunities because I felt like I could not function to my fullest potential. I began to isolate myself, became depressed and anxious. The mission was compromised.I eventually left the Army once my committement was up. There were too many reminders. However, I did not go too far. I married another Army officer and I have been an Army wife for over 30 years. We raised three sons. Two of them are currently Army officers. However, there were many difficult moments in our lives. I had difficulty bonding with my children, I was an overprotective mother, I became very obsessive compulsive, had explosive anger, difficulty with intimacy, suffered from depression and anxiety. I had difficulty starting and maintaining friendships. I didn't want anyone to get too close and find out my secret. Eventually, it began to take it's toll on me. I found a post-abortion healing program in Atlanta called PATH (Post Abortion Treatment and Healing) and a post-abortion healing Retreat called Rachel's Vineyard. Through these programs, I was able to resolve the grief and pain that I had carried for so many years. It changed my life. I have been involved and volunteered with both programs for 13 years. I also belong to the Silent no More Awareness Campaign consisting of men and women who speak out about the effects abortion had on their lives. At present I am the Military and Veterans Outreach coordinator for the PATH ministry and the Rachel's Vineyard ministry. My mission is two fold 1)to raise awareness about the effects abortion can have on our military and military families 2) to bring awareness to our military members, families, and veterans about healing programs and resources. I am a Veteran who cares deeply about those who serve and those who have served. I am a military spouse who cares deeply about our military families. If a female or male military member, family member, or veteran is stuggling with unresolved grief or pain from a past abortion, I want to be there to help. I currently live and work in the Atlanta area. My husband is on assignment in D.C. I am available to discuss my story at anytime. We owe our military, their families, and our veterans so much. If an unresolved past abortion experience is preventing them from being the best they can be and moving on, then I hope my story can inspire them to reach out for help. They are not alone. There are thousands of us out here. Thank you. Jody Duffy R.N.
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