I’m exhausted…


the door to barracks D
Originally uploaded by jayfherron
 
 

 

This road that I find myself moving down is like any other-a road with two sides.
I lived much of my adult life the survivor of rape. A male survivor. A silent survivor.
My attacks were not in the ordinary-considered innocent such as those that might occur to a bystander or jogger….the random attacks. I was taken to a detention barracks…an innocent sailor of 18 who had done nothing wrong-except perhaps entering the space of my older brother,the very person the Navy sent to ‘arrest’ me. I suppose a rape in a detention center is not as criminal as a rape of someone off a jogging trail,no one seemed to care then.

I’ve written about every bit of this that I can in previous pages of this ‘blog’….something like close to 300 times I’ve sat and written to try to open up the eyes of others and relay the need for changes.
The two sided road that I talk about. The road which one side says men are victims too….the other side saying that veterans are returning home as victims too. Why are they on the same road? Because they are silent victims.

I have had many discussion where a person gives the funny look that responds to a statement like mine…men are victims too?

We are really caught up in this modern time that rape and sexual battery is a crime against woman. How many times do we see an article about the male victim? It must mean there are none…but yet there are. Today the State of Florida intends to execute a male-his crime the rape and murder of an 11 year old boy. I am not pleased at any of this…but yet the statement it makes validates the point I am trying to make-males are victims of rape and sexual assault. Adults listen…rape is an age and gender free crime-it happens to many-and any!!

My other side of the road is about the veterans who have experienced rape and sexual assaults while in active duty in service to our country. A military service functioning to protect values and rights and freedoms….and yet,these crimes happen with in those ranks,yet go silent when the victim is released from duty.
I am personally aware that military sexual assault is not an occasional incident-an article in Army Times provides proof of that.
It rates itself as the top military force which has the most reported cases in 2007. The article claims that 1,516 cases were reported…this is only the Army-and only the reported cases. They also state that 90% of the reported victims were female. That leaves 10%….who must be males. That 10% is a significant number,that means 151 men in the Army must have experienced this violation of their body.

www.armytimes.com/news/2008/06/army_sexualassault_060308w/

 

http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-oe-harman31mar31,0,5399612.story

 

A commentary in the Los Angeles Times written by Congresswoman Jane Harmon also speaks of the trauma and reports the Veterans Hospital in Los Angeles are receiving. The numbers are troubling.
That is just one part of the regions…one hospital among the many in the United States Veterans Affairs system. How many have the others counted?

I first am confused by the reluctance for anyone to recognize that men are victims too…and how we can continue with the misconceptions that it is only females that are the victims of rape. I believe people have their heads in their boxes for continually accepting that as a fact…..in fact-we probably have succeeded in keeping men from reporting these crimes because society has stigmatized sexual crimes as those only against woman,and if it happens to a man the stupidity of others opens up. Such as “heck-if a woman raped me…why should I complain?” or….”gee,you’d never think homosexuals had a need to rape each other!!”,which is a comment made to me by a Florida Department of Veterans Affairs officer.

I never meant to say anything about this-EVER.
When I became a victim I was told to get used to it “where we are sending you you’ll have it made-your dance card is already punched”! That the statement from the investigating officer in the Navy who was the first to see me just shortly after I was raped-his comment alluded to that whatever crime I was supposed to have committed was going to land me in prison for several years…five,if I remember correctly.
I had done nothing-yet this what I got for it….
So I lived in it-accepted it with my arm twisted behind my back. Kept and ordered around by my assailants as if I was a piece property.
I had enlisted in the Navy for honor and respect to my country and do my duty-and this is where my honor got me.
Two months later I received an Honorable Discharge from the United States Navy….honor,after spending those months with my controllers? I have no honor.

I lived with this in my life-my present,everyday. So you must believe me when I speak of ‘trauma’….this morning I woke-38 years later and felt the memory as soon as I made a thought.
Once upon a time about three years ago I was told to get validation I should report this to the Veterans Affairs officer-appeal for benefits “if any one deserves it” I was told….and so I did.
It was there I was met with just as much sympathy as I got the day I was beaten up and my ass hole stretched to last to this day. An advocate for me who was a bigot and made judgements about my lifestyle that did not exist….he thought my assailants must have been blacks-and pondered the wonder of it all in curios stupidity “gee…you never think homosexuals need to rape each other”. That’s what he said.

The road with two sides. The anger inside of me that there is no real number to count the real victims-all of the victims…how many kept quiet like I did. How many were too afraid of the stigma to say this happened.
I can understand-I wish too in many ways I never said a word. Why should I have wanted to? Learning from the beginning that I was supposed to go ahead and get used to it….getting used to it,and silently (yet with a fury inside of me called ‘damage control’) and exercising damage control in all ways like drinking and substance abuse to try to hide from it better. Then finally coming to terms with myself and becoming sober for once….I report to the VA hospital one day and am asked if I am ever depressed-and yes,I am….so they give me pills. The pills made me high almost like a mescaline trip….and yet each morning after using the commode I have this reminder of barracks D,and it is continual cycle for these kind of memories. And the VA’s anser for this was pills and further I am expected to accept a man who is confused as why homosexuals would need to rape each other….and this man is supposed to be my veterans advocate and the pills are supposed to heal me-or do like drugs and booze,help me to forget for a few hours?

You see….something is wrong. We first have a blank section in our knowledge. Men are victims-rape and sexual assault harms us too. I suffer each day from the events that took place from all those years ago….it is something I will never forget.
The fact that it happened while I was trying to do my duty to my country compounds the issue-the hurt from that is larger than you can ever know….but then to be re-injured in my mental state by a such in place professional as the veterans advocate who is confused and has no clue,well….I’m exhausted!

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15 Responses to “I’m exhausted…”

  1. Carol Says:

    Hello Jay – I’m having a hard time phrasing this in such a manner to avoid being jumped on by your other readers. Here goes…why do you keep saying that the public is unaware of male rape? You yourself have cited several newspaper articles and statistics. If there are enough numbers out there to be able to form statistics, then people are aware of male rape – and that was military statistics that you pointed out today. Military – those people are aware that this is happening or has happened. Certainly the military isn’t the only place this goes on – there have been several documentaries about prison life, where a young kid going in is made somebody’s “wife”. There have been movies about male rape. The public is aware. My next questions – what do you want to see happen? What changes? What outcome would give you some measure of satisfaction or help you in some way? I wish you peace.

  2. jayherron Says:

    The change you ask about-ANY veteran that goes through the VA system and has military related injury….yes,MST is considered an injury-has a process they go through to file for compensation trlief or other benefits.
    In order to appeal for those benefits the veteran is sent to file for these claims through a State Veterans Affairs officer-and the one in the veterans home county.
    I feel there should be an exception for rape and sexual assault victim/survivors.
    In my case-the man who made the terrible comments…well,that needs to be changed.
    I am saying that once a veteran enters the system and discloses they he or she has had an assault an automatic process should be there for them…a certain sensitive trained individual-not a GUNNY SERGENT as I was sent to-he had no clue.
    the other question….so-more is being said.
    Glad you are still there Carol.

  3. jayherron Says:

    Readers…Carol does not really care…she just sticks her stick in it to stir it up!

  4. Carol Says:

    Well…..you just answered the question of what it would take to give you some measure of satisfaction – must be being mean and rude to someone who asks legitimate questions.

  5. jayherron Says:

    Look chinatown465 at some email box or another…you are seriously critical of what I manage to write-yet have never have said what it is you are doing to facilitate a change in how sexually assaulted people are treated or military sexual assault is looked at or what it is you really might have to offer as a suggestion…oh,you said you vote-thats a change help (pooh)…what else? What do you physically do hotmail? What do you personally do? Tell us…so we can appreciate your comments more? And understand what it is YOU want to say-because we don’t…because my points have been clear-there is a problem with a system that cannot seem to admit they have a problem and because I feel like writing what I write and gear it towards what I see as a problem…it ain’t me and nor is it for me-I will probrebly be dead before any satisfaction comes out of this-until then,why not write?
    So…explain it to us-what is your agenda? Give us your blog information so we can read your ideas…that would up be able satisfy you-which we don’t seem to be able to do!

  6. sousgal Says:

    “why not write” exactly! Interesting that “Carol” hasn’t shared or responded to your and the rest of us’ queries.

    Yo! Carol! helloooooo……

  7. Carol Says:

    I’m here. I was just waiting for the calvary. For causes I support, I can and do get pretty passionate. For changes I would like to see happen, I have passion there as well – I’ll write letters, make phone calls, donate money, and yes, vote – whatever it takes to be heard. Don’t always see the change I want but I tried and sometimes keep trying. As for suggestions, go back and read some of my comments – the suggestions are there. For example, Jay, you should go to the meetings of the support group you were instrumental in forming. That’s just one example, there are others, go back and reread some of my comments. The initial comment that started this was not critical in any way – yet that’s the way it was received. I made mention of your statements about lack of public awareness. Public awareness is already there. Perhaps what you’re asking for is sensitivity training for people conducting these medical interviews – not a bad idea, and many of them may have already had it. You happened to be be interviewed by someone who hadn’t or didn’t use it – he has a supervisor. Make a phone call, write a letter. If that doesn’t work, that person has a supervisor as well. Nothing may change, something might. Hope this answered your questions –

  8. sousgal Says:

    “was waiting for the cavalry” Now. Isn’t that telling? You ARE just here to pick a fight. Put a dog into it. Grag a stick. Sheesh. Ya know..IF you had anything worthwhile to contribute like, say, your own blog of your own experiences and then exchange concepts and ideas and oh I dunno SUPPORT SOMEONE then maybe… but this?

    ptooey.

  9. Todd Says:

    Hey, I was just wondering–was your older brother an SP (Security Police) when he was sent to arrest you? What was his rating/rank at the time-you know, his paygrade? Ever find out who it was that sent your brother to arrest you? In your fight with the VA, that could be very important information.

  10. jayherron Says:

    No Todd…my brother was at that time the ships laundry operator-and also,the barber.
    I have had an opportunity to point this out to the judge (who the VA sent me to,last fall)-also that the drugs I was charged with having,which was travel sickness pills (issued by the ships doctor)…and noted on my records-this the judge knows too.
    Because my brother ran the laundry-and because he was not pleased with my choice to join him in service on the USS Vulcan…he mutilated my uniforms which in turn restricted me from moving about the ship and areas where I could go,and I certainly could not stand a watch-or stand in an inspection. My shirt sleeves were cut off-and my name was distorted to be a childish nickname (where the name is written above the shirt pocket was written ‘LIL HERRON’ in huge letters).
    What ever caused the reasons to arrest me-to put me in barracks D are actually a mystery to me…I can assume some things-but the reasons are so vague-it could’nt have been that I was AWOL,as I was not. It is thought my brothers jealousy developed into something much larger-again,how can I know?
    I have missing pieces in this…

  11. Todd Says:

    Forgive me for saying this, but it seems odd that the Navy would have a laundry operator/barber arrest you on false charges. Do you know who those officials were that sent your brother to arrest you? Were there any other witnesses to your arrest besides your brother that might be able to help you with names? Doesn’t the Navy have rules about mutililating uniforms? Shouldn’t your brother have gotten into trouble for mutilitating yours? Say, you forgot to answer my other question–what was your brother’s rating? It’s hard to imagine that US Naval officials would let your brother’s jealousy influence them to allow him to arrest you. It sounds to me like you really need to get some names, reasons, dates, and places and get the Pentagon or VA or something to get your case looked at and rectified.

  12. jayherron Says:

    My brother was an E-4 or better known as a 3rd class petty officer-hmm,it’s possible he was 2nd class….’ships services’ was his classification.
    I’ve written about the day my brother came to pick me up-but to repeat this:
    My knowledge of what took place from the night I took the bus to Washington and when I was returned to the ship-being brought back by my brother…is vague-there is no way I will know any of that,I only can guess some things.
    The actual witness that can personally say this was so-and has made a written statement-was my brothers former wife. She was in the car with him-we three drove back to Norfolk together. She agrees with everything except that I insist my brother handcuffed me,she says he did not. I remember it happening and believe it was in a culdesac up the street from our parents house-it could have well happened at the pier where our ship was,after he dropped his wife off,and that is why she disagrees.
    One of the reasons my assumptions may be right was once on board ship in the Master at Arms shack (the ship police) I was sat in a chair and there was a line up of men that passed by and looked in at me. There was only one man I recognized,his name was Billy and he was in my work area and was a very nosey talkative fellow. I always felt that he had someting to do with the charges that were brought up.
    Honestly-not one person of any rank said a word about my uniforms. More so-it was a joke around the areas of the boat that I was able to be in…the word LIL was to represent ‘little’ Herron in abbreviation,but in bold letters-so every one called me Lilly. When I was taken to barracks D…guess what my shirt said?
    By the way-these were the work uniforms,not my dress-the laundry did not access these.
    I have no idea why my brother was sent.
    My guess is that because of the charges and that my brother was my brother-so,they sent him. That I will never know.
    This was 1969…I have no idea the inner workings of what happened-how it happened from the position of the ships officers and regulations and why it happened to begin with…I do not know.
    As far as the Navy is concerned-I signed a waiver in boot camp saying I hold them harmless for any incident that comes up while being stationed with a relative…it interests me how those records survived-as you know,many many military records were burnt in a fire in a storage building in St.Loius…somehow some of mine are available-many I had from the day I was discharged.
    You will find it interesting that a typo on my enlistment papers has my age as 10 years old…so the records are poor any way.
    And….if you’ve read this-I have challenged the VA about this and have seen a judge and wait for a response (now 8 months later).
    To tell you the truth Todd….only two really know the truth about ALL of this.
    Me and God.

  13. RaiulBaztepo Says:

    Hello!
    Very Interesting post! Thank you for such interesting resource!
    PS: Sorry for my bad english, I’v just started to learn this language 😉
    See you!
    Your, Raiul Baztepo

  14. OKIE MIKE Says:

    how do i start a new thread . and jion this group

    MICHAEL

    HAD NO SHOES THEN I SAW A MAN THAT HAD NO FEET

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