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May 16, 2022

In this episode of Change It Up Radio, Dr. Rayna Gangi joins me to talk about women in the military, navigating Veteran Affairs, veteran suicide prevention, and how we can all do more to honor veterans for their service.


My guest today, Dr. Rayna Gangi, trained as a radio communication engineer and was ready to be one of only a handful of Women Marines deployed to Vietnam. Two days before her embarkment, multiple vaccines paralyzed her from the waist down, and she spent the next several months in the hospital. Rayna fought her way back to mobility and was honorably discharged in 1971.


Through her personal experience, Rayna became more aware of other veterans with disabilities when she approached the VA after her disability had returned and she was no longer able to work. Her experience with the VA was not unlike many who have reached out for help, but the most impactful awareness was for the number of veteran suicides, and the numbers were staggering.


Rayna has since began counseling veterans suffering with PTSD pro bono. She has been focused on prevention and education so that others can help veterans and so veterans can be honored as they should be for their service.


Today, Rayna joins me to talk about the difficulties she faced as a woman navigating the military after enlisting in the U.S. Marines in 1968 during the height of the Vietnam War, sharing the way that she and other women were treated in comparison to their male counterparts. Rayna also shares her struggles with dealing with the VA for disability compensation, and her mission to help prevent and put an end to veteran suicide.


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