raped again…or,veterans rights !!

the American flag

Originally uploaded by jayfherron.

I tried to find a photo of an American flag to accompany this article and found that this flag with Alcatraz prison in the background as the appropriate choice for what I’d like to say-which is more less to explain why I have chosen to write about myself and my life and the way that I was raped and what it did to my life.
I was brought up in the patriotic era of the 1950’s and the turmoil era of the 1960’s but always taught the pledge of alliegence to our flag and to support our Constitution. I grew up watching television shows like ‘Combat’ which were there to intill the patriotism and bravery of being a soldier-glorified the actual being of a man in uniform,or movies like ‘The bridge over the River Kwai’ that portrayed men of valor and true hero’s of genuine war. We wanted to be like those guys-my younger friends from youth-remaking those wars in the woods near our homes…building forts and dividing up to be the japs or the nazis,but everyone wanting to be the hero.
The 1960’s were a rough time to grow up as a teen-there were more mixed conflicts going on-too many and enough to rattle the mind. The was civil rights…all the wrongs going on with that and seeing black men being beaten in front of everyone -in the south -while at the same time they were being killed aside of anyone else white or black in Viet Nam. The hippie movement along with the yippie’s and the black panthers and all of it was too much for a sixteen year old to really grasp all of it. But when the time came I stepped up to the plate as they all say and offered myself freely to America and her flag and the people and our laws and freedoms…I did’nt wait to get drafted , and I did not run away to Canada-I went before I was even 18 years old-to enlist.
I dreamed about what it was going to be like before I ever got there-and felt grown up and mature about my decision. I watch the old Dragnet star-Jack Webb,in his movie ‘The D.I.’ his story about a Marine drill instructer at Paris Island to learn more about this experience I was soon to begin.
I never ever dreamed it would turn out the way it did.
All the years after my discharge…an Honorable Discharge-no one ever showed interest in my having been raped while being held for baseless reasons in a detention barracks…which the Navy says never existed and denys I was ever incarcerated by them,until I recently was contacted by the Veterans Adminstration hospital near where I live regarding a letter I had written…somewhere in these writings I’m sure I’ve mentioned this already.
It was at the veterans hospital by my therapist that it was recomended that I apply for disability compensation for the damages done to me while in barracks D….which is also known-the reason I was there was so wrong…so very wrong.
I applied-I had to go and see a veterans advocate…a man-a veteran of the Viet Nam war,and I had to tell him my story and how I was raped. I sincerely want you to know that this was as hard as pulling teeth with a pair of pliers…this guy was nice enough but had no clue what to think about me telling him about being a rape victim-he even made the comment that one would have never thought it’d happen between queers….oop’s-I think he meant homosexuals. The point being he met me with the ears of a bigoted individual that had no business listen to the most private details of a persons life as a rape victim-and also…survivor.
To make the thing worse-on another visit to the veterans advocate I was met with jokes about what color ‘highlite marker’ I should use to edit some papers concerning my case-would I rather use a pink one…? a joke I believe was to indicate my sexual preference might be men since my body was ravaged by men…?
I later learned this man retired and his assistant took over his position-this woman heard every detail of my life and I come to find out her only work experience was in a school as a custodian and in a market cleaning fish….and I told this person things I’ve held secret and private all of these years-suffered day after day after day after day after day because of everything attached to the burden of my rapes….and this woman in addition to her once boss was also makeing the same joke about the markers-do I want to use the pinl one?
There are many of us veterans man and woman who have been treated unjustly by being victims while on the military’s watch and rightly understood-these veterans are reluctant to come forward…most likely because of post traumatic stress disorder-and more probrebly because of the very reason I offer here. There is no ear in the system sensitive to this type of claim.
I want to see this changed-all victims must have the right to be free of the details of thier assaults to relate these crimes to a person specifically taught the sensitivity of sexual assault-not someone whose job experience is scaleing fish.
The Miles Foundation is in my understanding a source for help (203.270.7861) and it use to seem Congress might be a good way to get things changed…but wow is that a spooky place to me-who can we trust?
Veterans who have been assaulted in this degradeing way-we need to change this. We all took our place to do our duty to our country and to have this type of horror placed o you and to have to keep it dwelling inside festering your very soul -it is like our lives are stuck in a personal prison like the one in the scene in the photo. We need to stand up and demand what should have been already offered and rid the system of the humiliation they offer us n return for our service to our flag and our freedom,freedom we are not able to share in because of our fears.

One Response to “raped again…or,veterans rights !!”

  1. MC Kean Says:

    The VA sets up female patients for rape in V.A. hosp. Women are sedated, subjected to gangs of residents and student performing breast, rectal, and vaginal exams. Women may request and be told a female doc will perform a procedure, but once sedated, gangs of males enter and participate. Women are then left with male nurses, techs, and others alone while under sedation. Women are being raped in V.A. hosp. and it is being covered up.

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