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Faces of Fort Hood: Annette Whittenberger

Posted at 10:14 PM, Jul 13, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-13 23:14:56-04

KILLEEN, TX — Central Texans are connected to Fort Hood in many ways, each with a unique story to tell.

Meet Annette Whittenberger, a U.S. Army veteran who proudly served her country for 17 years.

Whittenberger is also a female soldier that was forced to endure more than just service and battle.

”I experienced sexual trauma right in the beginning,” said Whittenberger. “I didn’t really understand that whole thing because we didn’t talk about it back then. So, I learned how to hide it and then just try to continue on.”

Nearly two decades in uniform and war added to that trauma leading to PTSD and that lead her to share her story in the form of a book podcast aimed at helping those who suffer as she did.

”Now I try to create a safe space for anyone to talk about it and feel like they’re not alone and not let that define who they are because it’s very difficult to try to live your life without shame and blame,” said Whittenberger

But after a couple of years on her new mission, life hit back once again when she and her daughter were in a horrific car crash that left her severely injured and hospitalized.

”I was driving her to college when we were hit head-on and flipped 5-times,” said Whittenberger. “I had six surgeries and I was in the hospital for 5-weeks learning how to walk again.”

For her, the accident only served to reinforce her passion to help others suffering any form of trauma.

”I try to do a lot to help others,” said Whittenberger. “I have several platforms. I wrote my book, I have a blog, I have a podcast, and now I'm going to school to use music therapy as a way of healing.”

Her work has inspired and helped thousands of people across the country begin to heal.

”It’s still humbling to think that but it’s powerful,” said Whittenberger. “I’ve been doing this for six years and it’s like wow, I was once on the floor and done with life and now I'm just trying to make a change.”