A Marine from Dutchess County responsible for starting the military sex crimes movement is celebrating a major milestone.

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Janelle Marina Mendez is the leader and founder of the Military Sexual Trauma Movement. Mendez founded the Military Sexual Trauma Movement in Wappingers Falls in April 2019, according to Linkedin.

"The MST Movement protects and advocates for the social welfare of service members and veterans who have experienced Military Sexual Trauma," Mendez writes on Facebook.

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"The fight to #EndMST has been long, extremely difficult, and at times it seemed impossible to get the Pentagon to enact meaningful changes, Mendez wrote on Instagram while sharing the news. "Hope is visible on the horizon; the next generation of young service members will be guaranteed protection!"

Mendez was pushing for changes in how such sex crimes are reported and prosecuted in the military.

Her movement will allow victims to report crimes outside of their established chain of command and also results in the automatic discharge of any service member who is found guilty.

"I want to say thank you to our volunteers, our supporters, our donors, the @whitehouse the @potus administration, @deptofdefense for listening to us and enacting the policies, regulatory procedures, standards, training, cultural shifts and literally enacting everything we've been fighting for," Mendez added.

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