Archive for August, 2008

dead,but living at home!

August 24, 2008

best panther
Originally uploaded by jayfherron


In the picture is a pet-his name is Colin.
He is odd kind of a pet. You can’t latch a leash to his collar and take him out riding in a pick up truck or any kind of activity. He stood almost 7 feet tall when he leaned up on your shoulders-you have to lean on a pipe anchored in his concrete floor to be able to stand when he leaned up on you.
He wasn’t my pet-but I stood outside his cage and watched his owner as she stood up with Colin.
He purred. It was just about the most coolest thing to see-this huge animal,dangerous still,purring like some old house cat.

Most of his days were spent laying in his box looking out as he is in this photograph. It was seldom that he paced his 35′ x 35′ enclosure like the other cats that were kept here did. They would have it down like a system,up against the chain links of the cage-back and forth and back and forth,with their faces up against the wire,back and forth-looking out at the distance.
But I never saw Colin do it.
I was told he was more active at night.

The place this guy called home was on a five acre reserve-although deep enough in the woods,too cramped for all the various wild animals that were caged here. It really seemed injustice for them-like a twisted joke…there’s the forest where you ought to be,but this is as far as you go.

The majority of the various cats here came from various foolish rich that believed they could make a pet from a cute little cub-most all of these cats came to the reserve from high scale homes on A1A in South Beach-some would think of it as Miami,same shore. Although illegal-it appears every so often the Florida Fish,Game and Wildlife folks get a frantic call…”our house has been taken over,we are trapped in our bedroom”!
That’s how they end up here.

I’m not sure what would compel some one to go through the efforts to pay for something like this-it has to cross their minds that it won’t be like a Great Dane and lay around in front of the fire place or swimming pool all of its life,but apparently it does not. They grow into what they are-a wild animal who’s instinct it is to mark its territory and you know what that means.

It wasn’t just the rich. There were also numbers of Bobcats which were found as cubs during deer season. Some Buck hunter sitting in tree stand waiting for a doe to come by,bored to tears sees this pair of Bobcat cubs and brings them home. They don’t get as large as Colin,but they still are wild.

There were several of the cats at this reserve (I can’t really call it a preserve) were manageable-and there was nothing to fear from them. I remember a pair of Bobcats that had been raised with dogs-and you could enter their pen and lay on the ground and they would be all over you like curious cats…kind and with out any fear,gentle!
Yet,there were Bobcats there which were as dangerous as if you met them in the wild.

Colin was born in captivity-maybe that’s why he lays in his box all day and looks into the distance. Deep inside he has this instinct that something ain’t quite right-but he just can’t put his finger on it.
He had a sister,she was named Kristen…and she liked me. When I would show up to work there she knew the sound of my Jeep and would start yelling-you could hear her from the road. The lady who owned the place would send me up there first-just to shut her up.
As soon as she saw me she would quiet down and begin that pacing-back and forth.
And you could hear her purr too.

It is such a pathetic thing to see these great animals caged in as they are. It is for their well being now-they could never survive in the wild…although many times we received a Bobcat young enough to instill its old pattern-the natural pattern of killing its own food. Once it did that we were able to release it into the woods,but not the woods near the reserve-because it would keep coming back.

Once I volunteered to bring one home to my area-living next to a state forest of several thousand acres,a Bobcats dream. The lady who ran the place brought out towels and heavy gloves to catch the thing. There were several of us volunteers to supposedly use the towels to try to grab it and transfer it to a portable cage. The Bob was having nothing to do with it…neither was I.
When was giving instructions she used these key words…”hopefully it will work”!
I asked what she meant?
She explained she’s never quite done it that way before.
My instinct was to back away-and let the others make their own decision.
The cat had no desire to be caught….and off the lady went to her office saying over and over that she “hated this”.
She returned with a syringe…and tossed that into the cats rump,and soon it fell asleep.
I’ll never forget that-why she made that critter go through all that excitement when she could have let it relax to begin with.

My sons and I took it back into our forest. It had napped for several hours and by the time we drove it back far enough where it was out of harms way I carried the cage out into a field and opened the door and ran for dear life.
It didn’t budge.
It did after I went up and tapped the cage with my foot-poof….off into the freedom which it deserved it bounded.

I used to work in Jacksonville. It was a two hour drive,so I had to leave in the wee hours of the morning. Every once and a while I’d turn on my headlights to back away from the house and there it would be-sitting on the edge of the yard just close enough.
It must have come back every so often to say thanks.

places of Peace…

August 16, 2008

shiprock new mexico
Originally uploaded by jayfherron


I found myself on the lonesome highway route number 666 through New Mexico and into Cortez – often.
The area is known as the ‘four corners’-the only place in the United States where four states meet each other.
That of course is ‘white man’ history…only becoming such after the surveyors marked it off.
To the True People of America it was home and knew no state lines.

Along the route-much of it as flat as far as the eye can see,you begin to see rising on the horizon this monumental shape. Flat,yet towering,but not a mountain.
The white men called it Shiprock,as it resembled a ship on the open sea….the True People of America called it Tse` Bit` A`i …the rock with wings.
It is supposed to represent the great bird that brought the True People of America to this place,but I have heard a legend that says the rock raised up from the ground to lift up the People and protect them from the threat of attack.
I am only a tourist of sorts-pieces of information that may only be slightly correct,but they are satisfactory to me…the ‘spiritual’ content of the meanings fits my ticket.
I was told once in a truck stop in Cortez that the True People of America believe Shiprock is the medicine pouch carried by the Goods of Value Mountain-a large mythical male figure comprising of several mountains.
Goods of Value.
An interesting name.

I have often seen the witness of God through birds. Ravens especially-knowing that the Raven is the first bird Noah set out from the ark. I know the Raven as a communicator…a definite symbol of Gods attention in my life,as the Raven brought meat to feed the prophet Elijah…so the Raven brings meat to me,although meat of a different kind.

I know of the Spirit in the Raven and how often when in a moment of desperation of trouble in my life and as I try to think it out and have no means of realizing the answer until a certain thought comes by…so does does the Raven,as if I was adrift on the sea that carried Noah and the Raven was sent to assure me.
It is a symbol that God has sent-in any of my thoughts where I am wishing my path has ended and my life on this earth is at its end,the Raven has been sent to guide me in to the Peace which is only God.
God saying that I must be patient and endure. Sometimes I wish I could ignore God…I hate this life so much,but know that I do not possess the property of ending it on my own …I must wait for the sight of the Raven that will lead me.

I would have been content living the life of the True People of America-the humble ways they lived,planting foods for survival…even in this unpleasant lands,they raised the foods and herbs and foraged for the native plants that were used for medicine-so I understand,at the base of the formation…living on its cliffs for protection.
I believe the lives of those People were peaceful…and much more than the life any of us know today-we are so caught into the content of plastic wonderment,and lazy from the fast canned goods of the superstore-chains.
It interests me that the True People of America refer to this as Goods of Value!
Goods of Value…such a meaningful statement coming from a civilization of peple that was able to live off of the land was given to them from the Spirits….the great bird that brought them there. No thought at all of how much gasoline costs-or the newest Ipod-ish gadgets game ability-or the cost of cable.

It is appropriate that the highway that cuts through this area is (was once called-now changed a few years ago for the same reason I mention) Route 666. The very name of the devil which was written about in the Bibles of the settlers that roamed into this area and thought they had come to the sea-seeing the ship on the horizon.
Over the time-really,not too long ago….the lands of the People were taken-the protection of the Rock with Wings was removed and the right to live off the land as they had known for generations was taken away-by law,the land now was ‘federal land’ and now protection comes from the Bureau of Land Management,or-the office of keeping the True People of America in bondage.
The amazing thing is-in exchange they received a casino!

There is a riddle in the Proverbs in the 30 chapter-the same Bible the settlers carried across the continent with them….it says there are “four things little among the earth”,but equally says these four things have “exceeding wisdom”-the ant,the conies,the locust and the spider.
Interesting that mankind is not mentioned as one with exceeding wisdom.
Proverbs 30:24-28

one year…

August 11, 2008

bike week 2008
Originally uploaded by jayfherron


It may very well be that I am obsessed. Maybe I should leave it all alone…perhaps this is what happens when you spend the rest of your life alone-you just gnaw at things and let them gnaw at you. To be able to let it go would be peace.
Tomorrow will be one year from standing in the hall across from the door where Charlotte came to get me when the clerk at the desk bounced by and gave me a look and and said…”What are you doing here”? He gave me this look and I’m not sure what I said other than…”it’s Tuesday”!
Something like…”No no…not until I call you and let you know” something like…”Charlotte’s not here and we’ll call you”!
That was pretty much it.
I remember trying to exit the building by the stair at the hall by the clerks office-I thought I’d been down the stair many before,but this time it seemed the doorway was not there,or…but I went down the stair and had to go back up-and passed the clerk-and through the building and out.
The following week the conversation was less gentle and more direct-like with a look that says ‘are you stupid’…and I was told that they would call me when appointments resumed.
They never did.

I cannot express how much of me got compressed into the booth of a room where I had been seeing Charlotte well into three years-each week. I cannot explain the way my mind works-it plays with me and grinds into itself these perspectives of what might be-it analyzes each thing and eventually builds itself into a mess.
After almost two months went by and no appointments I began to believe Charlotte had done the worse-even convincing myself she was no longer able to handle all of our lives story and it took her.
It was wrong-the thoughts that built,but the unfairness of what had happened was seriously hard to take.

The way things happened in my life from even just a boy with my sister dying when I was not much older than six-and Mr.Hoke blasting his brains out not much more than two years later…and then there is the other parts-it even exhausts me to think on them…and yet I do,and always will. They are all hard to believe it happened in one guys life-hard enough for even me to believe, and yet Charlotte listened and and heard so much and believed…that was the part that amazed me is how she believed me and could talk about things that she remembered about what I had said the weeks before,and seemed the only person interested enough to do so.

At that abrupt end my entire spirit ended any involvement with the VA. The trust I had that was held together with hope that there would be a better way coming went out with the wind….the trust that had built up was shaken so bad.
I last saw Charlotte three months later.
She told me the reason things were the way they were-she tried to help a veteran outside of the box,and it backfired. The VA answered with pulling all of us out of her program-an incredible liability to our mental health.

I have many times said that I wished I never said a word about my rapes in barrack D.
A person has no way of imagining what it felt like the first morning-to be woken in a urinal and having someone yelling at you to hurry-your body in pain…your pants and under drawers in a tangle on the ground in front of you-rolled in a way they took time to loosen and time to comprehend what happened-to walk past snickering men to be taken to another man who merely shrugs it off with a chuckle.
Get used to it…the only answer or explanation or offer…and then that is somewhat how you live your life. Trying to get used to it?
That moment walking back in there-into barrack D,was like one of those ‘survival’ shows on ‘tv’ where they make someone walk through a floor covered with snakes. That is what I felt that morning-as I walked to the bunk I had chosen the evening before I had to walk past everyone…every one who knew,and when I walked by the main one,the words ‘hello mister’ makes me sick-still.
I don’t know why -even yet- did I say one damned thing….but now it is so big in my life as to always remind me.
I only had the energy to trust Charlotte over the three years. To tell the whole thing to have someone hear it all the way through. I would not be able to do it again.

There is a movie called ‘We were the Mulvaneys’ with Beau Bridges (based on the novel of the same title-by Joyce Carol Oates) in the lead role. It is the story as how as a successful man in his industry fell because of the rape of his daughter-they went from riches to great losses,his life fell apart-the whole family fell apart.
It may only be a fictional story-that part I am not sure,but the story was so correct on how rape tears up so much and destroys with such confusion. The crime isn’t over when the moment ends-it continues and continues and continues like a fester,rotting your life.
I knew the story was accurate-I know how it feels in me,how I perceive best because I was there first hand and know my side of it and know what it was like to be there. So whoever wrote the movie had understanding.

“Lillie’s that fester smell far worse than weeds”
William Shakespeare


August 10, 2008

me on the USS Vulcan

Originally uploaded by jayfherron

This is kind of an odd week for me. In 1969 I was beginning my second full day of boot camp.
We had already been there three days and were now in uniform-all of our civilian clothes were sent off to the Salvation Army or home and this was the first real day we were Navy boots and in uniform.
It was a Sunday-just as it is today,and it was our first glimpse at an actual newspaper. There were newspaper sales boys all around the galley-only on Sundays.
The headlines were stunning-they became the buzz around our barrack and I’m certain all across Camp Moffitt-Sharon Tate and the Folger heiress and Jay Sebring and a young teen were murdered. Sharon Tate was the star of the era…almost everyone knew who she was. Of course-we were getting the news later than the rest of the country…but it is kind of like when Kennedy was shot,you never forget the date or where you were. I know it sticks out in my head because of Jay Sebring,then it seemed odd to me that any other had the name Jay-especially somebody famous…especially somebody found murdered.
I remember it being a lesson of sorts when Charles Manson was arrested along with the girls and the crazy Texan. They all looked like ‘hippies’ and I remember feeling sad about that because the hippie movement was seeming to produce some changes and for the good-talking towards peace and love….and then the vision of ‘hippies’ doing what the Manson crew did,well-it disturbed that thought and also woke up the fact that you are never sure of whom you are with because of the way they look…what is inside some men and woman can not be judged by the out ward appearance.

It was around Thanksgiving that year when they broke the case-one of the girls had bragged about it in a jail she was in,some other girl ratted on her-and before long the whole scene of the run down movie ranch was on every front page,the scene with all of the ‘hippies’ lined up in handcuffs.
I was on the USS Vulcan by then-I can mark it as around the time we saw ‘Alices Restauraunt’ on board ship…I couldn’t believe that was were I was seeing this movie-it’s anti war theme was clear as a bell,burn your draft card was high in the topic and getting high on LSD was too. A strange film to see on board a U.S.Navy ship during the very war the movie was protesting against.
It had not been too many days from when they found out Charles Manson was the leader of this band of hippies and the vision of that in my head in contrast with the vision of Arlo Guthrie singing ‘Alices Restaurant’ was one of confusion.

I don’t know if it just me-or is everybody able to go in time to certain markers and recall such parts of our past with such vivid memory?
On a shelf in my house are trinkets of odds and ends-glass bottles and bric-a-brac that makes sense to me but many others have kind of given me an odd glance when they see my assorted collection.
I have certain rocks that mean something to me-one I found when I was six years old,and I can remember when I found it…clear as a bell. I could not imagine how I’d feel if I lost that rock!

The last day of boot camp we all bought a case-a grip of sorts-and where we purchased them the room was lined up with guys at a table who did fancy lettering on them…they painted on the names of our soon to be ship-adding designs of anchors and eagles. I was really proud of mine-the USS Vulcan AR-5 was lettered on it.
I felt such pride when I reached the Vulcan.

Every sailor has a ‘ditty bag’. It’s what you put your laundry in and send down the chute on your assigned day.
My brother was in charge of the laundry-they must have kept watch for my bag…my shirts came back with the sleeves cut and in large black letters above my pocket was my name and a nick name above it…LIL’Herron
Then our work uniform had no short sleeves-and I became out of uniform and was restricted to certain areas of the ship.
I remember how hurt I was about it-learning my brother played the ‘joke’…and as I pulled my uniforms out of the ditty bag and seeing the way my shirts were vandalized-I must have began to wonder why I asked to be stationed with him.

In my collection of stuff-here on the shelf in my house,there is a small crucifix-it’s made out of wood and bound somehow with metal. They gave it to us at Fort Holibird where I was inducted in the Navy. The Red Cross came around where were standing-it was a long row of steps like on bleachers where we stood-there were hundreds of us-as we were sworn in to serve our country…and the ladies came around and asked our faith-I got the cross,I still have it-it sits on that rock I found when I was six. Like the rock-I’d feel pretty bad if that little crucifix was to get lost. I can look at it and remember so much about that August day-that giant building,like an aircraft hanger that could hold a hundred planes…it was that huge.
I had my draft card for only 11 days! It went into a box-I think the same box the little crucifix came out of….
August 1969

the cover up

August 8, 2008

an apartment-no view
Originally uploaded by jayfherron


The excerpt that follows is from an article that appears entirely in connecting with the link:


(attached at the bottom of the page is the FULL article)


The excerpt in its own strength says legions….
” There was quite a struggle in Congress this week. The Department of Defense refused to allow the senior civilian in charge of its Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office (SAPRO) to testify in Thursday’s hearing on sexual assault in the military. Rep. John Tierney, chair of the House Subcommittee on National Security and Foreign Affairs, angrily dismissed Principal Deputy Undersecretary of Defense Michael Dominguez from the hearing when Dominguez said that he, the DoD chief of legislative affairs and the chief of public affairs, had ordered Dr. Kaye Whitley, chief of SAPRO, to refuse to honor the subpoena issued by the subcommittee for her appearance. ”

Hmmm,it is such a struggle.
I never imagined the events in my life 38 years ago would bring me to what I am doing today. I’ve often said that I wished I’d never brought it up….I answered a question in a VA clinic about depression,that is where I went wrong,I said “yes-I do get depressed” and the response was a bottle of some sort of anti-depressant.
I tried the pills-but they made me so hopped up and un-natural that I dumped them in the john.
It made me mad-it was stupid-I had so often in my life drank to drunk blindness and sucked up enough drugs in my nose my sinuses are as smooth as ice (so a surgeon told me when he removed a polyp)…he said ‘surgical smooth’.
And the response from the VA is a bottle of pills?
I became upset. I do that to myself-things eat at me and eat at me until they seem to explode,so I wrote the VA a letter.
It wasn’t right away-actually,I got called in to a clinic just to talk about the med’s and that’s when I told them about dumping them in the toilet…shit hit the fan then and I was sent to a ‘shrink’ who literally asked me the two most asked questions…”are you planning to hurt yourself?” and “are you planning to hurt someone?”. That was about it and after a small lecture on the way these pills work I was sent to get more.
It was after I dumped them that I wrote the letter.
I don’t really recall exactly how I worded it-but it just angered me so bad that I went through countless trials to clean myself of self abuse with alcohol or drugging…and the whole time to forget and try to feel better about what happened in barrack D. That never happened,you’d just wake up and feel like crap from the hangovers-the memory was there as quick as waking up.
It was insulting.
It was just like saying there are certain kinds of sober and certain kinds of drugs-and that certain drugs are an answer.
I had long learned they weren’t.

I don’t know what or how to say anything about it. My way of remembering New Years Eve is only capable of seeing barrack D over and over again,that is all the ‘holiday’ is to me-a marker!
My rapes happened to begin the very early hours of that last day in 1969. They continued most every day from then-and after nearly two months of the assaults being a primary part of my time there…I was given an Honorable Discharge.

I had no choices any more. The very first person to see me that morning (a Navy intelligence officer) asked why I was wet with urine and so beaten up-and he chuckled when I told him and said “get used to it”.
I have never gotten used to it-I could live around it,but never away from it.
The main three guys who attacked me knew they owned me when I returned to barrack D and they weren’t called out.
No…I never got used to it-and never talked about it until the VA got my letter and after a two month wait I began seeing Charlotte-a therapist at the VA who specializes in ‘military sexual trauma’.
I believe Charlotte is the first and only person who has heard my story and believed.

It was when it was suggested that I seek compensation-a sort of validation…compensation will not change anything either,but I accepted the idea that I should be heard and that will validate my life.
What I heard was an ignorant bigot who was the main ‘veterans advocate’ who was to lead me down a path to an apology of some sorts-validation.
Comments about why homosexuals would need to rape each other…this was a statement the man made to me-and his eyebrows raised in question as why I did not agree the attackers were black.
The sense of surprise from the ‘advocate’ should have told me this man could not understand anything about this crime. He felt the ‘sexual’ in the words ‘sexual assault’ meant something…sexual.

This whole thing about sex in our society-such a troubled subject because the side of society that has never experienced what it feels like to have one or several take you bodily and beat your face with their fists and yank your clothing from your body while you are still having one or several beating on you-and to feel that piercing pain of having your arm twisted up behind you to make you easily pliable to manipulate added with the pain and confusion going through your rectum…I do not recall any sexual pleasure. I’m not sure if I truly understand what ‘sexual pleasure’ is-the event distorted my life so much!…the side that has never felt our side cannot fully see how terrible this crime really is-how far the damage actually reaches.

When the Congress is lied to by the Department of Defense about these issues-the battle seems even harder. It makes me wonder…what have I gotten into? Why could it not of ended then-in 1969-70? Why has it started going in this direction?

I’ve been told that the more I write about this the more my paperwork for the appeal for compensation will be moved aside to the back of the stack.
So what??….there is no compensation that will relieve any of the pain I carry from those days-the ‘every days’….that issue does not matter,but it does in the sense that it will provide hope for others that should come forward-and seek these damages from the military
The more we come out in numbers the more the military is forced to confront this issue…the more we hold them accountable that this crime finds no justice as long as they continue to ignore it.
It has nothing to do with me…it is the rest of the survivors (an odd description-yes,I made it this far,but survived?) who have not found a Charlotte and yet is as equally as any wounded soldier…these veterans deserve as much help as any other-and compensation, and respect for that like any military person they entered to serve this country-with honor. Not dis-honor brought on by the hands of those they serve with.

The ‘silent wounded’.

HERE IS THE ARTICLE-written by Col.Ann Wright  8-01-2008

There was quite a struggle in Congress this week. The Department of Defense refused to allow the senior civilian in charge of its Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office (SAPRO) to testify in Thursday’s hearing on sexual assault in the military. Rep. John Tierney, chair of the House Subcommittee on National Security and Foreign Affairs, angrily dismissed Principal Deputy Undersecretary of Defense Michael Dominguez from the hearing when Dominguez said that he, the DoD chief of legislative affairs and the chief of public affairs, had ordered Dr. Kaye Whitley, chief of SAPRO, to refuse to honor the subpoena issued by the subcommittee for her appearance.

    Full committee Chairman Henry Waxman called the DoD’s decision to prevent Whitley from testifying “ridiculous and indicating DoD is covering something up.” It could also place Whitley in contempt of Congress. Rep. Christopher Shays said the DoD’s decision was “foolish.”

    One of the questions that would have been put to Whitley was why DoD had taken three years to name a 15-person civilian task force to look into allegations of sexual assault of military personnel. The panel was finally named early in 2008 but has yet to meet. She would have also been queried on the SAPRO program’s failure to require key information from the military in order to evaluate the effectiveness of sexual assault prevention and response programs.

    I spoke with Dr. Whitley in April 2007 and had asked for an appointment to bring to her office four military women who had been sexually assaulted and wanted to tell her in what ways the DoD programs to prevent sexual assault were not working. Whitley declined, saying she worked at the policy level, and steered me to the chief of the Army sexual assault program. I called the Army program’s chief, who initially said she would talk to our group. However, when I mentioned that the mother of Army Spc. Suzanne Swift, who had been raped in Iraq, would be with us, she said she could not meet with anyone involved with an ongoing case. I replied that Swift’s case was closed as far as the Army was concerned. Her rapist had not been prosecuted, and Swift ended up with a court-martial and 30 days of jail time because she had gone AWOL for her own protection when the Army would not move her out of the unit to which both she and her rapist were still assigned. In view of the fact that the Army chief of prevention of sexual assault refused to meet with any of the four women who had suggestions on how to improve prevention and reporting of sexual assault and rape, I’m not surprised that the DoD snubbed Congress over the same issue.

    Rep. Elijah Cummings joined Rep. Waxman in speaking of cover-ups. Cummings raised the cases of military women who had been sexually assaulted before dying in “non-combat incidents.” He spoke specifically about Army Pfc. LaVena Johnson, who was found beaten and dead of a gunshot wound at Balad Air Base, Iraq, in a burning tent owned by the contractor KBR. Her parents suspected that Johnson had been murdered and that the homicide was being covered up by the Army, which deemed the death a suicide. Cummings also spoke of Army Pfc. Tina Priest, who was raped at Taji, Iraq, and found dead 10 days later of a gunshot wound. After her family had measurements taken of her arms and of the angle of the bullet and found that she could not have pulled the trigger of her M-16 with her finger, the Army said she had pulled the trigger by using her toe. Cummings asked Lt. Gen. Michael Rochelle, chief of U.S. Army personnel, for assistance in getting all the documents the Army had on Johnson’s death. Additionally, four House members have asked for congressional hearings on the deaths of military personnel who have been classified as suicides, among them LaVena Johnson.

    The fireworks with DoD followed the dramatic testimony of Mary Lauterbach, the mother of murdered pregnant Marine Lance Cpl. Maria Lauterbach, who had been raped in May 2007 at Camp Lejeune, N.C. Accused in the case is Marine Cpl. Cesar Laurean. After the rape, several protective orders were issued to keep Laurean away from his victim. The burned body of Lauterbach and her unborn baby were found in a shallow grave in the backyard of Laurean’s home in January 2008. Laurean fled to Mexico, where he was subsequently apprehended, and he now is awaiting extradition to the United States to stand trial. Lauterbach’s mother explained in great detail the warning signs that Laurean was a danger to her daughter and claimed that all these signs were ignored by the Marine Corps.

    Two other military women have been murdered near military bases in North Carolina in the past two months.

    Red Cross employee Ingrid Torres told the subcommittee of being raped at Kunsan Air Base in South Korea by an Air Force flight doctor. She spoke of the difficulty she had obtaining medical and emotional treatment from the facility where the doctor still worked, and later from military facilities in other parts of the world where she was assigned.

    Rep. Jane Harman cited Veterans Administration statistics that one in three women in the military has been sexually assaulted. She said the prosecution rate of those accused of raping fellow military service members is abysmally low. Of the 2,212 reported rapes in the military in 2007, only 8 percent of the cases ended in court-martial of the perpetrator, while the rate of prosecution in civilian courts is 40 percent.

    Lt. Gen. Rochelle, the Army chief of personnel, reported the little known statistic that 12 percent of reported rapes in the military are of male military personnel.

    Rep. Shays said he had no confidence in DoD or the military services and their policies of prevention of sexual assault, and asked how recruiting will fare when young women learn that one in three women is sexually assaulted and when young men find out that one in 10 men is raped while in the military.

    Brenda Farrell, director of the Government Accountability Office, said that getting data on rape from the military services is difficult because there are no common definitions of terms for the services to use in such cases.

    Farrell said the GAO believes rates of sexual assault currently used by DoD are low because many military personnel do not want to report what happened and suffer the gossip, harassment and stigma prevalent in units when confidential reporting is compromised. In a survey of 3,757 persons on 14 military installations, 103 said they had been sexually assaulted in the past year and had reported it, while 52 others said they did not report the sexual assault.

    Several Congress members spoke of lack of leadership and accountability in stopping sexual assault. The same day as the sexual assault hearing, the Navy relieved two senior officers of the USS George Washington because of the injury to 23 sailors and $70 million in damage to the ship caused by a smoking violation. Imagine if commanders in units where rape occurred were relieved of command for the harmful actions of their subordinates. That would send a signal of zero tolerance of sexual assault, whereas in the current climate victims are intimidated and alleged perpetrators are given administrative punishment instead of court-martial.

    Sexual violence against both female and male military personnel must stop. Let Congress know of your concern about sexual assault in our military. Call or e-mail members of the House and Senate Armed Services committees and members of the Oversight and Government Reform committees.


    Ann Wright is a retired Army Reserve colonel and a 29-year veteran of the Army and Army Reserves. She was also a diplomat in Nicaragua, Grenada, Somalia, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Sierra Leone, Micronesia, Afghanistan and Mongolia. She resigned from the Department of State on March 19, 2003, in opposition to the Iraq war. She is the co-author of “Dissent: Voices of Conscience” (

    Marine Lance Cpl. Maria Lauterbach, who reported being raped in May 2007, was found dead, along with her unborn child, in January 2008 in the backyard of the suspect in the case.


August 7, 2008


Originally uploaded by jayfherron

Like a junkie trying to toss the rest of the last bag…and the bag sits there in the trash and the trash is far away…outside in the street,and it calls out to you. There is nothing you can do-it calls out your name.
That is what it has been like this past week…
I go through these ‘seasons’ of DAMAGE CONTROL. There is no ‘control’ during this time….and there is no limit to the time,and there is no getting used to the time.
I have just gone through this event and feel sick from it but thankful it went in the direction it did-and not like it has in the past times…and not with as much damage as would have been more destructive as in those past times.
I don’t control anything…they take on another (as in the triquad of me) and that other destroys what is good,especially if it is going good.

It is a crazy kind of a thing. I am also afraid of telephones. I am unable to make certain kinds of calls…and when the thing rings I am afraid to answer it,so-this past week was the assault on my telephones. The cell out of fear of what the last cell experienced – died on its own. That was fortunate and easy to explain to my son (who provides my cell phone) that I did not squeeze it in a vice (this time) or toss it out on the interstate (like once) …it just stopped. That was providence…but then my attack on my home phone was intentional-not exactly thinking what that would mean with the computer…it too was shut down.In truth-I had been shaken about writing,from a deception that was played-a sure toss of trust,and an exact feeling of violation,so I was trying to get away. It won’t work.
Like the junkie with the bag he tossed….this screen and empty shutter of my voice kept calling at me and I’d sit here in front of its blanked out face and wish I never did it.
That is any time I go through ‘damage control’.
They have been worse…bad worse-and I guess that they will never end,but I think they may be changing to where I am not as anxious to go out and try to get hurt…like I did once upon a time.
But I remember-sitting after those times too…and wishing I never did it.
Like the junkie tossing the bag of smack in the trash.

I sat here for the past week and realized I had done something wrong-yet not too sure of the impact and how deep…the tri-quad-of-me darkens the effects of what I am doing,and the real me is so glad to live in the isolation I am in-the woods,and the distance from town(s).
I realized that to write was addictive-not as much as a narcotic,but that it has been the only way my tongue has been freed and my self wants to say as much as it can say…with out the stammer of the fear the listener does not care,and the hurried way I have to speak-to try to assure I am heard.
I know it does not make any sense-it hasn’t to me either.