barracks D drawing


barracks D drawing
Originally uploaded by jayfherron

 

This is not easy to do. Trying to relate everything from the past 40 years into just a page of words-the right words….and,to tell the things on your mind in just a few hours of just a few days-to relate the pain and describe the losses or explain the fears. No-none of it is easy.

 

I used to leave the visits with my former therapist (Charlotte-at the VA)
and would feel like I was walking through mud about waist deep.The feeling came from the exhaustion from the work of telling my story…to the first person who ever wanted to listen. You have to understand carrying over 35 years of personal torment by yourself-to finally release it was the work and the results have been difficult but there.

 

I am tired like that today-I spent the past Tuesday and Wednesday telling my story again, being recorded and filmed, and learning some had not been recorded, so…telling my story again,being recorded and filmed. Today is Friday and my body is feeling better. Yesterday I could hardly move. Today I still feel worn-but I also feel power in what has just happened this past week.

 

I have never found trust in anybody in my life until I met Charlotte B. (my VA therapist) I know it took a while at first but the way she remembered such odd details about what I had began telling her showed me this was someone who cared-for real cared!

 

All of that has been broken somehow-as if it is a must in the usual way my life goes. An odd thing is as is all of the ways the road turns is-while visiting my Navy son in Pearl Harbor I learned of a woman who was doing an article for National Geographic. Her topic was ‘military sexual trauma’ and how it effected woman veterans who have been traumatized. I telephoned her and asked “why just woman”?

 

Unfortunantly…the artcle went along the wayside because the magazine lost interest-but the journalist did not. She and her photographer friend have continued the project out of pocket…and out of pocket they traveled here to Florida and now I must say how proud I am to know these two ladies.

 

They came here and listened. They came here because they know wrong is being done and silence is there because so many are afraid to come forward.

 

I was raped in a detention barracks-and no one cared. I lived for 30 some odd years before anyone did. Feeling good about this person believing me I followed the suggestion that I deserve veterans disability for PTSD due to MST (military sexual trauma). Reporting the circumstances to the DVA (Division of Veterans Affairs) officer in my home county I was responded to with comments of bigotry and ignorance. I felt violated again-and by now knowing I am not the only veteran this has happened to…I began writing about my life as a veteran who has felt no honor and about the life I have had. Good or bad. It has not been all that good,but there are places!

 

I also began writing to anyone who could help make a change. I cannot tell you the feeling the body and soul of a rape survivor has-the shame and guilt that should not even be there-but is. And the filth…it is always there in memory. I wrote Congressman and woman-and Senators. To the best of my ability to find contact information. Some responded-Congresswoman Ginnie Brown-Waite was going to meet me and talk about changes for veterans rights…veterans of MST. She does not have a seat on the veterans committee any more-as it was conveyed by her office to me. Veterans civil rights are being covered up and a US Congresswoman says it is no longer her job?

 

I wrote Senator Bill Nelson from Florida. His Chief of Staff contacted me-we exchanged telephone calls a few times and a few emails…and then a few emails he had not responded to. And…no more contact with Senator Bill Nelson.

 

Two woman hear a persons story one day. That persons story was about MST and that persons account of how life living with the troubles PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) that make the lives of us survivors miserable. I am in awe as to how that has become a personal project of these two-to me they are heros. Our Congress are elected to serve us. Our Senate is elected to serve us. MST survivors are not a ‘big interest’. We offer no cash return. We are not deserving of a parade or any recoginition…in fact-I think they’d rather us go away-we are not the returning troops they want to laude and salute. We are wounded-but expected to stay silent. We have not had service from these elected Congress persons and Senators like the service we VOLUNTEERED to do!…and to do for our country.

 

I ramble when I am tired. I am tired today-but this wave of fatigue is so worth it. The story of MILITARY SEXUAL TRAUMA must be told-the problems that come with it must be exposed…and all of it must be changed. It is wrong for a young man to grow up in a foreign country and all of his life to desire to be an American…he grows up and enlists in the US Marines-there the prejudice of others led to the attacks that changed his life. A young man giving of himself for countryman of a country not yet his because he hopes to earn his citizenship in exchange for volunteering to defend the country he wants so much to be a citizen of. And this is what he earns? I weep thinking of this mans story-it breaks my heart so.

 

I too wanted to serve. My draft card was returned the day I volunteered to enter the United States Navy…I wanted to do my duty and once in the Navy-I wanted to be there forever. Another form of prejudice ended that…a form of jealousy-perhaps it could be called brotherly hate. I never will be sure. Months after my enlistment I was discharged with an ‘honorable discharge’…except I’ve never felt any honor.

 

I am very thankful for these two ladies…Lynn and Ann. They weren’t elected-no one hired them….they just heard one story of MST and from that one story came a seed-and that seed is growing into a vine that is soon going to grow into a tree-a solid solid hunk of timber,un-moveable-unable to ignore. The wind going through the leaves of this tree will be the voices of survivors and they will not be unheard-I know this.

 

I just have one last thing to say-I want to remember the lost on the USS IOWA and how the US Navy tried to cover up and twist truth to blame one man-one sailor who loved the Navy and was dishonored by them(the Navy claimed falsely that the sailor was ‘homosexual’ and detonated a bomb to seek revenge for a jilted love-ALL FALSE)…. 47 men died at the fault of poorly maintained equipment.If they can try to cover up this…you know they will do it elsewhere!

The Navy acknowledged the explosion was an accident due to faulty equipment-but they NEVER apologized for falsely accussing the young sailor-he died in the explosion too.

 

 

Tags: , , , ,

5 Responses to “barracks D drawing”

  1. She Was Asking For It Says:

    I am so sorry for you. It takes a lot of courage to speak out about this, but I am glad you did. You definitely prove the adage of “she was raped because she was ASKING for it” to be a fallacy. I’ve been there, but I am a woman and the sisterhood of rape victims is large and supportive; I think your blog does a wonderful service, people need to know that it is not only a crime against women and that it has NOT a THING to do with sex or what you were or were not wearing, but a crime of power and sickness.

    • jayherron Says:

      Thank you for saying that-somehow society has managed to sexualize rape and molestation of ones body. We might look at the ‘clergy’ abuse and be able to see…but still our actual vision is blocked-heads are still stuck in the sand! Bless you!

  2. Jonathan David Says:

    I was raped in a wood when I was a young child by strangers. I do not think about it much but sometimes a sound, a noise or even a smell can bring flash back memories. It happened forty-two years ago, I avoid going to that part of town or being in woodland areas. I have never told anyone – not even my wife or best male buddy. Sometimes it makes me feel very lonely and isolated. I try to keep going and not to think about it too much.

    • jayherron Says:

      I hear you! I am set off by entering restrooms or any building with many people inside. Crowds! The keeping of your story from others is very easy for me to understand. I do want to say-I have learned from writing my life out for any to see has built up a strength not expected-hearing from those like you and myself-hurt silent victims-has truly lifted me up from knowing I am helping others. Something I had not expected! Open a blog of your own? Do it anonymously,no one will know you-and vent the poison of your past,and will help! peace,my brother…check in anytime!

  3. mysticcherokee Says:

    Wow, Im so very sorry to hear of your horrifying baggage.Please dont let it rent anymore space i your head, than is absolutely unavoidable! And, I promise to trey and do the same. Yes, me too.
    Im rather concerned as today Senator Nelson responded to my Email, asking for help. That Office needs a release of Information signed, or something of that sort. I printed it out, signed and faxed back.It Cause for concern, yes indeed.
    GOOD LUCK on your journey, and I hope that it holds more good than bad at this jecture for you. THERE HAS TO COME A POINT WHERE THIS TRANSPIRES, more good than bad, after so very much bad, for so very long. Please, dont ever give up!

    Hugs!,
    Mystic

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: