VETERANS RIGHTS and SEXUAL ASSAULT




VA stairs drawing-jay herron 2006

Originally uploaded by jayfherron.

In a few more days it will be New Years Eve and the celebrations will be going on from here to everywhere as they always do. I over heard a woman in the laundry- matt telling the clerk there that she and her boyfriend had paid 2300 American dollars for a motel room in Miami….all because they are attending a party there.
It is incredible as to how much gets wasted on just that one night-that one specific moment in time where time changes.
I never found much to celebrate.I rang in the new year of 1970 being raped in a toilet area of a detention barracks on a Navy base.
All through these pages I’ve been writing about this assault and the ways it has effect my life and lifestyle and relationships and hardships and yet have been trying to put together an example as to how I had a llife afterwards of reclusiveness-spending as much of it as a long distance trucker as I could.
A few years ago I got upset about several things at one time-the prison scandel at the Iraq prison -Abu Garabe (sic) was a prominant boost off the ledge but also the VA hospitals insistance that I take anti depressants to curb my feelings…I refuse. So I wrote a letter to a person in the mental health clinic there and after several weeks someone gave me a call and since then I’ve been treated for post traumatic stress disorder -PTSD.
I just want to put it simply-my life has been a session of disorder for too many years because of the things that happened -and how they happened. All of that can be explained by reading back into these pages of my life.
Something happened earlier this year at a veterans advocates office that made me aware of a problem-a very serious open festering sore of a problem. I was told by my therapist at the VA that I should apply for benifits-except I can’t see them as a benifit and find that term oddly out of line for the things I had happen in return…but,never the less-I accepted the idea and decided to go for some kind of compensation.
Ilearned quickly that the man who was my veterans advocate was a bigot. His first response to my telling him about barracks D was
” were they black” ?
I can almost say I sensed disappointment when I said my assailants were white.
A few months after that conversation there was a second incident that stunned me as if someone smashed me in the face-comments were made regarding the color of ‘highliter pen’ I should use to mark some papers-emphisis being on “would you like to use a pink marker” in reference to-you must be homosexual to have been raped.,as a matter of fact-this man also made the comment that one would never think homo’s would need to rape one another. You can imagine how that made me feel.
I never returned there,instead my file was moved to the VA in the city near me-honestly,the man I met there said about three words to me and none of them had an ounce of comfort in them…so,I decided to get an attorney.
Every Tuesday I go to the VA for therapy for my PTSD issues….I had also been going on Wednesdays too-but the doctor closed the group because we were a bit of a box full of baskets cases which I think was out of his league.
Because of my issues with large buildings and many people-I tend to arrive at the VA a couple of hours early to roam around and try to make myself comfortable and get familier with my feelings….and I pass the veterans advocates office there and often see the guy at work at his computer. Its not the same guy I first met there-the one with three words of empty encouragement,another guy who I once had a brief encounter with-a very rude encounter. Every time I see this man he is wearing ‘sneakers’….gym shoes! And that provokes my thoughts about how many rape survivors are in the veterans system and have never reported-or might someday consider reporting the incidents of the crime against them while in service and how its very likely they would happen upon the same mentality I have observed-the ignorence of thinking rape has anything to do with sexual pleasure-or homosexuality….or that blacks are rapist.
Sometime during the summer I read an article in the local county paper about the vets advocate where I first encountered the ignorence-he had retired and his assistent took over and in the article it listed her qualifications….she worked as a school custodian and once in the fish market at the local grocery store,and veterans this woman has no business hearing the details of anyones sexual assault. It is repulsive to think in this country as advanced as we are that the system has such a deep flaw in it. There are thousands of veterans who have experienced sexual assault-even rape while in service to our country….a wrong as wrong there can be,and yet there is no where one of them can go that provides the proper sensitive ears neccesary to hear the details of these crimes.
Write your congressman and help change this!

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