Archive for April, 2010

this I will believe in…

April 29, 2010

American flags
Originally uploaded by jayfherron


The telephone call I received the other night said I am scheduled to meet two Senators on Tuesday May 11,2010.

I will believe it when it actually happens-I am as sceptic as anyone else and all ready to face reality…but,I want to believe-finally…for once,that our elected officials really care!

My caller-also an MST survivor-has been working hard to enact legislation to protect ROTC recruits and help earn rights for the students to be covered with VA care. My caller was raped by his drill instructor in the Army-the drill instructor went on to become an ROTC instructor who raped a young male ROTC student in Florida,and is now serving a 12 year prison sentence. My caller has records to identify  more victims-he hopes to have Federal charges brought against his assailant.

The work this young man has done led him to me! Our conversations have been emotional almost every time we speak. He is the age of my own sons-yet we have a separate kind of relationship than I would with a young man that age-somehow,being a rape survivor does something to ones self-esteem,and we mark a different kind of personality!

My young friend has persevered in his work to find justice-and help for the many unknown ROTC students that have been traumatized by superiors. His work has paid off…we have appointments with two Senators (Specter and Lieberman) face to face!

I can toss my sign idea…there are also some other plans in the works! One being that we are going to request to speak to the committee on Armed Forces. Another that we use our spot on the agenda to walk the halls of the Senate offices to visit each office and lobby for MST VETERANS RIGHTS!

Do you know what is missing? You are!

If you are reading this-you have come here from some reason! I hope the reason is for hope-for healing-for strength from another survivor. It might be that you have something you want to say-you DO have something to say!! And like I have been all of my life since my attacks-afraid to speak out!

Allow me to present your words-your pain and your tribulations as an MST survivor to these Sentors…write me-and let me hand carry your statements to those who should and must hear us. Tell them in your own words your pain and the difficulties you have-especially explain the  truth about your lives as the SILENT WOUNDED!

My name is Jay Herron…I am a MALE survivor of ‘military sexual trauma am a male rape survivor! I know the pain-and the losses in life after-and the mental health pain resulting in drugs and alcohol and the physical pain of anxiety and loss of self-esteem. I know what it is like living in a stigmatized world that has no understanding…still thinking sexual trauma is something not so bad-after all…it was sexual?? I know what I have lost-and I know you are suffering too!

Help me-!! Allow me to carry your message to these men-let us try to trust…the most precious thing stolen from us the day we were raped! Let us try to mend it-trust…let us try to trust!

My name is Jay Herron and I AM a survivor!  Write me a letter to carry to these men of power-speak your voice…SPEAK!!

MST survivors-front and center

April 25, 2010

American flags
Originally uploaded by jayfherron


May 10-11,2010 may not be the exact venue to stand up for MST survivors! That will not matter-what will matter is-there will be a voice! I will be there in Washington DC to stand up for all survivors!

If I can carry your message to Congress:

MST /9950 NE 132 Terrace/Williston FL 32696



Even if a lone banner stood out-a garden begins with one seed!

I know I am not alone-and I know there are many,who like me,thought that they were the only one. I still can’t imagine it at all to where it could make any sense. I lived for 35 years before any attention came to the fact that I was raped while in the US Military. I had reported the rape the day it happened-but because my attack happened in a detention barracks it was shrugged off. I kept it to myself since.

Detention barracks? Yes…I was trying to get home for a holiday and was caught in a snow storm. I was unable to get back to ship for roll call,my bus was stuck at a terminal. That was my crime!

My post traumatic disorder of a life came to the care of a therapist at the VA hospital in nearby Gainesville,Florida. During that care I was told that I should find a sense of validation and appeal for disability benefits.

I reported my case to a Veterans Service Officer ( VSO ) in my home county (as is the way the process is to run in order) explaining to a man I had never seen before in my life-someone who is to be trusted as my advocate-how it was that I was raped and repeatedly abused for nearly two months.

The VSO nodded his head in disbelief-his comment after hearing my story was: “Gee…you’d never think homosexuals have a need to rape each other”! and he seemed to think this was something that only black men do – to rape young whites in a detention center. My attackers were white men.

I am angry at the ignorance of this man-his comments made the crime of rape sound like a sexual encounter…one I must have enjoyed-although it did not seem so at the time. Rape is not a sexual encounter. Rape is not anything of any kind of pleasure. Explain where getting socked with closed fists is pleasure-or having someone wrestle your legs with force…pleasure?

This kind of ignorance is everywhere-the way the appeal procedure is organized for the veteran to appeal for disability benefits. The veteran must apply for his or her claim in most cases an office staffed by those experienced in combat related or natural related injury. In most cases-there is no training regarding the sensitive issue of rape…no one wants to accept that it happened anyway!

The appeal process is carried to the Veterans Administration by the VFW or AMVets…again,someone who has no experience dealing with the sensitive issues of rape! The veteran is required to be sponsored by one of these organizations…perhaps the greatest for legitimate veterans-but those like me do not share that same honor. I’ve never felt right about any of my military service since the rapes-my life completely changed forever. I had begun my Navy life with the desire for a career-those dreams were shattered.

I am going to Washington DC! Whatever it is I have to do to draw attention to the poster I will carry-I will do. My poster will be the banner…


The lobbying events scheduled for May 10-11 are centered around ‘Don’t Ask-Don’t Tell’…I am going there despite that our issue is not company with that-I AM going because our issue is one of grave consequences on the effects of the suffering of an MST veteran.

We NEED to raise awareness…I will attend these two days in Washington DC to stand up for MST survivors!

If you have a message to Congress regarding MST and the Veterans Administration’s treatment of MST veterans-the disability claim process…a statement about MILITARY SEXUAL TRAUMA that you want hand delivered-send it to me and I WILL deliver!


…goin to the city-Washington DC

April 20, 2010

Originally uploaded by jayfherron


Before I write this:

For those who have only just stumbled by finding my journal by accident….I am Jay Herron-a 59-year-old male (MALE) survivor of  rape.

 My attacks occurred while serving in the United States military-being so, qualifies me for a distinct kind of definition for rape…it is known as ‘military sexual trauma’…MST!

Several years ago-the time which can be dated by the date I first set up a computer in my home-the date I first started writing about my life as a survivor….the date I was offended by the remarks of a Veterans Service Officer-a VSO! The date that proved that there is an ignorance about ‘sexual trauma’ being related to something that just ain’t that bad! After all…sex was involved?? Right? Come on chum…am I right??

The interview I had the first time I ever met a VSO was responded to with humor and bigotry…the humor was self serving-the VSO saw it odd that homosexuals needed a reason to rape each other…and the VSO was clearly shocked to hear my rapist(s) were not black men. To him it just had to be!

I should have quit then.

A month or so later….the date that I started writing about the injustice of being an MST survivor….I returned to the VSO and more remarks (and again-the self-serving humor) about my being a male rape victim had more to do with homosexual behavior than it did with my being beaten up and forced to be victimized-repeatedly for nearly two months!

I’ve begun to realize since beginning this journal that I am not a lone survivor….there are thousands of MST veterans-many of them are silent and hidden away by the fears resulting from being a victim-and the fears that are energized by PTSD. I know these people-the MST veteran as ‘silent wounded’.

The SILENT WOUNDED came forward when duty called-like any soldier or sailor-came forward to protect and serve and the defend the rights and freedoms of this country-the United States of America! Our wounds came in an unreasonable way…a shameful way-not in battle as a final result of courage-with honor,not in a way that earns us the respect of any other veteran…or the country we stepped forward to defend. We are the SILENT WOUNDED!

I know this. I lived in silence for a great part of my adult life because of the stigma and shame connected with rape. No one wanted to know…no one ever asked! My injuries came at a time that I was considered a disgrace to my family…they never knew why I became the way I have, broken.

So you are out there too! You are mustered up in a line of veterans that live in silence-most likely not feeling any honor in your military service…injured and not able to speak out about it-how you came to be a member of the ‘SILENT WOUNDED’!

My name is Jay Herron! I am sick that there are no voices loud enough to hear your plea for justice-and civil rights!

I AM going to Washington DC. I AM going to attend the national rally at the Capital of the United States…and-I AM going to carry the voices of other survivors…that is,if those silent are tired of keeping quiet-and want justice and equal rights,will respond to me and allow me to carry their message!

I am Jay Herron. I AM an MST survivor! I AM going to Washington DC! Write to me and allow me to be your messenger:  and I will print a copy to hand deliver- or…

9950 NE 132 Terrace-Williston FL 32696

(address it to SILENT WOUNDED and I will deliver your hand sealed envelope UN-opened) AND-will only place them in the hands of a Senator or Congress person ONLY!

Tell your story in however you can find the words and I promise you I will respect your pages and your words with all of my heart and I will hand deliver them to what ever Senator will accept them.

I AM attending the May 11,2010 Don’t ask,Don’t tell (DADT) rally in Washington DC…I have been told that there are people who want to hear our story! I have ben told I will meet a Senator that IS willing to listen and hear the words of the SILENT WOUNDED.

I am not concerned with who needs to ask and who needs to tell-my mission is not to appeal for anything more than for the equal rights of MST survivors! We need a freedom to be able to come forward and receive that which we first enlisted to defend-our rights,and the rights of others!

Help me tell your story-allow me the trust to be your voice.



April 18, 2010

American flags

Originally uploaded by jayfherron

Every time I visit my friend he points to the letter of commendation from President Richard M.Nixon….my friends gravely voice speaks his request each time I come through the door…”hey,read my commendation for valor”!! “The President of the United States gave it to me himself”!

I’ve seen it and read it more times than I can count.

I can’t reveal too much about my friend-he wouldn’t like it that I mentioned him here-more because of pride than embarrassed to be mention on the same page as a MST (military sexual trauma) survivor.

I look more at my friends wounds-more obvious than mine,more in the open in view,more legitimate…if wounds from battle can be thought of as such. A great part of his right  leg is gone-a gash the size of a football sinks into his thigh-a part of the foot amputated by the force of the blast of the landmine. A decorated Purple Heart recipient who continued to serve for 30 years. I look at his citation, reading the information of how his platoon stayed on the battle for a rotten turf of ground. Addicted to morphine to ease the pain of nearly 50 surgeries and the bulk of other pain meds to carry him through each day is enough to stun a cow-my friend fairly much sits in his small room and chain smokes non-filters.

I can’t say his is the life I would want to live. His confinement is similar to mine-although I have more open air freedom living in these woods. His space is a three bedroom house in a gated community-a sign in the yards proclaiming the months best yard award. The yards a mere strip of lawn front and back…my place one could ride a motor cross bike from each end-fast! And…there are the pain drugs-his pain so intense that the usual recommended dosages are not even printed on the label,just take as needed!

He told me some about the blast-he lay waiting for help for almost 28 hours before any came.

I have only mentioned my military service-and barracks D once to him. He asked-I told him,he responded with silence…I think the usual disbelief was behind his quiet response.

I feel ashamed when in his room. I can and do go freely day by day. I wake early before dawn to enjoy the birth of each morning-my friend can hardly get up before noon because of the med’s keeping him going all night through. He drives a nice car-one for a great road trip,one any would envy. It sits most days-unless he has a visit to the VA.

I feel ashamed every time I enter the VA Hospital. The obvious-the veterans,all the time the Viet Nam vets are adorned with something to identify their time of service to the United States-jackets with emblems of duty,caps with flags and embroidered with the divisions they served with. I can’t ever wear one of those caps because I did not earn the right.

I think I visit with my veteran friend because he accepts me and hasn’t judged me as a failure who let his brothers in service down. My friend seems more concerned that I keep beating him at darts more than my own military service. It is me that has the hard time-in awe each time I read the words President Nixon signed to my friend…saying he is a hero.

the loneliness of Zim Radner

April 11, 2010


Originally uploaded by jayfherron

I have written about Zim Radner before. Through Chet Zim still lives-except…Chet is just someone inside of me-no where else!

Zim Radner,I believe, is dead-and somehow his messages are relayed through Chet…Chet Gorsky!

How I ended up with two Polish Jews as my alter ego’s I have no clue.

I have never heard the voice of Zim-only Chet’s sounds out from inside of me…an awful New Jersey accent. I can’t imitate it here-I can’t imitate it intentionally…but just about every morning the advice from Zim comes through Chet and I mumble it out-and most always heed it!

Lately these two have been stifled! Chet has found some opportunity to mumble-but the exact words are not there-no advice…just a strange silence like that one would find in a waiting room full of strangers.

Okay….it sounds like I am crazy (and perhaps this would be more fun if I were) and actually thought so myself. I learned a few years ago that these voices are a part of disassociated behavior-someone (a therapist) told me I have several personalities going on inside of  me-and these two work to protect!

Funny thing-I knew Chet Gorsky in real life-we worked together back in the 70’s, only briefly but I seem to retain his way of giving advice…and somehow that advice comes from Zim. Crazy mixed up world.

Did you ever see the movie ‘The Shining’? That part with the little boy that rides hs tricycle around this giant hotel-he see’s a ghost…okay,so it ain’t all like that in the movie-but the thing that I am building up here is the little boy using his finger as the figure-and through the little boys mouth he says over and over “redrum…redrum…redrum” on and on like that! All that said just to describe th voice of Chet (not saying “redrum”) using that same gravely sound as the Shinings’ little boy! He (Chet) just comes out-usually every morning as my first waking steps are begun.

I have thought about this-for a long time! Chet…and Zim Radner (where that name comes from??) I mean…wondering why-and is this normal? No…fuckin ‘A’  NOT,this is not normal behavior!! But yet-it seems to me that Zim Radner is some subconscious assist to hide the reality of the dreams and of the beginning day….the beginning day meaning-the toilet time. Toilet time is the first awareness reminder of the day-the reminder of barracks D, the reminder of the rapes,the extension of the nightmares-only to continue in the physical reminders….the inventory I have been forced to take everyday! The inventory where I collect every thought and reminder of the first moment entering barracks D when I was welcomed by the faggot human that said “welcome to barracks D…Drugs,Drunks and Degenerates” in a feminine voice coming from a bald-headed man. I never heard anything it until then. I learned later-his name was ‘Pooch’ (because he acted lie a dog when he raped)….he too is part of the nightmares-the living nightmares when I shower and try to clean up (the worse of reminders) and can hear in my voices the words Pooch kept saying in a bizarre instruction to “descoonch our poonch” which should be explained-to keep our asses clean! There was another fellow-but , he was more interested in doing the things that I was being forced to do!

Okay…my rumble of a ramble is not making any sense,but should! I am a sufferer…the haunting of the memories fertilizes my mental health issues-my mental health issues result of post traumatic stress disorder-PTSD.

I am experiencing some health issues lately…well,truly for several years now,mainly my gut! Compounding that-perhaps a reasonable part of it….I am ‘twisted up’ inside. Stress and nerves and a change in pattern (of usual daily life) have affected my waking pattern-my morning ‘moments’…least I say anything else! I have not been able to go to the bathroom properly. I feel sick.

From an artists standpoint-I wish that I could paint the things I ‘see’…see? It seems like shards of broken mirror are doing some kind of visuals-like looking at some kind of kaleidoscope…but far more beautiful-and extremely spooky! Ahhh,but the colors and the patterns-electrical and …well,I cannot describe it. I do wish I could paint them!

I can describe the pain! I feel so nauseous and it feels like my insides need to come out. It used to be only in the mornings but now it begins and lasts most of the days. Anxiety does not help. I feel this huge man is in my gut and stretching his body to try to escape! Is it Zim Radner? Because of his being kept from comment-is it poison? Ha ha…crazy talk!

The pain does not help my mental health issues. I feel depression coming on-that adds to pain with its own painful beating it gives my body. I lay down to nap and try to escape it yesterday…and my son and his family arrived,breaking the depressed feelings,to my surprise, but this pain is not subsiding. As I am writing I can sense the beginning of feeling bad today.          ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Loneliness is a funny place.  Because someone does not understand what you are going through-that can be lonely. Loneliness is not because you are alone…

Maybe I am missing Zim!  Or is it that his job is coming to an end? And I am just not aware?

“daddy’s have daughters”!

April 4, 2010


Originally uploaded by jayfherron

I learned the phrase “daddy’s have daughters” from my father a long time ago! The lesson was so abrupt and firm there will never be a day that I forget it!

I was in high school at the time-and had just returned from after school goofing around. My father was sitting next to the sliding glass door in his easy chair (what we called a recliner then) and I came through the door…”Hello Daddy” was my greeting! It was an error I would never do again.

My father went into a moment of anger when I said that! He ran me up to my bedroom and faced me towards my full length mirror and had me recite “Daddy’s have daughters” over and over until I realized that was so! I never realized then what he meant-I figured out later why he was acting so.

My sister Jo Eileen had passed away some years before-she was age 11…it connected with me later in life what he was saying to me-and why! I live in the south-in Florida,where even grown men talk about their ‘daddy’s’. I hear it so often it never misses to ring back to “Daddy’s have daughters”

I was going to title this post “dieing with daughters”…and kind of joke that it rang rhymes with ‘Dialing for Dollars’ to attempt to make some humor….but it wasn’t going to work with both sounding off in my head at the same time.

Well…sure Jay…this is mixed up!

Well…yes…is this not a crazy mixed up world?

Well…can anyone tell me how to explain this?

I have no idea how to start myself-I had always thought that my life was some sort of complicated mucky muck…I must have been on track with that notion! This is so confusing that I am trying a transcendental look at myself from the sidelines-seeing if I can put some of this together….no,still dazed and confused!

In spirit , I have a daughter! In life-I have a daughter! I have known about her since the day 28 years ago when her mother came to me and told me…”we are pregnant!”  Hmm,her idea to convince her husband that he was the father seemed a good idea at the time. That is…until she was killed in an automobile accident-and by that time the “father” had declined in life to become an aluminum can collector to support his alcoholic lifestyle,which by this point had made him homeless,dirty and what some may call a bum!

I tried to find out anything I could about Brandi,but my community of friends back in 1990 could offer me nothing except limited clues. I mostly wanted to know she was safe-and not in a foster care,or worse. I learned enough that she was with a grandmother. Nothing more!


A few years ago I began to mis-trust the Veterans Administration Hospital where my medical treatment (or…??) had been under their care. My post-traumatic stress disability had suffered from the blow of losing the only real caretaker I ever had-my MST therapist…sending me into limbo as far as my medical care was concerned-I refused to be seen at the VA ever again. An acquaintance had helped me set up a doctor at a United Way clinic. That doctor told me I was in the final stages of liver disease….this diagnosis was two years ago-but his suggestion then was to get my ‘life in order’ (why would it be phrased that way if I am going to die?). I did as he suggested-enlisting the confidence of a friend who is also a funeral director! We have a plan…funeral homes call it the ‘pre-plan’!

I have not died yet! But….dang do I feel like it just about every morning! My gut rages with pain-deep  long pain,and along to assure I feel like shit-nausea so bad that I feel every part of my innards is planning to come right through my mouth….in other words-I feel like I am going to puke almost every standing moment. I just want to die!


     I have only had these past two-or is it three,weeks of being around Brandi. Those visits short-just afternoons and sporadic because of her schedule. We drove over to Orange Hill Cemetery last week-end to visit the grave of her fiance,the young man died from injuries received in an auto accident. She and I sat on the bench and I listened with joy about her telling me how they became engaged-joy being that finally I was hearing a voice I longed for so many years to hear-it did not matter what the topic was,I just wanted that connection!

I have to take short breaks…the condition I described earlier comes and goes-but when it comes it just stops me,the pain and nausea-it lasts and last.

Yesterday I asked Brandi if we could get away for dinner somewhere. I wanted to spend more time alone with her…and also worry about her having a proper diet. We went out to the truck stop-being we live in such a rural place…the truck stop is about as high a caliber restaurant you will find.

Beginning our ride she explained that she suffered from migraine headaches-my mother once suffered the same…Brandi explained she had brought along some plastic bags-in case she needed to vomit,the headaches caused that. The restaurant was crowded-she also explained that crowds caused her stress…crowds cause me stress. She explained she suffers from anxiety….I understand anxiety! She said it would be great if we could just get dinner to go….perfect idea-we forgot that it was a holiday weekend-there was folks from everywhere coming in the restaurant,we were glad to be leaving!

We got about halfway home (nothing is close by here-truck stop and home is a 20 some mile ride) and Brandi needed to stop….I never saw anyone throw up like she did.


I don’t know what the answers are. On my gravestone…yes,I have a plot and a stone-all ready for use,and on it is engraved the verse from Isaiah about the weak who wait upon the Lord will mount up with wings as eagles-the verse about God,and that we as men have no understanding what it is God is thinking.  As Brandi was vomiting I was thinking about this…why? Why is it? What is this? Why are we just finding each other now-why was this amazing love that has finally come to the point we have spoken…why was this now? What is it God?

I asked Brandi if something was wrong (duh…yes Jay,this girl is throwing up all her guts-something has to be wrong) and she asked if I meant if she was pregnant (she said no,she is not pregnant)-I meant more than that…wondering why that she had known now for several years that my thoughts had always been she was my daughter and I was Daddy! Why now was it that she wanted to know…was she sick too? Are we sick the same? Indeed-our talks also found we both suffer nausea-and great pain in our guts,but….our DNA does not match-so? What is this?

I asked her if she was sick….she responded with that she did not think so,but-that she had no medical care,and had no real idea .

So….so,we live in this crazy mixed up world! Daddy’s have daughters! I have a daughter! I love her…her name is Brandi-she is a beautiful sweet creature! I sure am as crazy as this world to figure all of this out…there is no searching His understanding (Gods) and by howdy if He ain’t proved this point one more time (in my life) by saying “Here’s another mystery-lad”!  Isn’t it funny how the word mystery is so close to being…my story??