#EndTheStigma Mental Health: Ashleigh K. McIntosh 

Corporal Ashleigh K. McIntosh
Pennsylvania Liaison, Devil Dog USA
United States Marine Corps Veteran

Ashleigh suffers from MST (Military Sexual Trauma), Social Anxiety, and LupusThe MST originates from being raped while on deployment in Iraq. Her social anxiety while prevalent is masked by a radiant smile and the seclusion of slow country living, which Pennsylvania provides. Then, her Lupus is a constant and enduring stressor at its lowest point, affects her with continuous pain and at its worst it’s shutting down her major internal organs.  

Ashleigh was destined to join the Marine Corps and that was to be the highlight of her military career. Her profession and life were tragically tarnished by the act of a fellow Marine who raped her and discredited her until she was released from service. In the years that followed, Ashleigh became recluse, until she built a more guarded life. Making matters worse, years of undiagnosed medical issues caused her to suffer in silence on a regular basis.   

What would bring most people to their breaking point, surprisingly resonated Ashleigh’s esprit de corps. Starting her own business, to raising her son, volunteering with the cub scouts camps, and becoming an advocate for Veterans with her work as the, Pennsylvania Veteran Liaison, and Chief Editor with Devil Dog USA. Recently Ashleigh was moved by her fellow Veterans who have shared their stories regarding the Mental Health crisis that Veterans face daily. Editorially and via comments on social media she decided to let her barrier down to share her story.    

Ashleigh has never been ashamed of her conditions or hated the Marine Corps for what happened to her. Her animosity derives from the fact that she had to go through what she did, so that future service women would be able to achieve the help that she did not receive. Her resolve is letting you know that life will continue on and she is here to support you if you need it.    

If you are a Veteran or an individual with a mental health condition and would like to be featured in an article, please send us an email at ceo@devildogusainc.org.

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