Archive for December, 2010

41 years

December 31, 2010

self portrait

Originally uploaded by jayfherron

41 years today!

this should interest MST survivors

December 26, 2010

This article and the video is very interesting…especially considering the source of who is reporting it!

March 2011

December 19, 2010


Originally uploaded by jayfherron

The road is going to end at the pier at the Port of Savannah!

I am about to embark on another level of living…or may I say “re-living”?

I had noticed for a long many years that my collecting trinkets and gadgets and toys that each peculiar item has a point of meaning to me. Each piece of my museum of things is directly connected to a place in my past. My Zippo lighters are all from U.S.Navy ships,and next to them on the shelves are toy trucks that represent a truck just like the trucks I drove during my life as a trucker! There is a model car exactly like the first automobile I ever owned…a 1954 Chevy driven most of its life with me without any brakes what so ever! Yes…it was possible then.

I was told one time by a therapist that there is a little boy stuck in me. I was stunted in living from the incidents in barracks D where I have taken that as a refuge,being like a boy. The things that I collect are like places of refuge to me because the memory of them represents are more positive than the memory of my 18th year when I was lost at the crossroad of becoming a man and being a boy.

For those just finding this journal I am male rape survivor. I was assaulted while serving in the Navy.

I enlisted in the Navy at age 17,having to serve in a reserve program until my 18th birthday. I was both nervous and excited the day I left home to be sworn in to defend the Constitution and whisked of to boot camp. I remember that the night before the late movie just happened to be “The D.I.” starring Jack Webb (to the youth….this was way before digital and cable TV)! It was such an appropriate film for the moment and completely a rare moment of perfect timing. I purchased a copy last week on eBay to add to the collection of memories.

The reader needs to read in the pages of this journal to find every detail of that period of my life in 1969-70. As one would read that period of my life has never ended and lingers on as fears and phobias that contribute to dreams that are equivalent to nightmares. People have used the word survivor yet it is hard to see how it could be so.

I began writing this five years ago! I was angry at the Veterans Administrations level of attention to the crime and victims and had to find a way to express the anger! But as I had mentioned several pages back it has come to a place where I have said as much as I can and repeated much of it over and again…that this ‘blog’ is at its closing point. It is not that I am turning away from ‘survivors’ but a matter of that my task involving advocacy for other survivors must go to another level. Change the channel,so to speak.

Adding to my collection of memorabilia is the ship(the same as in the photo). I can’t bring it home,but this Spring it will become my home for 5 weeks. It is a working ship,not a ‘princess’ style ship with buffet madness and the other madness of gambling! No,just a crew of twenty-two and four paying guests. I am one of the four! At last there will be liberty ports in my life! France,Spain,Malta,and Italy are just a few. Not the tourist spots where the big white fancy floating hotels take their hundreds….we will see the real life by coming in the back door.

I was not able to fulfill a life on the sea’s. The USS Vulcan was my only experience on a ship and that was cut short. All of that is written somewhere in back pages of this journal.

I will embark on this adventure with a small laptop. Opinion has it that I should write a book and I believe that is what is in the scope of all this.

The boy who is stuck in me is alive with excitement of the thought of living on this ship! I can not think of any other place where it would make better sense to try to close the door on my past…yet I know not all of the past will be locked on the outside,much will always be there. I am certain that I will not be the first to write about life while out on the high sea’s but I feel the scent of it all will inspire what will be said.

 I have made many friends from writing this. I may never see many of you but know exactly what your pain is about and what your lives have been and I know that I have grown close in my heart to each one of these friends. In reality the reward in all of this has been the richness of knowing that I have things that have helped. My God,it has helped me! The once upon a time ago of thinking that I was alone in this turned into a discovery of that this is bigger than anyone could imagine,and it became something far more greater than money could ever exchange.

It is  an odd thing. I am blessed in many ways….rich not because of money,but from you.

it is hard to explain…

December 13, 2010


Originally uploaded by jayfherron

I know of a verse from the bible that says…there is no searching His understanding,and I can vouch for the fact that appears to be perfectly true because I certainly don’t understand much of any of it and cannot reason why things are the way the are.

Last year nearly exactly this week I bought a small portable electric generator from a guy about my age. The front of his house and lawn was adorned with the US Marine emblem and flags of the colors red and gold.

I can’t say much more.

What happened was I being sold on this generator by a man with a severe limp that proceed in telling me what it was like to be lonely and have no friends.

Somehow he mixed that in with his injury. In close to 45 minutes from the time I pulled in his driveway I learned nearly all of this mans life.

The license plate of his car showed that he been given a Purple Heart from the event in Viet Nam that permanently crippled him.

He had told me about the land-mine and that he was Viet Nam one moment and when he regained his thoughts he was in a military hospital in Germany. His foot was half gone and a large portion of his thigh,yet he has his two legs,and the limp. Even before we started the generator I was shown his stomach area where huge bits of metal from the explosion ripped into him. We went into his kitchen where a letter from President Nixon presented an honor to this vet’s division.

Like I said,this man told of his loneliness and that he had no friends or relatives,only a roommate,and his roommate was not around much. I told him I was available any time he wanted to have some company.

It has only been one year. I have seen and heard so many things in the few infrequent visits we have had. I have literally gotten to a point where I have forgotten the fellow because I attempted to call several times and only an answering machine and no return calls…and then one day the phone would ring and it would be this fellow and an apology and the excuse of not being well and in serious pain,but could I come over and hang out and drink some beers and maybe watch ‘Star Trek’ movies (apparently his favorite kind). These visits have not tallyed into a dozen but last into the night. I do not know why the television is on,we never seem to pay any attention.

A few months ago he called. I suppose it was the last time we got together to watch ‘Star Trek’ sometime in June. It was not the first time he had spoken about his foot. It was the first time he had shown it to me. It was not pretty,very deformed…and part of it black.

Let me explain that these visits are not kind to either of us! They are sessions of self-abuse! In ways I am glad they are not frequent but yet each time he calls it is almost as if there is no way I can say no. Every time I visit he asks me to read the letter from Nixon. He has it framed and it hangs in his dining room. It is almost as if I am meant to be silently punished by that.

My friend does not realize that the loneliness is as bad for me as it is for him. We are both hurt from our time in the military,however his wounds are the legitimate wounds I have talked about in the past. But being there watching ‘Star Trek’ most of the talking is done by him,my part of the conversation does not seem to matter much,although for some reason that I am not I am able to explain that because he does not hear me does not seem to matter either.

He called the other day saying he had been sick but that he wanted to get together and drink a few beers. Let me put it in perspective…it becomes a full night of total self-abuse. It is not like a beer with the guys at happy hour. I don’t really want to do it but it consumes me.

This feels like I will never see him again. He showed me his foot again,this time I could see actual meat and vessels inside of what looked like rotting flesh. It was black still. He was worried,he thinks the VA wants to take it off. He was firmly set that amputation is not an answer and he had an answer of his own. We talked about it and I totally understood every word of what he was saying….he was ready to die! He explained how he was putting things in order.

I saw the pain! It had never looked this way before. He could not sit in any position and be comfortable and he told me he takes such huge amounts of morphine that it no longer eases anything just making him drowsy and honestly very hard to follow in conversation.

His foot was throbbing and so swollen. I was asked if I could help him by slightly rubbing it…his words were like “just float your hands over it to stop it from itching me”. The dryness of the skin around the area was evidence that what really needed was baby oil,which we had. I can’t describe the way his body reacted when I poured the oil and gently massaged his foot. The man moaned in both kinds of sounds of agony and of pleasure and I kept thinking about how crazy insane this whole scene was. I am a servant to a man,a willing servant for my thankfulness to him to be my friend.

I looked up at him as I worked the oil into his foot and I saw a man who  looked like my father. I looked at the strange scene this was. This man who I only met last crixmix (December 24) and feel soon there will be no more telephone calls,he looked that gaunt and grey. I wondered why this is? I cannot explain all the races going on in my mind

I’m fucking emotional about it all already! This season of the way the evilness of this world has chosen to remind me of 1969 at the time where my mind was still innocent that Christ-mas was soft and gentle. It is not. And insults of the jingles of the bells that beg at you in just about every place you need to go…it is not easy to explain,it is like being a member of a Steven King novel. It is that haunting. And here I am on my knees ant the foot of a war wounded Marine rubbing his foot. And I look up and I see my Dad.

I can’t write any more because I have to stop and cry.

sunset over Pearl Harbor

December 7, 2010

sunset over Pearl Harbor

Originally uploaded by jayfherron

God Bless America!

legal matters!

December 5, 2010


Originally uploaded by jayfherron

Give me a few minutes,I need to explain something!

Over the span of five years that I began to write this ‘blog journal’ I have begun email (and at times telephone) contact with an amazing number of MST survivors…most saying that the problems and fears and lifestyle I have lived through mirror the same experiences in their lives.

I notice it! Myself in each of those I have spoken to,and in the many emails…I hear myself!

Yes,the persons are different. The pain is not.

This blog began (oh gosh…he’s going to tell it again) because I am a ‘military sexual trauma’ (MST) survivor. The survivor part is that the men that attacked me 40 years ago did not finish the job,they killed almost everything…they just forgot to kill me!

After many years of holding it in to myself I began treatment for PTSD related to my MST experience. My treatment was at the veterans hospital near my home.

Sometime after a year or there about it was recommended that I go forward to a VSO or DVA office and file for a disability claim.

It was there that for the first time in my life I sat in front of a strange man (strange in that he was a stranger to me) and I told the story of what happened in the new year of 1970 at place called ‘barracks D’.

The strange man was a ‘veterans service officer’ employed by the county that I live in. Levy County is not what you would call “uptown”…instead,this is the peanut growers rural world.

I told this man about how I was beaten and raped. I am a male.

The VSO officer made a comment that alarmed me! A few weeks later there were jokes! The comment and the jokes connected that I being a man and that men raped me made all of this more like homosexual behavior and not someone beating me up and ripping my pants from my body or the pain of having things forced into a place those things do not go. The actual comment from the VSO officer was “gee…you never think homosexuals have a need to rape each other”!  He was dead serious.

I realized then that there was going to be as much justice now as there was in 1970…which totals zero. This time I knew enough to become angry!

I once had sworn long ago to never have a computer in my home. I studied the computer as an item of threat and therefore not one screen was ever coming in this place!

I declined my own thinking to find a way to expose what I feel is a wrong!

The only way I could find a way to reach (in my head) thousands at one time and to hope out of the numbers others would come forward and say that they too have been wronged,and then others would come and say “this is a way to find help” and join in to change the problem that MST survivors must go through just to find help.

When the VSO officer made the comments it said to me that this was not a person sincere enough to help me. Lacking understanding and sensitivity regarding how any MST survivor may feel,this person had no business considering himself an advocate for any veteran like us! I began to research as to what kind of background the typical VSO officer is required to have. It alarmed me to realize that the majority of the numbers have little to any basic requirements,high school sometimes,college sometimes,sometimes military backgrounds,but through the system from New York State to California the job requirements varied,but notably…none had any mention of ‘sexual trauma’ training.

I hired an attorney! The attorney saw me through my first filing of a disability for PTSD. We saw a judge together. The judge found in my favor. The VA (Veterans Administration) later notifies me that my case was disqualified due to that my attorney was not approved and registered with the VA.

All of these things have made me angry! Much because for nearly 30 some odd years I lived with my pain and self-abuse alone and with no outside interests until I happen to mention it at the VA hospital…to validate this I was encouraged to file for a disability. And then I am joked at…and then I am told my choice of advocacy and defense was not good enough to stand by my side and defend me!?

By this time I have come to fully understand the size of this problem! The numbers of MST survivors and sexual trauma survivors from any crime scenario in any walk of life,the numbers are tragically high.

And I have become contact and friend and brother to many MST veterans. I never expected to be a guide…I just wanted to hope that someone important would read this and say “my gosh…this is wrong” and change it so others would not have to hear jokes and bigotry at their expense. I am blessed by every one of those who write to me and pray for me and encourage me….all the while they too are among the ranks of the SILENT WOUNDED! And hurt too!

I am just this kid! I am 18 years old and stuck there in a 59-year-old mans body. I am not an educated person,there is no background that has any training either. One of John Prines’ passages says “other people have forced him to live in his head” ,and thus I am troubled the same way. My life went into a stall back then and I am stuck.

I bought this old farm tractor mostly to give my grandkids rides. One by one each of them sat on the little stool seat in front of me and their little tiny hands each working the steering wheel as the thing chugged along. I put my hands over top of theirs just to feel them and think of the innocence of their tiny lives and wish we could just stop the moment in time and that they will always feel protected.

That is how I feel when people like Joan of Arc or Jerry or LT and others write in and say their peace.

I am honored,and I am blessed,and I am sorrowful for the hurt you all have,and it is so interesting what this has become.

All of that said is just because I need to say this! I am just this kid that signed up to do what he was taught was right,to defend the Constitution of the United States…in that I learned much of what the Bible says without benefit of reading it. Brothers turn against brothers. I was hurt in the most indescribable way in more ways than just the physical pain of rape. I have hated that period of my life ever since. I hate it that others have experienced the same pain. I hate it that we are kept silent. I just want someone to know that this has got to change.

And…my writing of my experience and my life is to say “here is someone else”!

I took those words of the VSO officer and locked on like a pit bull to a mail carriers behind…the fact that my life had been so ruined by the event in barracks D and the hint of help 35 years later turns sour,I was not going to let go. For 35 years my silence belonged to me and I was forced to live in my head. Not anymore,not a second time around.

All the time I am asked for advice about MST matters and the VA.

I feel like this,if it is only this one time that justice may be yours then don’t mess around with it and try to go it yourself. FIGHT this correctly and FIGHT IT for you AND the others who are yet in silence. Find an attorney that will hold this accountable to the VA. Because once it is done it is finished. I have lived this life with an adverse feeling towards the system and hated anything connected with it…because the system began letting me down all those years ago. I don’t trust it and disconnect in any time I am confronted with it. It is detrimental as there are occasions when you have to. But then there are times when you need to operate inside the system. Find an attorney that knows how to find his way around it!

I am not a lawyer! I am just a survivor…and by some great miracle was able to able to find justice after all these years.

I want in my heart to see every MST survivor find justice. And peace…