What this IS about…


drawing by-jay herron
Originally uploaded by jayfherron

The details of my life are chronicled here-while some are busy trying to steal others identities,I am offering mine right out in the open.
I am a male rape survivor-although,it took me a long long time to realize that I AM a survivor.

One who reads this may only search back and the entire story is written out-but in the sake of someone just coming into this…I enlisted in the U S Navy at age 17-began active duty (went to boot camp) only days after my 18th birthday. In less than five months I will end up in a detention barracks…for merely nothing…and in the night I was attacked-beaten up and raped.
I can go into this story a hundred times a hundred here…as I said-it is written all these entrys.
My military career ended 7 months after I entered. I say career-because the United States Navy had thier man….all be it,at the time I was just a skinny boy-but I had gotten through boot camp and saw enough to stretch my heart to love the Navy.
My oldest brother and I were stationed together-that was my idea…it turned out to be the worst idea. My brother it seems might have been more intsrumental for my being in barracks D then no one will ever really know-he died five or six years ago,so knowing ‘how much’ went with him.

Right around the last week of February 1970 I was woken up around 0400 in the morning and marched around a few buildings and after signing a ream of papers I was given an HONORABLE DISCHARGE….and sent home. (…to closed doors)
Up to that point I had been told I was faceing five years in prison…by that point I become the victim so many times that I submitted to the assaults-I had been told to get used to it…I had thought that if I was facing five years more of this-then…I had no other choices. I have never been the same since.

This went quietly….if you could describe the turmiol inside of me as quiet….this went quietly with me throughout my life.
I cannot tell completely everything that has been distorted and destroyed by the events of my life in barracks D. I can tell you this-my life has been a jagged run,living on the edge-ashamed and guilty that I did not serve my country well.
Does that sound old fashioned?
Well,I can’t change that-because in my era of boyhood…that is what we were taught-the apple pie of American life-the freedoms-heros fought for us…we were taught to want to serve our country and protect our flag and to leave no comrad behind.
I saw big dreams,living on board ship…the USS Vulcan AR-5.
Those dreams were busted up by the jealousy of my brother-and finalized by the men of barracks D.

Then and now-when  a service person is discharged from the military-they recieve a form DD214.
The DD214 is the official discharge paper-every veteran good or bad recieves a DD214. It is almost as good as a second birth certificate-but it tells more about the baby.
On line 11c of our form DD214 under the headline-reason and authority- there is a number…mine is: 3420220 -384- !! the number
-384- has its distinguised space. It tells a lot about me,according to the military….it says I was deemed a drug user; it has haunted me all of my life.

When I was first taken into barracks D-the very first night…and I was handed my bedding by a man-the first encounter I ever had in my life with an enfemminant man….his comment to me lasts in my ears !!
“welcome to barracks D…drugs,drunks…and degenerates” in a lispy voice of someone trying to imitate a female.
…and within a second I was hearing the iron mesh gate clink behind me and was taking in the scene of men in front of me and absorbing the comment just made.

The years after my discharge-they are all in this mess of my life…it all went along and got to this point.

A few years ago I was contacted by the Veterans Administration Hospital in Gainesville Florida regarding a letter I had written. The letter was out of frustration of the VA’s answer to my being asked if I was ever depressed…yes,much of the time!
They gave me pills…that was all-just take these.
I tried them and they made me feel like I was on mesculine…yes,I know what mesculine feels like.
I told the clinic tech that on our first meeting-I told her I dumped the pills in the toilet-a response of great alarm….they gave me nore pills.
I dumped them out….and wrote the letter explaining the battle I had to over come drinking and drugs to see things straight,and the VA wants me to go back on drugs?? To forget?? …or,feel better about the horror??
Months went by after I wrote the letter…and then I was contacted to join the PTSD program at the VA…and found an island-Charlotte B.,the first only person who ever heard me…and believed.

The continual story of this life unfolds through out this past year and half of writing this down.
No ones fault but the ignorants…the ingnorant being the first ‘Veterans Affairs’ service advocate I ever met-a man employed by the county (Levy County) I live in in Florida….he made comments about not ever realizing “homosexuals had a reason to rape another”???
This was to be my advocate?
He made other remarks that my answer almost seemed to disappoint him….NO, my attackers WERE NOT black.
This is why I am writing all of these stories…all true stories,like I said earlier-an offer of an identity…what else can I lose?

These comments were made by an official in place to aid and assist a veteran to seek compensation for injury in the line of duty…my injury was not in his eyes in the line of duty-and so I became a victim again by his stupid assumptions.
It my mind-these ‘veterans advocates’ may be the same all across the country….ignorant of a ‘third wound’ possible while service….rape and sexual assault!

I can offer up numbers-but the numbers are void if no one pays attention that assaults like this happen-there is no difference the uniform…the rank…the status of persons,man and woman-this happens. And like the reported rape of a young U S Marine-Maria Lauterbach…because of her murder-murdered by the U S Marine that raped her…and was reported by her-and like many others…many many others,it was shoved under a stack of papers and rejected and the result is horrific…a young woman guilty of nothing but by being a victim she pays this price,one the military wishes would go away.

What this IS about…to point out the truth as best I can from my perspective.
I would have been better off I suppose if I had taken the pills and done what the VA hospital wanted me to do…become a zombee and forget all about it-but then,none of this would have started. It has kind of back fired….I am a silent guy,but the stupidest remarks made me angry and this is the only way I know to speak about it and reach others in hope they too will speak out about it…because the system is so wrong-the treatment is so wrong….one murdered victim-a young lady-a daughter in service to her country.
That is wrong.
That IS what this is about…to bring attention to as many as one can reach with the use of a computer-that young service men and woman are not exempt from crime (as much as they are not exempt from being sexually assaulted) just because they are in the ranks of the military-they deserve better protection and care!
May Maria Lauterbach and her unborn child…yes,a second victim-an innocent victim…may they rest in peace.

6 Responses to “What this IS about…”

  1. Carol Says:

    I don’t know if there is a statute of limitations on rape, but if there isn’t, have you ever considered having your attackers prosecuted? With all the information you have, it shouldn’t be difficult for a lawyer or the Navy to locate them.

  2. jayherron Says:

    …actually,at this point-the US Navy disputes that I was ever in a place called barracks D….the one thing I actually have that proves thier records are wrong is they have me down as being ten years old when I was in the Navy-and other variations of error.
    But to find the men assaulted me-most likely would be paramount to finding a needle in a haystack.
    Initially-the first night-I think it was three,but after the following day…it was several-and several times a day,for many days.
    Honestly-the hope for justice for me and my case is in the hands of God-these writings are for encouragement to others who will live longer than I am going to to come forward and fight for rights and change.
    For me-it has been now 38 years-justice is long in the past…
    Did you know that yesterday the United States Army requested that the Veterans Administration STOP aiding soldiers with filing claims against the Army for damages sustained in battle….and they are interested in helping me?
    No…this is a cause that I can only tell the story from my perspective. This is a cause because it happens…and no one says anything about it.
    Well…hardly anyone.
    No Carol…not sure about statutes and such…as I have always maintained-it was my past to try to endure ,a secret…until it came out a few years ago-it would’ve been better off to keep it secret-but the ‘cat got out of the bag’…so to speak,and the things I write about are hopefully drawing attention to the need. And work for change.

  3. Carol Says:

    From all I’ve ever seen or heard about the military, those in the brig or the barracks have to wear uniforms every day. Their names are on their uniforms. One place in your haystack could be the judge who presided over your hearing – give him the names of these men and ask that he use his influence and resources to find them. Ask that your records be subpoenaed or at least corrected. Your haystack may not be as high as you think it is.

  4. jayherron Says:

    Yes-we had uniforms that had the letters ‘SID’ stenciled on the back of them-sailor in detention!
    There are only a few names I have of anyone in that brig-those names are in the hands of the judge…it was requested of ME to locate them…that was a stunner?? Those names are on the final sheet of paper distributed to me the military…I pointed them out to the judge-but also pointed out they were not among those who harmed me-still,it was said that it was my duty to find them.
    I have ALL of my military records-thats an easy one-I had them since the day I was finally released…those are quite a read! They say I was 10 years old when I enlisted and show that was discharged months after I was actually discharged.
    You have to read deeper to realize this has been going on for me for years and years-I even wrote the former president Jimmy Carter….you should read about his son Jack Carter how he had been in the Navy brig the same time I was-just in another location…we both,I am certain,got different treatment….and HE WAS GUILTY.
    I never had a trial-or,what they call ‘Captains Mast’
    But…as I said earlier-the Navy even disputes the fact there was a barracks D-although they cannot exactly explain where I was.
    They gave me an ‘Honorable Discharge’ and yet cannot explain why I was sent home early.
    That help?

  5. Carol Says:

    Excuse me for being baffled, but WHY didn’t you give the judge the names of the men who did harm you?

  6. jayherron Says:

    He had the names right there on his copies as I did!
    We spoke of the men who were marched out with me-the morning I was discharged-I also told him they were not any who had attacked me-they could only state they too were in this barracks…as I said,the military disputes there was a place called barracks D.
    I think you know-my meeting with a judge was only just last November 2007-and that meeting is the first time there was ever any kind of hearing at any time in order to defend my self of any kind crime,as-why was I in barracks D?

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