Deported U.S. Iraqi Freedom War Veteran, Discusses Her Hope To Return To Two Of Her Greatest Loves, Her Daughter & America, On Brad Show Live
NEW YORK, April 30, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Laura Meza was honorably discharged from the U.S. military after being raped and involved in active warfare. Later, she was deported to Costa Rica for crimes she committed while self-medicating away her traumas.
Born in Costa Rica, Laura Meza was brought to the U.S. by her family at 5-years-old. She grew up in Maryland, received her green card at age 21, and joined the U.S. Armed Forces shortly thereafter as a dental hygienist.
“I wanted to be an army dentist, and give my daughter a better future,” Laura recalled to Brad Bernstein.
While training in Germany, she was raped by a fellow soldier. She did not report the assault, fearing retaliation from the soldier or other officers. Almost immediately after, she was deployed to Operation Iraqi Freedom, and was involved in a mass casualty incident, witnessing a great loss of lives taken by the blasts of several bomb attacks.
When Laura returned home to the U.S., she was diagnosed with military sexual trauma and post traumatic stress disorder.
“They [VA hospital] gave us [veterans] psychiatric meds. It wasn’t really therapy. I just think it was kind of like, here, get drugged up with prescription, psychiatric medication, and forget everything,” Laura told Brad Bernstein. “I slept most of the day. I felt like a walking zombie.”
Living with the memories of her traumas, Laura began self medicating through drugs and alcohol. This culminated in Laura pleading guilty to robbery and possession of marijuana. After serving two years in prison and one year in ICE detention, she was deported to Costa Rica in 2009; thousands of miles from the daughter she strove to provide for.
Hoping to come back to the U.S. to be reunited with her daughter and to receive proper medical treatment, her faith and patriotism still remain strong.
“I have faith and hope that I may go back; that’s my country,” she told Brad Bernstein. “And I will always love it, no matter if I do or don’t go back.”
Check out the full interview, and watch Brad Show Live with host Brad Bernstein Monday through Friday from 5:30-7:30 p.m. EST on Facebook & YouTube.
CONTACT: Jill Gould, firstname.lastname@example.org
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