SAN ANTONIO — When screened by their United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) provider, 1 in 3 women and 1 in 50 men respond “yes” to having experienced sexual assault or sexual harassment during military service.

What You Need To Know

  • 1 in 3 women and 1 in 50 men admit to experiencing sexual assault or sexual harassment in the military

  • Podcast focusing on healing from military sexual trauma (MST) in development 

  • Lisa Carrington Firmin turned her journey of battling MST into a book and will be a part of the podcast

The Texas Veterans Commission is launching a podcast focused on healing and mending from military sexual trauma (MST). 

A highly decorated veteran turned her journey of battling MST into a book and now she’s joining others by participating in the podcast.

Lisa Carrington Firmin wrote a poem called “Into the Light” following the disappearance and murder of Fort Hood soldier Spc. Vanessa Guillen. 

“While Vanessa’s death astounded the country, I was affected deep into my Latina soul and her murder became a catalyst to acknowledge my own bitter truth,” Firmin said, reading the poem aloud. 

Firmin proudly retired from the Air Force as its most senior ranking Latina officer, but even she couldn’t escape the negative effects of MST. 

She recalled being sexually assaulted as a young trainee. 

“It impacts your brain. Impacts your body because how you cope with that will follow you for a long time,” Firmin said. 

Firmin is putting the finishing touches on her book, “Stories From the Front: Pain, Betrayal, and Resilience on the MST Battlefield.”

“Fourteen different stories of experiences of military sexual trauma,” Firmin said. “It covers individuals that served in the Vietnam era to individuals who are currently serving today.”

Soon, Firmin will take part in a podcast focused on healing and mending from MST.

U.S. Army veteran Sharron Stewart is launching the podcast. She is the women veterans coordinator for the South Texas region of the Texas Veterans Commission.

“I want to take away shame. Take away stigma. Take away the feeling of isolation,” Stewart explained. “Let my brothers and sisters know you are not alone. Together we’re stronger.”

Firmin founded the University of Texas at San Antonio’s Top Scholar program, the Office of Veteran and Military Affairs and the Center for Military Affiliated Students.

“UTSA has over 5,000 military affiliated students,” Firmin said. “It was important to me to create this one-stop that they could come in and then we would take care of them.”

As she has on campus, Firmin hopes her work with her book and the new podcast makes a big difference.

“The more I share, the more people come up and share with me,” Firmin said. “And for some of them, it’s lifting huge burdens that they’ve had for years.”

The podcast will begin in April. For more information, you can reach Stewart by email at