Archive for June, 2008

what makes a poor man rich…?

June 24, 2008

Originally uploaded by jayfherron


Patience and faith and love.
I often say to people that my sons and I raised each other. I certainly was an unsettled (teen really) man when my sons were born…I had no skills-those came along as time did. Being a parent was a skill that came the same way and to ensure I got a complete experience in the job I ended up being a single parent. Just me and the boys.

I’m incredibly impressed on how my sons have grown to the men they are. I attribute this to prayer. I once had to rise in the wee hours of the morning and hike out of here to the highway and hitch to work. During my walks I prayed for nothing else except that my sons would never end up like me.
I was very broken then. Not very many years since my life in barracks D…12 years by then,but as this morning-it seems only just an arms reach away.
In fear sometimes I would drive us out to the state prison at Raiford. We would stop at a burger place and get fries and a sandwich and then carry-out the food to have a pic-nic lunch with on the prison highway right a way.
Raiford is an ominous vista to look over-there are several miles of prison to view and the choices of buildings do not make any change in the fact that this is a place you do not want to ever have to go.
I feared how my life had gone would somehow reflect on my sons. I could not take it if that was to happen and not knowing anything-this was a measure that I felt important.
I can’t quite think of how it was exactly that I told my sons what happened in barracks D. I don’t believe as boys I told them much about the actual attacks-but I remember the nights I tried to escape the thoughts and realities by by sucking drugs up my nose I would lament to my sons the misery I was and the misery the drugs were and the reason my life was such a failure was by my failing the in the Navy.
I walked those miles into town in the darkness of early morning-no where close to dawn,and prayed God would not see my sons have the same life I had.

It is not hard for me to see that God is in my family and heard the way I asked for the hope.
My oldest son entered the Navy…it was my suggestion they both did-and they did,but my oldest stayed it through. They live north of Georgia and there have been times my son has called and said “meet me at the truck stop”-and here he and my grandson drove all the way just to have breakfast.

My youngest son saw something about the prison visits-he has worked in corrections for several years,yet he also enjoys serving his country and this Saturday will be enlisting in the Coast Guard reserves and leaves for boot camp in July.

It does not take a rich man to raise a good son. Love is in our system and soul and has no degree in how rich or poor we are but has a sense of how real we are and that sense conveys itself to those around you-you cannot fake it when it is real.

The mobile home in the photo was set up out here when my sons were in high school-and I had work in south Florida.
I primarily lived down there during the week and returned on Friday night to restock the refridgerator and check my sons for injury and bruises and Sunday night drive back south to work. By this time we had formed a relationship of trust-and this worked.
At this time we were living in the cabin (the walked home home) -which is now my studio,and once was connected to a travel trailer sort of addition. The travel trailer was well worn out and since torn down.
I bought this place in the photo for a thousand dollars over 20 years ago. It was half dark-I had to use a flashlight to look inside…and it needed work. It has needed work ever since,but it was all I could afford.

It is kind of funny-this entire residence has been getting some kind of renovation after the other-it is soon nearly to where it is needing nothing in inside-what was once three bedrooms and two baths is now one large long living room and a tiny kitchen and a bath and the room with the french doors-the room I sleep and write in.
This room began to leak last summer. Not a drip-twenty of them and a sort of water experience coming down the wall. Truthfully-it became tiring and old.
It was difficult a little over a week ago-I was about to do something so out of my stream. I was going to have this place torn down and move a double wide trailer in….4 bedrooms and two baths-a kitchen you could ride a bike around. Carpet…and one of the baths had a ‘garden tub’ and a separate shower stall. Walk in closets in two rooms and closets all over on top of that.
I wept about the whole thing. I prayed as I wept and the following morning I decided to call the whole thing off. It was not me…and it seemed so much to tear down something I spent so much time trying to make work as a home…a place where my kids made life work for each other those weeks I spent in south Florida.

It rained yesterday morning-it was an odd rain because it usually waits until the afternoon to rain these days.
I stood out in the addition and listened to the rain playing on the tin roof and watched in joy as it poured off the edge…I kept going back and forth to look in the room that leaks,and that back outside to grin at God for how relieved I was to see it dry.
My sons pitched in-my oldest drove down from up north of Georgia and spent a day and a half with my son the corrections officer to build me a roof over this poor old trailer house.

It all works. Faith is a valid for real truth-patience some how works with faith,and they blossom when you least expect it-and in the proper time.
It is the rainy season here in Florida-as a matter of fact,it is now hurricane season. Almost every day we recieve a thunderstorm. I was not looking forward to sopping up the remains of the storms-but knowing I have it far better then so many others I was prepared to do it as it came.
I expect a call today or tomorrow from a well man. My sons have arranged for a new well to be drilled-one with a pump that is attached to a pipe that extends it into the well itself. It will never loose its prime-the biggest hassle with my current well is whenever the lighting strikes and clips out the electric,already twice this week…it means I have to load the truck with buckets and drive into town to find a source for water-on return each bucket has to be ladled out into a small pipe…a slow process-and very annoying that I get annoyed at having to do it.
I have been sitting back in awe these the last few days.
I never realized what it meant to think about something as general as a water well…but the very thought of the end of the bucket brigade is so relaxing. The roof over my crumb of a mobile home-relieves so much stress.
I feel so rich.

Never mind….

June 19, 2008

Originally uploaded by jayfherron


The previous griefs I wrote the other day about this yellow plastic thing…well,prayer is heard and thoughts are given and those thoughts grew and things will improve around here….a roof will be built over my existing place-that is from God,as is the rain that flows through my present roof. That project begins this weekend-my sons both are going to be together,this too from God.
I will remain my reclusive self-no room mate,my sons mother will remain where she is. As much as I love her as a person-I am glad we shifted ideas and are going in this direction.

It is Florida-and,ahhh-nearly a day away from summer-or is it already?
Last night it rained like a typical June storm-and into my bedroom…as always. I tried to ignore it-but couldn’t,yet I put the dry towels down again to sop up the flooding….nothing like what Iowa and places similar are getting,but yet-over a year or more of doing this is the pits anyway.
And then the electric. The storm popped out the electric….my pump? Yup…the water is out-a trip into town to fill the 55 gallons of water buckets to make the trip back to prime the well….this may also be the last time.
No…really,the LAST TIME!!
My sons are paying to have a new well drilled-one that never will loose its prime-never again will I have to make a trip to seek out a source of water in the times of power outages.
Funny…not ha ha hilarious funny but an odd surreal funny…it all seems so magnificent because of the many many years I’ve done this lifestyle. The up-grade to the big mobile home double wide was so overwhelming….it was like a part of me was going away. The weeping I wrote about was mingled with much prayer-why is this? and what is going to be?
It seems so amazing my son desired to see me the next day-and these ideas came to be.

I cannot search understanding-there is no searching understanding from God (Isaiah 40) nor can I understand the whys….the wonders of all these things. The roof -over and the well are like being given a major step in the scale of life…a man of means,how sad that it is that my joy for these simple things are being felt at the same time there are others in this world that will never know such luxury and at the same time there are the others standing in the mud of what is left over from the floods that took their homes.

How odd I must appear…but I am thankful for the outcome-truly,very thankful.

the big stupid-or…what crazy does!

June 17, 2008

Originally uploaded by jayfherron


This is soon to be the last of my writing for a while.
I actually lay in my bed last night and wept.
My big mouth and my stupid ideas have created a place I’m not sure if I can manage to be there.
The home in the photograph is soon to be moved to my property. This came about earlier in the Spring-I thought then it was maybe a good idea.
I’m scared of it now.

My son had offered to help his mother by purchasing an acre and a mobile home for her. I felt that because of my health and things might be going in a different direction that it would be a good idea to move my former wife into a more a newer home which we could set on my property.
The idea lingered and then grew.
There it is-the yellow monolith of plastic and plywood.

Soon to come are crushers! A man hired with a loader machine and a huge dump truck-he’s going to rip down this place I’ve managed with for many years now. Admittedly-it has seen its day and even daylight where the rain comes through the roof…but the history and times past this place has seen. That is why I will stop writing for awhile-there will be no where to be!

The home dealer that sold me this place (that is metaphoric at this moment-sold me!) has a staff full of folks including himself that calls me MR.JAY….I loathe being called ‘mister’ anything-anytime…but especially loathe being called “Mister” followed by my first name.
At ‘barracks D’ ‘hello mister’ was the first thing my rapist said to me. Mister hurts.
It is a southern thing-one one has to get used to I suppose…but for me it sticks out like a cancerous glob each time I hear it with my name attached.
Well…the mobile home dealer is only temporary.
Having my sons mother as a room mate….hmmm,what is about to be?

We all rode over there to see the place yesterday-momma and my son and I.
I really don’t know how to explain her and her ability to befriend the incurable crack head gutter types with some intention of salvaging the impossible….and the knack she has for being in Kansas and spotting the most wormiest dog on the highway….a highway in south central Florida-that’s how keen her eye is….and on the ride over she inquired about one of her friends-my son works at the jail and it seems one of her ‘accomplishments’ is staying under protective custody-she asked about thier health….I cringed at the memory of the past.
I asked my son how it was going to be? His mothers friends? I had not thought about that at the time I brought up the idea.
I am sure I am not happy with the answer…”you should have thought about that before” was his answer.

A perfect person you can not ask for. The mother of my sons has a simple goodness-she has a heart bigger than her brain…not the brightest of persons-but the goodness she attempts hand out seems to bite her back with out transferring a lesson.

So the house is huge-nearly a campus compared to where I live right now. There is a master bath-a room large enough to live in with choices of sinks and where to bathe-shower or the garden tub?
It is a spilt floor plan (listen to me-split floor plan!) with the master bedroom at one end and across what seems to be an acre is the three bedrooms I am going to take command of-a bathroom of more logical size is on that end too.
I’ve already thought of a way to divide it some….to make it somewhat more private.

It would seem I would be over joyed-perhaps I will get there,yet who knows.
It collapsed on me last night as I lay in bed-I heard the noises from out in the woods….the tree frogs singing out. It usually lulls me but the thoughts of all of this…the crusher coming and the other contractors and the changes-all compressed.
I know this seems unthankful….my son has offered to pay for it all-as a matter of fact,it has become his choice with out a real discussion.
That took something away more than it did ad to the thoughts and comforts I have.
Then came rules.
Simple….but rules.
I thought about sleeping under the over passes. I somehow think that’s where I’m going to end up….living under an overpass.
My former wife knows nothing about what happened to me.
My son and his wife-they do sort of,but to me I know they don’t comprehend what PTSD is about for us that live with it. I mentioned to my sons wife how I was afraid of going into buildings….the confused look told me that was beyond comprehension-I also mentioned my fear of people….this does not register.
It is not that they are dumb….they just do not understand.

The loss of my independent ways is shaking me up
I failed to think about whom my sons mother has come to know and be friends with over the twenty some odd years we’ve been divorced….who will be visiting here?
I think the comment of the way this is going to be managed-from sons pocketbook and bank accounts….has taken the independent way I live away from me.

No? Is ‘NO’ a meaningful thing? A possibility for me to use? Am I able to say it?
I am not able to say it….only when I’m alone,but not in real life.

the fathers day I remember most

June 15, 2008

My Father 1922-2007

Originally uploaded by jayfherron

I did not know it was any date in particular.
All I know was that I was at a going away party for someone from the high school I once went to who was going away to Florida. I keep chasing my memory-but damned if I ever can recall if I knew the guy…but it did not matter at the time.

Earlier that day I had been interviewed by a police officer at my job-which was as a broom operator at a local department store. The interview was about some stolen money and other objects. I had stolen the money-and the objects,but never gained by any of it. My reason for stealing was because someone was strong arming me into doing this for them.

I was used to being strong armed to do things for others. I had only recently taken this job as the only thing available since my discharge from the U.S.Navy. I had been discharged from a detention barracks known as barracks D.
As this whole story is about-I was raped and repeatedly made to do things a person would not normally want to do…which in other words-I was repeatedly assaulted.
There in barracks D I was an 18 year old kid-120 pounds and not at all accustomed to being locked in with other men in a detention facility.
After the rape my daily routine was being led about by my initial attackers often with my arm twisted up behind my back as if it was a switch of some kind that could be moved and orders me to comply.
At the department store my sole fellow employee managed to find that switch.

So the police officer that interviewed me promised me another chat-he first was going to chat with the man I had ratted out on….ratted out? I ratted out the person that was forcing my arm behind my back that made me empty purses and cash drawers and sneak audio equipment out to behind the dumpsters for him to retrieve later. I knew sitting there listening to this policeman saying if I told I would be treated differently….but I knew that was a lie.

I had expected the following morning to resume the questions-I also knew I would be confronted with the other man…that I had no idea how to do.
I had no plan. My mind was mentally trying to return to accepting what the officer told me at barracks D the morning I was raped….he said to get used to it-and me thinking that the next day I was going to be confronted with the other culprit-my strong arm boss…and we were to jail together. I was trying to imagine what ‘getting used to it ‘meant for me in a jail,or even a prison.

I did not know the guy who was going away to Florida. In those days in that area if someone you knew knew someone who knew about someone at a party then you were admitted and no one really cared. It was that kind of a situation for me…I was with someone who knew someone.

I swear-it was angels that opened that car door for me.
I have no clue as how my moments at that house were my freedom from the following day and most likely days and days following that.
It was Ford station wagon-one of those old classic styles that had the wood trim look about it…a surf board on the top.
We were going to Florida.

The following morning-indeed,it was that fast a drive,we entered Florida.
It was about then my driver filled me in that we were going to have to separate because he was gathering some cousins to continue on to a beach camp the family had near Flagler Beach….I was not invited. So we managed to figure out that I could be taken as far south as Gainesville and then they could east towards the beach.
So…off to Gainesville Florida we went.
The intersection where the surfers cut east and we separated had a cemetery on one corner.
That is where my first day in Florida was spent. I had only what I was wearing and about 60 cents.

The cemetery was the only choice. The neighborhood I was in was kind of the edge of town-although I hardly even knew there was much much more a few blocks west.

Angels arranged this.
The cemetery was a refuge-I was absolutely not disturbed at all…almost as if I owned the place.

I managed to make a collect call to a man I knew from the church on our street up home…I am not sure why I called him,yet I believe I recalled him once saying he had a brother who lived in the city where the University of Florida was. That’s where I was.

The brother lived in a town south of there-a place called Micanopy. I waited in that cemetery until nearly 10 o’clock that night feeding mosquitoes and ready to eat just about anything myself. Wade showed up and then began the rest of my life.
He was an older hippie-much older…and the town of Micanopy had been taken over by this amazing group of hippie folks-but in general the group where all artists of do some sort of art work or another-sculptors,painters poets and musicians. Good people-soft gentle persons of peace.
Wade apologized for being so late to pick up someone he had no idea he was going to be picking up….it was ‘fathers day’,he told me-and everyone had been to the beach.

In the Psalms it says that we have angels camped around us.
I really love that thought.
The strange thing-this past week or so ago I met with a ‘seer’ and the woman told me there was man behind me….she described my father-she told me wanted me to know the pain in his stomach was gone (he died from colon cancer and complications there of) and she said he wanted me to know he sees everything now….that he knows about everything now. How my father could work his way into a camp of angels I am not certain…I have no idea how the rest of it works-I just know it’s good.

I am going there today-to the graveyard!
I have tried to do so every year since arriving to this place-to celebrate in a quiet way with the past and where it has brought me. I like to sit there on one of the benches and listen to the traffic and the birds compete and look across the street-the only remaining building from that time still stands,a former gas station. It was there I used the pay phone to call Wades brother.
There is a good feeling there-the memory of what has gotten me here is non-ending. I will never forget barracks D,and I will never forget how it is that I got here to Florida…and I will never forget that fathers day.
Fathers Day 1970!

indicators,signs and birds and dimes

June 9, 2008

kachina-made from odd things

Originally uploaded by jayfherron

The past month and the past week have been an interesting and motivating season.
I attended the ‘sexual asssault’ conference in Gainesville in the last week of May and there I heard a speaker-another survivor who told her story and how she took her life as a survivor and turned it into a full time job. Although she is a public person,I limit my saying that who she is is the deputy director of the division of victim services and criminal justice programs in the State of Florida. Her story is quite an experience to hear-even being a survivor myself,I had an emotional reaction to what I heard.
I managed during a break in the conference to hand her husband a paper I had written up regarding my feelings as to how veterans are treated as survivors in civilian life. We managed to have quick chit chat that lasted about as long as it took to eat a cookie…and that was the end of that.

Last Tuesday I was in a hospital waiting room drinking one of those solutions they use to see you better in an x-ray…some kind of deal that you had to drink a cup every 30 minutes-and my nerves are tense because the waiting room had several people in it. My cell phone rings…and it is this lady from the Attorney Generals (Florida) office-which is where the lady I met was connected to. It was her.
I guess I neeed to mention that when she was attacked-her eyes were taken,and she is blind.
So I am waiting and drinking my bottle of solution and my phone rings and it is this lady and my heart was so thrilled that she had called-yet here I was stuck in this waiting room with my solution bottle and as we are talking the fire alarm goes off and a recorded voice comes out of the PA saying “condition red” “condition red”….but no one seemed to care-the nurses at the station,they stayed put,and there were patients on gurneys and no sense of urgency.
Of course-the lady I’m speaking to hears this and and I just kept talking saying this had to be from God personally because of knowing I am uncomfortable in buildings and on the telephone and when speaking with people of authority-and jingle jingle comes the alarm….just some humor from above.
We had a perfect conversation-I am in awe.

One week to the day-the previous Tuesday-a friend had inspired me to visit a ‘seer’ in Casssadaga Florida. Cassadaga is famous for its spiritual readers,and since I never had it done….sure!! We did it!
I got to say that everything the seer said was tight and to the   ‘T’ . I was impressed with what I heard.
My friend had business with a couple who had just recently bought a house in which my friend has some estate connection with-the estate of a very well known writer and spiritual reader-Eloise Page. So after my reading we drove to see this couple. I had never been there before.
In the entrance of the house was a bronze sculpture of a raven.The raven is a bird that brings great significant signs to me that God is present in what I am doing. It was the first bird Noah released from the ark.
I  immediately sensed a goodness was beginning to happen-the raven was a sign that what the reader had told me earlier was good words-of peace,and of good guidance soon to come.
So when that phone rang in the hospital waiting room and the caller was this person of great importance to help in the legion of steps needed to get to where my hope for the other survivors-the silent survivors of Military Sexual Trauma….is met.
And then the fire alarm goes off!
How clever and cool and spiritual I think that is…a sign!

I recently began a painting. The paintings all begin themselves-the idea comes from the canvas and then my help follows. For some reason the scrabbles of brush marks I made appeared to be Kachina dancers and so I continued with that and sure enough the dance of the Hopi Kachina was what the canvas was saying.
And then…all of a sudden came this incidental happenings with Kachina dancers-the dolls,I kept seeing them here and there….so,they aren’t as incidental as I brush them off to be.
The Kachina is a contact-a spiritual contact that the Hopi Nation use to heal and support and plead and thus speak to the spirits. That folks is my feeble explanation of such a phenomenal people and the practices they survived with.
Last week I bumped into this piece of magic-all glued up from small little cars and trucks and pieces of Lego and things found…but yet,it is a Kachina dancer,and it is a spiritual sign.

I got an energy from my conversation with the deputy director of victim services and criminal justice programs….I feel a burst of lightning coming out of me-almost as it appears to be coming from the branch this Kachina holds.
My connection from the Attorney Generals office has advised me to contact Senator Bill Nelson-my chore for today,to write him (which involves going into town-no printer here). And I have learned that I can write a hand delivered letter to Congress-the fee is almost $9.00 (…which strikes me as funny)

I felt this feeling running through my spine-that odd chill and tickle we get when something good is happening.
Hearing this woman’s voice and hearing her say I was absolutely correct-my agenda is right on track and she said to keep on stoking the engine because I am saying things that are important.

There is a thing-once upon a time I was concerned about meeting an attorney that was coming from Washington DC to see me. I was trying to find a common ground to talk to him about-to break the ice,and I was meditating in prayer about how to do this.
I’m out in the woods-a mile or so from anything…and in my mind comes these dimes-our grandparents used to gives us dimes to catch the street car with (just to get us out of the house-they’d send us to the museums-they lived in DC, thus the connection) and those street cars and dimes were in my head….and ZOOM ,there on the ground in the middle of the state forest was a dime! A great and shining dime!
That dime was there because it was Gods doing,a sign.
The telephone call last week- during the fire alarm…that was a dime and a raven and a sign!
Things are going to happen.

Military Sexual Trauma-exists!

June 5, 2008

Originally uploaded by jayfherron


I remember the days when my sons were still in high school and the times they inquired about the future and college.
I can fairly say my income at any time was not going to be able to send my sons to college-but I knew enough to suggest the military,more specific-the United States Navy.
I actually encouraged my sons and several of the young men they grew up with to enlist.

My own few months in the Navy ended with me feeling ashamed about myself-all I really saw was my failure and my discharge was not offered the way that I wanted it to be…my hope was to follow the directions my ships education officer and finish school and go to one of the schools the Navy offered.
I was taken another place that many don’t hear about our service men being. A place called barracks D.

Barracks D was a detention barracks.
My crime? I really make no sense out it it when I try to explain it…there was no crime.

In barracks D-really only hours after I arrived,I was attacked and raped and left unconscious in a urinal trough.
The following morning an intelligence officer inquired as to why I was so bloodied up and bruised-and when I thought this man was going to help me,instead he chuckled and told me to get used to it.
I was 18,weighed about 120.

I thought this was because of where I was. There wrongly-I had done nothing to deserve being locked in with these men…it was my sense of redemption to assist my sons to enlist,to ensure that my failure was mended through my sons. I did not fear the same things happening to them because in my mind I was a the bad one and that is why I was sent to barracks D.
Yet,I had done nothing wrong.

It is hard to believe the rapes took place nearly 40 years ago. I am amazed at how the memory of the days of my Navy life have never gone away. It is almost as if it happened just the other day. I believe sometimes it is because I am locked in a time zone that was stuck in place for the time that I really missed-being a good military man.

To be honest-I thought my situation was an isolated thing-circumstance made it happen,and…it was not really anything to do with the military. I thought that for years-never really considering that my safety was never cared about while I spent my time in barracks D. I just thought it was the way it was…just like the man said “get used to it”.
After answering a few questions at the VA several years ago the interest in barracks D grew from just being a time that will always haunt me to the interest of the Military Sexual Trauma team at the Gainesville (Fla) VA ,where I met and spent nearly three years with Charlotte-my therapist.

I never once considered that rape and assault’s of personal violation took place in the military….I always thought my incidents were only because of where I was.
I was just 18…a life of normal sexual exploration had never been mine to try-to experience. What some deem as ‘sexual’ is not exactly of the way the nature of sexual intimacy is made,having someone force themselves on your person and rip your anus to a place it is often sore and always a reminder of what was once happening (which mentally happens each morning on my toilet)….that is not sexual intimacy,nor any other kind of gentle contact.
I never really got to explore that in the true sense of how it is supposed to be.
To this day-it affects me.

It was only at these meetings at the VA that the size of the problem was understood-this happened to others and in various situations to active duty military persons. Enough so that there are two full time VA facilities that treat only MST -military sexual trauma. One is here in south Florida.
During my meetings with Charlotte it was suggested that I file for a claim against the Navy for the wrongs that were done.
That process was like re-opening a big wound so that it will never heal.
The veterans advocate who was to be in charge of taking me to the hearings to attempt to earn me something of a compensation (how it will replace what has taken is not sure in my head) had such a bigoted mind he thought because I lay there and allow several men penetrate me-with force….that this was somehow homosexual conduct,and actually expressed such thoughts.

It was then that my attitude changed and that I needed to say more-to speak up and fight this. Hey….my case was as I said-nearly 40 years ago….and stayed in me alone,in silence. It might have been better to keep it in silence,but when the veterans advocate made jokes at my expense it pissed me off as much as it made me sick.
I began writing-and writing and as I wrote and had to research for my topics I learned that my case is not isolated at all…MST is a serious problem and it is growing.

Just the other day I wrote about Demetrius Busby-an ROTC instructor that had been assaulting a teenage male in his charge. In my research just to learn about Demetrius Busby I was stunned to see the numbers of ROTC so called leaders who had been arrested just in the last six months,for sexual violations against students.
That worsened the feelings in me-even at the high school level,military sexual trauma exists.
It is trauma…the sexual indicator deceives us.


The above article is among the most recent numbers to come feely to the people-I’m not sure I can say “to the public” as not many folks in civilian life are going to be reading Air Force Times or Army Times or Military times….so the information is not really published to edify the community in general…we in civilian life are not too observant to the whole of the problem. Me? I too had no idea until I started writing about how large this is.
I don’t want you to take my word-I suggest doing research of your own….seek out the truth,and then join me in my campaign to change as much as we can for the survivor and earn as much help for the victim as we can,because they are not recieving the proper care-only a number…that is all,only a number.

As with my sons and the many many others who walked into the recruiters office-they do so with a feeling of honor and a sense of doing the right thing-standing up for our country. We send our sons and daughters into the military with the thinking that this is a place of great leadership and disipline and do not expect to learn that the criminal element is even filtered into the troops….rape and sexual violation no matter where you are is a crime.
I am perplexed at the problem that exists and that not only are the crimes commited-they are often shoved aside.
That is so wrong.

ROTC arrests!

June 2, 2008

Originally uploaded by jayfherron


I usually begin my mornings early enough to beat the daylight-drinking my coffee and reading up on the local paper,which takes longer to get on line than to read…mostly to check the obituaries,but sometimes we manage to get the news.
This morning was an article about a former ROTC instructor from our area currently instructing in Sarasota-who now is in custody in Sarasota Florida where he was cooling his heels while awaiting first appearance before a judge. Demetrius Busby was arrested for sexual violation on a male student in his ROTC program at a high school there.
At first my mind was in a precoffee mode and it did not click that the ROTC is a form of military training at the high school levels-I believe it also enters college era as well….this is not something I am well versed on,however-I believe it has much to do with training students for a potential non-commissioned officers place in line when the student reaches active duty. I do know it connects with future military service.
That thought revived me and I wanted to re-read the news about this,so I did a search for the story…and what turned up was a surprise.

Demetrius Busby was arrested yesterday in Sarasota Florida-a ROTC instructor…sexual violation on a male student.

Victor Denson was arrested in Macon Georgia in February 2008-a ROTC instructor…sexual molestation on a student.

Sgt.Major Kevin Johnson was arrested in Portersville Pennsylvania in February 2008-a ROTC instructor…58 counts of deviate sexual assault on two juvenile males.

In January 2008-Sgt.Maxie Carroll Miller was arrest in Rolling Springs SC-a ROTC instructor…sexual assault on a 10th grade girl

In November 2007 Eugene Payton was arrested in N.Charleston SC-a ROTC instructor….was arrested for what he thought was consensual sex with a minor. It seems the age where he could have truthfully claimed it was consensual is 16 in South Carolina,go figger…

I sigh a sound of utter disbelief…more like a groan of disgust.
It seems to me that the ROTC program is a place where the young students who desire to stand up for freedom and what is right in a democracy go to learn the disciplines of military service-to become leaders.
What is it that makes those who are leaders already fail these young people…and treat them with absolute disregard and degraded intentions.
How can these young people respect that which is violated by a direct superior-the flag of the United States and defense of our freedom?
It is bad enough that the military services are realizing the numbers of sexual assaults are on the rise.

    What does this do to those teens who are doing the decent thing by showing an interest in their country and their flag and only to be demeaned by those who are supposed to be someone a youth are supposed to be able to look up to?

Who takes care of them in the years to come? When their lives reflect the indecent manipulations that took place during their innocent times-who takes care of them? Certainly they are not under the wings and care of the Veterans Administration!

Can they claim PTSD as any enlisted person might if the sexual violations happened while in active duty?
Does any body even care?

The truth is-I was startled by what I found. I was merely trying to research more on Demetrius Busby’s case because his sexual violations were directed to a male student….it is my expressed need to alert that males ARE violated sexually too.
I was overwhelmed to see the numbers of ROTC instructors arrested for these crimes…so frequently,so close together-it was too much to take in,too many to write down.
I am saddened by these things.
The need to teach honor and respect are deeper then we’ve ever understood. And how can we do that when the very ones who are entrusted with our youth-and the very youth that have stepped up to do the right thing…serving the country they call home,these instructors have stolen these young peoples futures-damaged their innocence.
A very sad state of affairs. And , the military has had to reinstate the second chance program to enlist convicted felons because not enough true patriots are stepping forward…no wonder.