All the time you the remark of closure having something to do with putting an end to a matter of tragic circumstances. I am not sure I can agree that it works. I will go through the motions-but with knowing my baby brother and our sister are buried in a grave in Pennsylvania,him 6 and her 11,just says to me they are dead and aren’t ever coming back.  I still see her in her coffin-I still remember the funeral attendant bringing a step stool so I could see my dead sister laying there I was still so little. I still can see my brother tumbling underneath the car that ran over him-I still see his teeth baring as he was dying in our fathers arms. I remember all the funeral-even the red jacket he wore in his casket.

They are buried-and they are gone. Yet they still live in my head-one memory of Carl is vivid when we were once playing around on the living room floor. Funny how that is.

I do not really know what the terms of getting closure are.

A little later this day I am packing a suit case and embarking on a journey. I’m going to Pearl Harbor. My son is stationed there-the plan is for me to visit the submarine he is serving on…the hope is that I might be treated to a possible short trip on the ship-but those things are yet to be determined.

The true desire I have is to visit the hero’s of the USS Arizona. I want to stand there and see the hulk of the ship and to sense what it all was. I know this experience will be moving-I am moved just by the thought of it.

I ordered the shirt and cap you see in the photo to wear in honor of those men and also stand proudly on my sons ship-as I did serve,although my duty time was cut short.

Closure? It wants to be-but most likely my gesture will be something just for me because all of my Navy time was meant to be mine alone.

My nerves are way wound up and the stress of the travel is making me jittery and ill. I understand one of the flights is over night. The sounds of a mass of people snoring and sleep noises will most definitely trigger that sound that I waited for back in barracks D that first night-waiting for everyonene to go to sleep so I could go pee. I had to pee so bad-it was painful bad. I had not been given that chance all day,and now I was afraid because of this barracks. It was when I finally felt safe-thinking all were asleep-I crept into the head and just began to pee when I was greeted “hello mister” and knocked down with a punch to the head. Those sleeping sounds will have bothered me ever since I learned the flight was overnight.

I’ve been drinking-I guess people call it a binge,but…I call it knocking my ass out so I can sleep (if sleep is what it is called…the drunk in me doesn’t allow the body to rest). My stress is so bad I requested-and got Xanax to keep me calm during the flight.

Yesterday my binge needs called for me to stop at the bar. Our town only has one-everyone one knows everyone,we’ve known each other for years long enough to love each other and hate each other and forget and return to love again. I can’t tell you all of the range of topics that have crossed the counter of the bar over all these years. Yesterdays was one that I wish could have not have been.

One of the guys is a former sailor. He heard I was going to Hawaii and commented (like the guy a few weeks ago at the laundry) that I must have been there when I did my tour in Viet Nam. It is the second time I’ve told this man I never made it to Viet Nam. Then he asked me if I ever crossed the Equater. I told him no and that I’d only been to Cuba. Then he told of the ritual sailors go through when they cross the Equater for the first time. He even said there was a name for the sailors that never have…kind of a derogatory term-and those that have get a title that gives them a rise above the newby’s.

I tried to push it out of my head. I drank my beer and left the place and as I drove home I started to cry. The memory that I do not have is the memory this man has.

The morning I was raped the officer that heard of it said to “get used to it”…over years some have said “get over it”…and then there is the word “closure”.  Listening to that man telling of his hazing as his battleship crossed the Equater made me wish I could be telling the story-the grin on his face as he spoke of the memory,I knew he was happy and that he had loved every moment of it. And I felt that always present sense of guilt that I did not serve the way this man served.It hurt so bad that I go back and wonder…how can I ever get used to it? How can I get over it?

I do know this-I cannot keep writing about this forever. My life-my parts that describe the personal hurt and all that I could say to show how rape is a crime of huge damages to ones soul.. So I have to bring this to closure and start anew with the work that is at hand for other MST survivors. I’ve told my story here-this now being perhaps the last page.

I need to move on and work seriously to advocate for change for the countless many other survivors of Military Sexual Trauma (MST). If you are reading this for the first time-all of these pages are the account of a male survivor. I’ve written about all the challenges that I lived through-I hope you can  find some relationship to what I am saying and hope you too can a voice and way to try to heal…I’m not sure truthfully if we will ever heal. But-I believe we can gain strength.

I will start a new blog when I return from Hawaii.

This new blog will be about all survivors and will be dedicated to fighting for changes in how the Veterans Adinistration handles the claims process for MST survivors. I will try to channel as much info to help any survivor prove their case and recieve help from the VA. I want to see changes in whom MST survivors are required to report to to file any claims. I want to help educate-as I learn,and help you find help and a voice.

I know the experience of standing at the USS Arizona Memorial will be one of the greatest highlights of my life. As a little boy those men were my hero’s and I find it a Great God that can provide me with such a journey to such a place just to teach me my life….and thier lives…and that I must learn to be content.

I will write once again soon to notify how to find the new blog.

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One Response to “closure”

  1. Kira Mountjoy-Pepka Says:

    This is an amazing post. I miss you, I hope you got back safely from Hawaii. Send me an email when you’re ready. Much love and respect — Kira

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