I believe I began writing this blog and chronicles of a male who endured sexual trauma during military service-I began writing in 2006-and became a result of military sexual trauma in the eve of 1969-70 until I was released two months into 1970…..I know I began writing one day after my niece and I deposited a manuscript that I had written shortly after my military discharge to a VSO officer at our local veterans affairs office.
This manuscript was supposed-and promised to be sealed until my return the following day to witness the copy being made-and to edit portions of written words-black them out-as, they were of no concern of what else was written.
The following morning-none of that happened; instead-I was handed my original, and soon noted each of the three persons in the office prior to my entry-also held copy; jokes began almost right away…definite jokes about homosexuals.
I am a MALE, and-I was repeatedly raped while locked in a military detention barracks.
Rape is not a sexual contact activity; I know-I know-I did not enjoy any moment of being beaten up, and subsequently hurt days and days on after.
Oh yes, it hurts today too! It hurt that morning in the VSO office-being in the presence of people I was instructed to see by my PTSD therapist at the Gainesville FL veterans hospital.
Being in that office that morning and hearing the sneering innuendo these three spilled I began to feel choked and sick and fled. I went to my local library-to use a computer-to locate a computer sales that would sell me a unit on credit.
Thank you DELL.
The words in the manuscript were to be given as evidence-my niece was present to be a lay-witness that she indeed read the words I had written, and had some knowledge of the rapes.
After that encounter (and after DELL issued the credit and sent the unit-and after many years of dial-up internet service later to be enriched by satellite dish and high-speed internet)….I began writing about military sexual trauma; only thing was that as I began writing I quickly learned-I was not the only one who had this happen; and-not the only male!
I was 50 something years old when that news came my way.
I enlisted in the US Navy at age 17 in April 1969; I was not permitted into active duty because of my age, but they accept me pending my reaching age 18 that coming July. In Silver Springs Maryland on Georgia Avenue I did three very important things-I bought a bible-which I still have-and was honorably discharged from the USNR and signed my enlistment papers into the United States Navy-active duty….I had previously tried to enlist in the USMC but was turned away; it was my intent to serve my country and defend our flag and freedom; I had enlisted to go to Viet Nam.
ALL of this is documented on official US Military documents; my attorney and I both have copy.
It is truth-my truth and the truth of it is in fact-in my border city of Washington DC in that era…up until 1967-LSD was legal. I can promise you-I did not go out to find it-but one day in the city, it found me. I ran away from home. One week after I was retrieved-my 5-year-old brother was struck by a Chrysler New Yorker in front of our home-and witnessed by our other brother and myself.
So, things weren’t too good for me there at that time; I was not guilty of seeking drugs as forever accused.
I was a kid! And, this was an era that bordered on a simple fantasy type life and entered a time of more than imagined. Kennedy being shot being played over and over and more than enough for any man to take-not to mention a boy barely twelve years old. And Oswald-his face when Jack Ruby shot him; or – the men and woman and children of Selma and Birmingham (Alabama)- and the scenes from Viet Nam.
Every day our television news showed the photographs of the young men murdered in combat in Viet Nam. Photos from these ‘daily dead’ exactly as they were in these poor lads high school year book. Except they were dead.
It was something about it all that made one want to go fight the enemy and save the flag.
Despite the confusion of seeing the poor people of Selma being beaten by American policeman-and seeing the black and white faces of the same Americans who that day were killed in action in Viet Nam, the urge to serve my country was bigger than life.
I did not do anything wrong.
Every person involved in my legal life as connected to the occurrence in detention barracks D agree that there is absolutely no evidence in proof that I did anything wrong-the Veterans Administration judge signed his written report with the statement “exonerated of any wrongdoing”!!!
I enlisted in a time where others my age ran to Canada to avoid fighting a war.
I did not do anything wrong.
There is nothing more I can say than has already been said in several hundred pages of the things I have written for everyone to see, it is all here. I’ve never lied.
It angered me to learn there are 1000′s of silent wounded veterans who may find the path towards a ‘veterans service officer’ or VSO in the attempt to pursue disability (in a system where there seems no justice) and may encounter the same as I had when the snickers and jokes of sexual nature seemed more important than trying to learn the truth, and felt through internet I could reach someone who could help others avoid this abuse.
Instead of meeting someone who could help…I met another victim, and then more.
It came to a place it was harder to hear the broken than I imagined, and I never imagined the whole of it.
I found help, an attorney from Jacksonville. She attended the VA hearing with the VA judge, and she successfully saw my case agreed on by the judge.
But then, the VA decided that because the attorney of my choice was not approved by the VA it made my case null and void.
We enlist to defend other people’s rights and freedoms…and-I cannot select my own defense?
It was my second attorney….one who had all the correct credentials-and one who carry’s the staff for fighting the system for the rights and support of MST veterans, this man, Matt Hill , believed.
I can’t say the word “won”, but the fact that I’ve been exonerated and-believed is reward where none other was ever offered.
So, I’ve said thank you and good bye before. I have to say that many times I have wept over the course of this blog; the responses.
I confess that time it is for sure.
I think my need for the internet is over as well, as-it was for writing this blog that I first got such….and-having the ‘eye in the sky’ removed from my yard will allow me to really say for sure “this is my story, and thank you for allowing me to share…and thank God my words helped, I am very thankful
Micah 6:8 (a verse out of that bible I bought)
TRUST ME….there is help!!!