December 25, 2013
I have come this day to say that many strides have come the way of Military Sexual Trauma awareness, more than we’ve seen-ever!
The news-President Obama-Senator Gillibrand-all have spoken the words out loud. This is more than ever.
We still have-countless many who over the years have suffered in silence not believing anyone would ever understand, or care. One week ago a 70 year old veteran telephoned me and told me he too was assaulted during active duty.
Often-still-despite that I stopped writing many moons ago….still a veteran contacts me-wanting to know how to find sincere help, away from the VA….you see-when one is attacked in the disgusting manner that MST victims are, in our ranks-among our peers, and no justice is offered. Trust of everything-goes away.
So often I hear the distrust of the VA clinics – it does not matter what part of the USA they respond from, the fact that many of us are afraid of the VA!
That is when I became a victim.
I have kept away from this blog for a long time now-since last April; my words were met with attack from a person related to this history of mine. A person who discredits me-yet knows what I am saying is truth.
I still cannot read those words-spew of some kind of hate.
Every veteran of MST that contacts me-those seeking advice as how to achieve some sort of justice from all of this MST mess….the very first piece of advice I give is “never embellish the truth” and that “nothing but the truth is solid”. I know no one would lie about the circumstances of being raped, but was advised one time by a veterans advocate from an on-line ‘group’ called VETWOW to attend my case hearing with the VA judge as disheveled and unkempt as I could appear; to sleep in my clothes to seem disoriented.
I was so offended by the very idea that I would lie….about this?
THIS….has been ALL of my life since. I am not a ‘survivor’ but a result!
My story has never changed, it has been as accurate as it is in fact-true.
I was an innocent kid of 18 who volunteered during the Viet Nam War to serve my country and defend our Constitution….most do not know-I enlisted at age 17 into the USNR program, and received an ‘honorable discharge’ from that period from April 1969 until I took an oath enlisting in active duty in Baltimore in August 1969, days after my 18th birthday.
I went through boot camp happier than my life had been the past months at home; the death of my baby brother being part-my own teenage inability to manage control-another part.
I had gladly signed up to be with my older brother-who I thought I looked up to, and discovered my mistake a few months later.
Christmas….to me-now….crixmix, was a special fairy tale time in our home. My mother made crafts on every season, crixmix was no exception. There was no doubt as little boy-I was thrilled each time this day rolled around.
In my youth we would travel to Washington DC to visit my grandparents; we’d tour the city to see the lights; we’d go to Woodward and Lothrop to see the fantastic windows….and if it snowed-we made angels in the drifts.
On ship was my first time being an adult and away from home.
I do not desire to tell it – this anymore. Then I attempted to do something a little risky, which turned out to be riskier than imagined.
I did not-as accused-go AWOL. Technically yes-legally no. I had a liberty pass in my wallet for the weekend-new years weekend-and yet was accused of AWOL.
The VA Judge exonerated me-because-in fact-I was able to prove that.
I was accused of drugs….which after duress from the actions of my own brother upon return to ship-I admitted.
The paperwork from that date written by the USN Master at Arms on ship clearly shows a coffesion from someone who had no idea of what he was talking about…me-and the drugs I admitted to were sniffing glue or drinking nutmeg; it is on my paperwork-the silliest wording written. But true-I did tell them that I used drugs to escape the present situation I was in.
I never expected in a million years I would end up in the brig.
I was just a kid.
I entered the brig at somewhere around 8 p/m December 30 1969.
I’ve never been the same since.
I have been told I have no relationship with God.
I am glad I never utter those words to a person….the one who uttered those words to me apparently believes they have some private ‘in’ with the Lord to be my judge…enough to say I have no relationship with God. I would never presume to think I am able to make that statement without guilt, as-for ALL have sinned and come short of the Glory of God.
I am never returning to this blog after today. I have meant to stay away months ago; now I need to say this to every man and woman out there who willingly served their country only to become a victim of this violent crime-rape.
Today is the time to report it! Today is the time to release yourself of the secret and from the damage that MST has done to you over time.
Your voice is being heard-louder now. There is more attention to the facts….MST is real.
I am still active in keeping the awareness going in my home area, still speaking out against the VA and teaching others about MST. I sit on a board of several others appointed by our County Commission – the Alachua County (FLORIDA) Rape and Sexual Assault Advisory Board.
It has been tough to talk out loud about the plight of MST veterans, until recently-now the news is focused and our President has spoken-now there are those who hear me. I AM still active. I am just-done here-in this blog.
I had written before-I have said everything about me-here…and welcome written items from other MST vets, to be published here. Your words have meaning!
Your voice is needed to build the facts!
Please-seek help and advice how to speak out-determine your needs-and be free from the silence!