it ain’t just me!

I try to insert a photo but my limited computer skills seemed to have even become worse-they refused to communicate…so just imagine something!!

The week has been busy!

The news in has been quite open about military sexual trauma and the fact in two days time two commanding officers of US Navy ships have been ‘fired’ for sexual misconduct!

The CO of Gunstan Hall (an amphibious ship) Cmdr.F.Wilhelm along with Cmdr.K.Rafferty and the command Master Chief reportedly have received NON-JUDICIAL punishment for not reporting and even participating in sexual harassment and (?) ‘simple assault. They forfeit one months pay! Another Gunstan Hall officer,Lt.J.Randolph has been sentenced to two years in jail for having sex with a 19-year-old in his command in his stateroom. There is no mention if this was consensual sex.

And Captain D.Schnell,CO of the USS Pelelieu,has ben ‘fired’ after investigators found inappropriate improper behaviour towards several crew members.

To date the Navy states 7 ships CO’s have been ‘fired’ this year for inappropriate improper behavior!

It is not just the Navy-nor is it the Army,or Air Force or Marines or the Coast Guard. It is larger than we all will understand.

Although the ‘simple assaults’ were not exactly defined-the part about being ‘fired’ is a bit curious as to how are they (the Department of Defense) really handling these crimes? Surely it is different from in civilian standards-sexual crimes warrant more than just being fired in civilian life!

Sexual crimes are not simple! Sexual trauma places a permanent injury in the soul of the victim. What might be considered a ‘simple’ touch may very well harm the touched! I cannot define simple assault,I just know that if an investigation saw that simple assault was serious enough it went to the lengths of firing the top man in leadership aboard a Navy ship…that ain’t that simple! Seven CO’s in this year alone? That is almost one each month.

The Gunstan Hall sounds more serious. Three high-ranking men ‘fired’ and one more  jailed? This is more than ‘simple assault’. This sounds like a very serious problem.

It does open up eyes! It does say-this is happening,MST is a fact! It does say…this is an issue that cannot be ignored any further!

Please don’t misunderstand me…sexual trauma is a sore in all social levels of life,it is not singular to the military. It is interesting to look at power! For one…sexual assault is about power! Control! But there is some kind of difference in that the enlisted military are separated by the officer and it is clearly understood what level your are in the social structure and you realize the power of the Commanding Officer and in the training to respect that power (realise that in the military speaking against the President is a punishable offense-power!) is to be respected and feared all at once.

I am not saying that being an officer in the military automatically makes the possibility of sexual trauma much easier to commit…I am saying that an 18-year-old kid is more vulnerable to assault and easier prey-for anyone,but just as much while fresh into military service and trained in boot camp that you are a peon.

 A deviant can dress in any uniform.

Democratic candidate for United States Senate Alvin Greene in South Carolina has been accused of showing pornography to a student at the University of South Carolina and was trying to coax her to her room in the dormitory. The article says he had been using an old dorm ID card to access the building and had been reported to the police before-and was told not to come there.

The former Congressman Mark Foley from the State of Florida…sending sexually obscene emails to pages in the US Capital.

These are positions in life we are raised and taught to respect and know the power of these jobs.

I have sons in uniform! I practically insisted they join the Navy. My oldest is nearing retirement. My youngest son has never been out of uniform either. Since age 18 he has worn four types,Navy,Army,Sheriffs deputy and the Coast Guard,these two are current. A young man I raised took my advice and enlisted-on his second tour of duty,his second enlistment. I raised my sons to know the real honor of military service. My sons grew up watching me weep at nights about the shame of my own military service. My oldest tells me he enlisted because of those nights hearing me-he says he did it for me!

  I tried to teach my sons that the military is an honorable duty to volunteer for. I know there are other families that carry the same value. Despite my own short-lived time and the tragic part that mis-shaped my life,I respect military men and woman everywhere. I am just saddened that it takes leadership and makes it look like nothing when officers like those on the Gunstan Hall commit the acts they were ‘fired’ for. And what is troubling forfeiture of a months pay! Is that the cost? The damage to the moral of the entire ship,the slack in true leadership,and the harm to the sailors victimized,most likely silent because of the instilled respect and fear of ones superior officer. It also extends into the community the military is in place to protect. When you take a ship and taint it with disrespect towards your crew in such a low way as to sexually harrass,it goes home! If you think of a small town collected in a vessel like a ship-it would not only be investigators knowing what was going on.Every bit of the ships population hears. The word passes-letters get written home. Being fired does not sound like much. The damage is bigger than that.

I am pleased that this is being reported-honestly! It does show some effort to admit…this has happened. A little at a time we are going to learn that MST is a valid serious problem. We need to learn-those who have experienced military sexual trauma as a victim are more injured than the respect shown to them proves. We suffer!


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2 Responses to “it ain’t just me!”

  1. joan Says:

    Jay –

    No, it’s not just you. Check out this article that I found today.

    The things that the “military spokespeople” say are disgusting and nearly made me throw up my breakfast!


    • jayherron Says:

      Yes-I read this article a few years back,found it doing research,and also read an article about a sailor (his name escapes me) written in the Boston Herald. He had been assaulted and raped,phoned his father-his father told him to report it,and the scrap hit the fan! He was arrested because he punched and fought,he accepted a dishonorable discharge…and lost all right to benefits or disability. His perp was a higher rank-lost nothing. Rights are what we need to fight for-his,and the countless others who signed papers out of fear and now regret. This entire wording and concept of sexual trauma needs to be re-thought,sexual needs to be removed-trauma needs to be emphisised! Thanks for your comment!

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