the veterans…

Sir in WW 1

Originally uploaded by jayfherron

I had no idea what was going to happen when I began writing this blog some years back-I have lost touch with how many now…3 maybe 4 years?

I began writing to release anger! The anger came from years of silence (yes-we are the ‘silent wounded’…silent!) about the incidents that changed my course of life in a detention barracks in 1969-70.

Detention barracks? Why…I must have been a trouble maker,or some such-to be locked in a detention barracks! Never assume-unless you really know….I had done nothing wrong!

I was raped-not even hours into the detention…I became permanently damaged!

I lived with the damage-eventually becoming a drinker and finding drugs to erase the pain…like that magic ink that disappears and then re-appears,the drugs worked only part-time! Every morning-just like this morning I wake to the memory of what my life was like in barracks D. Often-I try to enter a peaceful sleep tossing and turning with trouble finding the peace.

The anger I built up had finally found a sorer spot when a Florida DVA officer tried to consider he story I had told him about my military life-and the two months I spent enduring repeated assaults-some consider ‘sexual assaults’….but sexual was far from the reality!

The DVA guy spoke with such confidence in is words…”gee,you never think homosexuals have a need to rape each other”! He was serious…I was offended-he could not understand why I did not get his statement!

It was weeks later,actually,that got my anger to the breaking point-the DVA man and his two office staff had found a reason to make more jokes…jokes about homosexuality which had NO bearing on my complaint-or about what had happened. I was beaten up-raped by (I am fairly certain) 3 men incarcerated in the same barracks. One of those men became my ‘owner’…so to speak-he leading about each day as if I was on a leash. Instead-I was being led around with my arm twisted behind my back. I feel like vomiting each time the memory of what I was forced to do comes into my head. Those memories return all of the time!

I had no idea then-when I bought this computer so I could write out my frustrations and anger…I had no idea how many would contact me through the comment section of this forum-and say…”this happened to me too” !

Some time ago-again,I have lost track…I wrote about an ROTC officer in Sarasota Florida who was arrested for indecent activity with one of the high school students he was in charge of instruction drill to. Indecent being the softest word…he was found guilty of sexual battery on a minor!

I wrote about this crime because the question came to my mind…who takes care of these students? My research on this man led me to information about other ROTC officers who found it  an open field of candidates for molestation I might as well say rape! The numbers were staggering!

My curiosity went into a short study of this-who takes care of these students? My question is-do these kids not suffer from MST related PTSD? They must! And…who takes the responsiblity to treat them? to assume the role of health care when dealing with the mental health issues we veterans from active duty-who have been raped…who cares? NOT the Veterans Administration-I can tell you that!

ROTC students are not enlisted military-no active duty….no protection from the Veterans Administration what so ever! No chance to file a claim for PTSD-no chance of mental health care…nothing from the VA at all !

An interesting comment came to me a few days ago! One of my readers recognized the name of the ROTC officer in Sarasota as the same man who raped him while the officer was serving in active duty military and my reader was one of his troops. A part of this I had not considered….but,yes-it makes sense that these men (ROTC guilty of assault) would have the same control over his charges while in active duty-what would stop them from being a perpetrator then?

It is beginning to get crowded in this MST-PTSD group of survivors! Last month it was published that the Department of Defense has admitted that ‘military sexual trauma’ cases are up 11%…and that is only based on numbers of those who came forward and reported them. There is an assumed number of those who have not! I find it interesting that not more publications are picking up the story and printing articles of their own…are we embarrassed by these numbers? It seems not. Too often I speak to someone regarding MST-and the comments are the same….”no,really” ? “I never heard of such a thing”! Yes….really!

It is such a twisted tale! Twisted because those of us who survive this ( survive being such a strange word to describe this life with PTSD) know the truth of what has inflicted our lives-yet,we are having to fight for our very rights to health care and some kind of justice….yet-we are un-believed! Unheard….and to most of our country-unknown to even exist.

As MST veterans we must embrace these young brothers and sisters of the ROTC Corps and stand up for their rights too!

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2 Responses to “the veterans…”

  1. enemyinthewire Says:

    It never ceases to amaze me how these things can be completely ignored by the media. You would think that this would be making headline news, especially since “the club” is always growing.

    It would make sense that perhaps the Federal Government would REALLY want to look into these things…at least from a monetary perspective. If the military actually DID something about these criminals and started prosecuting the perpetrators instead of persecuting the victims…Maybe we could be the last ones to join the roll call in this PTSD/MST club!


    • jayherron Says:

      The Federal Government is doing nothing but turning its back while the military continues to push MST under the carpet-and out of view! When I was a teen-during the Viet Nam war-we had daily views of the returning dead to give the public a moment to pay respect to those killed in the conflict….todays war-we are not! Those who chose to hide that from the citizens also works to keep the survivors hidden too-ALL survivors-ALL veterans…the homeless, the maimed…and those like us! Those (the government) who chose to hide these things are’nt about to turn around and expose them…that is our jobs-We the People! Because the returning casualties of war are hidden from view does not mean they are not dead!

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