The vet explained to me the choices made as an adult and years after military service had nothing to do with what happened when the violence of the rape changed their life-and hopes for a military career. The circumstances of the rape did not even come close to fitting any of the reasons the VSO officer concluded with, this officer made a judgement on what he saw as unfavorable behavior.

I am intentionally being vague because the details of this were shared with me-and I respect this veteran as I do any persons privacy, so I am trying to build a foundation with cryptic wording-but this conversation did take place!

Correct me if I am wrong…but is not illegal to judge someone based on how they look, or live their life-in private-for someone to discriminate against them when it comes to jobs or housing or for disability support?

I guess I don’t know! I do know that I am confused! It is in line with what I was trying to say the other day about the difference in attitude towards a legitimately injured combat veteran and the one who does come forward with an MST claim! It is demeaning enough just being who we are-the shame we feel-the guilt, that should not belong to us; and then if one day the courage comes to bring the MST veteran forward to request disability consideration-that courage likely will be met with ignorance.

I also know that at Veterans Hospitals (the VA) it has been routine to inquire if the veteran has been sexually harassed or victimized. If that question is answered-and answered YES-then a “red light” should immediately go into effect-and from that point on the MST veteran should be treated in a case-sensitive fashion. The ‘turquoise line’ should begin right then!

It is wrong to expect a gunnery sergeant who spent 30 years as a troop and retired into the job as a VSO officer with the VA to understand what serious damage has been done to a rape survivor.

I looked the job from State to State to get some feel of the requirements to fill this position-in some cases-many of these people are paid by the State-so they are government employees; in many cases there are very few requirements,some with limited education, not even military background! Indeed-I am not saying there is none who have some sense, but in too many instances I hear the same kind of story-this VSO officer had a blank look hearing hearing a truth about MST.

Education is lacking where it comes to teaching the truths about ‘sexual’ trauma. What it does long term-the trauma! and how it closes down parts of the victim/survivors ability to trust and how difficult it is to tell one’s most trusted person-more less to have to explain to a complete stranger, especially when you can sense…this person does not get it at all.

The education obviously has got to begin with teaching that rape is not an act of sexual pleasure and passion-it did not feel good-it was not fun-it still does harm 40 years later…no, I do not remember anything good! I wish I did not remember the fact itself!

2 Responses to “”

  1. enemyinthewire Says:

    There is a horrible void between what people SHOULD know and what they actually know. It is one thing to hear about Rape in the Military and another thing to come face to face with one of us. We are the truth!

    The truth is that once we are injured – we are never the same again! They would not expect an amputee’s leg to grow back…would they? Then what makes them think that our nightmares end just because the truth is uncomfortable for them.

    I really believe that is the problem. We are uncomfortable for them. We are the constant reminder that not every one of our people in uniform are the upright, moral and honorable inviduals the country likes to put on display. Instead of blaming the perpetrators – they choose to blame the victims because we are what makes them uncomfortable.

    The same can be said for the VA – I know…I deal with it every day. For all of the people who really want to do the right thing and make it right – who want to identify the turquoise line and treat it appropriately – there are plenty who only want to talk the talk. Anyone or anything that shows them that they are failing in their leadership – makes them uncomfortable.

  2. Myst Says:

    The VA in Houston terrifies me! One of the ladies in my MST group at the local Vet Center told to story of being attacked there, and that they ‘didn’t want to make a fuss’. Then she was in the MST in patient facility there, and because her recent attack had taken place at a VA clinic – they wouldn’t let her talk about it in group at the in patient place. She says she came out more traumatized then she went in!

    When I went to Houston for my PTSD ‘test’, it was just like you said, huge and loud. The energy frightened me badly and my partner had to coax me along to get me to the appointment on time. The lady doc was very very nice, and at the end of the appointment, also wanted me to check into this MST center where they lock you up. She says to keep the bad folks out… but we all know.
    They are INSIDE the wire.

    BTW, I have added your blog to mine. So glad to see you are back and writing. From one MST survivor to another…. I know it’s tough, but try to hang in there.
    Warmly,
    Myst

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