Military Sexual Trauma-exists!

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.

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7 Responses to “Military Sexual Trauma-exists!”

  1. Claudia Says:

    You have to find the courage within to fight. Never mind what others may say or what jokes they may have at your expense. You have to fight. This is a war of principalities. Stop letting evil win. Every time you feel down about what some ignorant ass says to you, you are allowing your self to be violated over again. You have to stop it. You have to stop feeling ashamed of what happened to you and get over the perceived perception (or actual perception). You have to fight to keep it from happening from others. You could have had a great career in the Navy and had retired but you were victimized as a young boy. You were young then and just starting your adult life. Speak up and speak loud. Stop letting life continually victimize you and keep you down. FIGHT. The Navy owes you big. I have been in the Army now for 22 years. Much has changed and nothing has changed. Nobody will give you anything…you have to fight for it. I pray that God will heal you and give you the wisdom and courage from the Holy Spirit to get through this. Amen

  2. Claudia Says:

    As a survivor of abuse….I am going to tell you something I learned…

    It wasn’t your fault. You didn’t deserve what happened to you. It wasn’t you, they are the sick ones. It wasn’t your fault. You didn’t deserve that. You have to forgive yourself and realize it was not your fault.

    Your Friend

  3. jayherron Says:

    I am thankful for your thoughtful words-and I am healing by knowing I am reaching others. I do know it was not my fault although much of the desruction afterward came from the blame of others who had no idea what really happened-and that is why I am so loved by God for it is God that knows ALL of what happend,only there is where the truth is.
    Several years ago I was adjusted to live with it as I have since the first day it happpened-I was told to get used to it,so I guess I did in some ways.
    The second time around when seeking the help of an advocate-and the advocate thought the whole thing odd “unbelievable to think homosexuals need to rape each other” and pre-judged people before he ever heard the full story…”they were black?”…that,his words and ignorence, was being assaulted again-and,not my fault-AND gave me the wings to fight back!
    They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength and mount up with wings as eagles-yup! That’ll do!
    Thank You Claudia

  4. Claudia Says:

    I hate to hear of anyone going through such terrible pain. I will pray for you and I know that if you don’t get your vendication on this earth, they won’t escape judgement at the end of days. You sound like such a sweet, caring person. Most of us victims are. We know what its like to have your soul stolen, and wouldn’t want anyne else to go through anything like it. Take care Dear. I will keep in touch and read what is going on with you periodically. I have you on my blog list. Shalom, my beloved friend

  5. jayherron Says:

    I greatly welcome you as a beloved friend-and you are already aware that my vindication awaits me in the arms of God and I look for that with such sweetness…
    Thank for being interested in my writings!

  6. Jamey Michael Harding Says:

    Jay I’ve just sat here and cried as I read your blog about SFC Demetrius Busby. I enlisted delayed entry in the US Army, and the SSG Busby raped me repeatedly while I was a 17 year old at Fort Leonard Wood, MO. I was in security holdover status and I beleive, that I and the others the military are aware of are not the only ones. I am trying to push Congress right now to investigate these matters and give the victims a degree of closure, vindication, and JUSTICE. When I reported it CID threw a business card at me and let me sit in the foyer for 50 mins then called a humvee to transport me off base and no investigation was ever done. I was admitted to Triple Army Medical Center at Fort Shafter and thrown in a psych ward for two days and told I was being discharged! For what? Being truthful? Then when I returned home my entire family disowned me after my mother proclaimed “I knew you’d f it up, you’re a god damn faggot just like your father! Get out of my house. Imagine the pain as I was sobbing and trying to hug her and saying I love you mom only to be met by her arms hanging down her side refusing to hug me back. 12 years is NOT sufficient prison time especially not in State he needs to be at Leavenworth and stripped of his retirement. I’ve dealt with the PTSD, Depression, Panic Attack, and Generalized Anxiety for 20 years now. I am effectively rendered useless in anything I attempt. With the help of friends I DEMAND JUSTICE at the Federal Level.

    • jayherron Says:

      I am so sad to hear your story-what makes me saddest is that while a high school instructor of ROTC all of the students this man is guilty of rapeing will never see justice because they have zero rights for VA benefits….not that the benefits will replace anything,such as the missig hugs from our mothers-that has been my experience too…seperation from my family! I support you from afar my friend-my heart is weeping for your being a victim too,my brother!\eace

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