Originally uploaded by jayfherron

Tomorrow begins the first weekday of a new month,another business day. The month has ended a two month visit with the holidays and the business of swearing in our new President. Everything had been busy but now we have begun to settle.

I was very pleased to learn this past week that there were Congressional hearings taking place on the very topic I write about-MST (military sexual trauma). I was sad to see there was nothing written in the news.

I learned of the hearings by coincidence-I emailed a partner in veterans advocacy who at the very time she received my email-she was sitting in the gallery observing the hearings. She emailed me back-and I am looking forward to further conversations towards bringing attention to MST and the veteran who survives,the silent wounded.

I was sad,though,by not learning about the hearings from someone I have made many efforts to contact. I received a letter of interest from Ginny Brown-Waite from the House of Representatives. She also is on the Committee on Veterans Affairs. Her letter from September 2007 encouraged me to contact her office at my earliest convenience to arrange a meeting. September,October,November,December,January-has passed,we had one meeting arranged-oddly enough,it was election day-and that date was finally canceled by her staff.

I really would have been willing to stand in front of Congress and tell them what life as a male survivor of MST has been like and what it is like for all survivors. The fears and phobias and nightmares-those along with the loss of a real life,productive-sober…none of those were possible because of post traumatic stress.

I am disappointed that Congresswoman Brown-Waite has not been informed personally about the many times I have emailed and written  formal letters telling her that the civil rights of MST survivors have been hidden away-if not vacant altogether-asking her to invite me to sit down and explain how that is. Otherwise I feel like she would ask.

It would have been a moment of achievement to be able to stand in front of Congress and say to them what I have been saying in this journal. To be able to speak out for every veteran-and every MST survivor would have made a million differences in my life of trying to heal.

Our civil rights have been violated. This should be of interest to every American. We have been victims of a violent crime while doing our duty to serve our country. The reaction from our superiors and comrades was the beginning of this violation-many of us were told to keep it to ourselves,or to get used to it. Afterwards-we have to walk in our own silence,there is no one  safe enough for us as a veteran to report this to. Usually the knowledge a veteran has been the victim of a rape comes by accident. We have no one sensitive enough to understand our issues when we decide to hold the military accountable-and to file for a claim for benefits as the legitimately injured soldier does. The advocates in position to help the others have no idea or training to understand what an MST survivors life is like. They have no understanding that sexual assault is not a pleasurable accident.

I would think someone who is on the Committee on Veterans Affairs would have notified me-and invited me to participate after the many requests I’ve written to be heard. I am thankful for the testimony of the female MST survivor-it such courage,but we need to also show the male survivor hurts too-and that we are a part of the numbers.

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2 Responses to “unfinished…”

  1. Mike E Says:

    Man, just think — I could have hopped on the Metro & walked into the US Capitol with you. Damn sure I would have too, what a shame…

  2. jay Says:

    Looking forward to when we will get to do it!

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