KC woman recalls sex assault while enlisted

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A startling report on sexual assaults in the military says last year an average of 70 sexual assaults happened each day. The survey, conducted by the Department of Defense, says 26,000 service members were assaulted in 2012 -- an increase of 35 percent over 2010.

A commander of the local all-women's VFW post here in Kansas City says she believes what is actually going up is the number of people willing to report it -- something she said she didn't do 40 years ago.

Billie Gammill joined the Air Force in 1973.

"I was going to be a lifer, forever.  I mean I was going to do my time. I was going to have that retirement, " said Gammill.

While she said she enjoyed her time, it wasn't without incident.

"I had some rough edges," she said. "My mother died 7 years ago and I had just been telling her. She never did know of all the stories."

Gammill said the first time she was sexually assaulted she immediately reported it.

"The first lady I did go to, she was a second lieutenant, and she said it was, it had to have been my fault."

Gammill said she was shipped overseas and the issue was swept under the rug. She spent the next 18 months in Turkey, where she says again she was sexually assaulted.

This time she decided to stay quiet and not re-enlist.

"From past experience, they didn't do anything the first time so why should I.  I mean I was just embarrassed in myself."

It was only recently did Gammill learn it wasn't just her -- that in fact on average, 70 sexual assaults are reported in the military each day, according to the Pentagon.

It's something President Obama is also speaking out about.

"If we find out somebody is engaging in this stuff they are going to be held accountable. Prosecuted, stripped of their positions, court-martial-ed, fired, dishonorably discharged.  Period," Obama said.

The assaults are not just affecting women. In 2009, men say they were victimized in more than 50 percent of the incidents.

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