Melissa

Melissa

When B.D. first met ace helicopter mechanic Melissa Wheeler in the lobby of the VA center, she was seeking help as a victim of Military Sexual Trauma. Over the months that followed, witnessing Mel's pain and her healing process helped B.D. with his own, and turned him into a staunch ally. Counseling from Cora and Elias helped her reframe her experience and led eventually to a New Normal that included re-upping for a second deployment to the Sandbox. There she and battlebud Roz masterfully managed a perilous rescue op of a downed USO chopper, and in the new post-DATD world the now-out Roz and her now-superior ("That's SERGEANT bitch to you!") helped wind down U.S. ops in Afghanistan.

Returning stateside, Mel's final obstacle has been her father's cluelessness -- and a widespread reluctance to hear the truth of her story. During a high school assembly at her alma mater Mel raised eyebrows by speaking openly, warning young women about the high incidence of sexual assault in today's military.