Archive for March, 2013


March 31, 2013
Waikiki by jayfherron
Waikiki, a photo by jayfherron on Flickr.

April is National Rape and Sexual Assault Awareness month!

I feel in some ways like a fellow that offers some folks a ride to California from Florida and mid way across the country I stop and tell everyone I don’t feel like going the rest of the way!

I began something a few years back-and intend to finish to the best that I can…a this is to at least make one change in how the VA responds to MST vet’s!
NO MORE DVA or VSO officers taking the helm to file for disability for the MST veteran!

I have written this ‘blog’ so far and tried to quit…thus the analogy of the ride to California!
So…to press (wordpress) on:

It is wrong for an institution as huge as the Veterans Administration to not be able to see a flaw in thier process.
It makes no sense to send a sexual trauma survivor to a fellow or female who have absolutly zero training or education in how deep this trauma effects the individual.

The DVA and VSO persons do a great service to the veteran who has legitimate service related injurys, but we who are MST survivors do not feel one moment of ‘legitimate’ in how we were injured!
I believe any one of us would accept a combat related injury-agast that we suffer the way that we do, to me-even ashamed by the way I served, and find no peace in saying I am a disabled veteran-knowing why!

I wish there was an easy way to explain our lives and what it is like to live in the wake of what had happened and to suffer with the post traumatic disease in our daily life.
I am going to try on April 18 at a ‘survivors art exhibit’ in front of a microphone-in front of a crowd!
I am not sure what that will result in-I tend to blank something like that out-but I know the anger pent up inside of me about how long I have been attacked over and over again in my relentless PTSD inner digger of the sore that festers on and on for over 40 years-now-and does not quit!
….back to what I was actually trying to say, I also have recieved a letter from the Alachua County Commision acception my application to return to the ‘rape and sexual assault advisory committee (they call it a council-or a board?) and I suppose much of the purpose of the committee is fund raising idea’s-all of which I understand, but don’t fit in much with…I am there to say if “we as an advisory board” are supposed to suggest to our County Commission idea’s for improvement; then-let us improve the lives of a group of our veterans-members of the ‘silent wounded’-who deserve a sense of justice has been met for them.
I admit-even as been classified 100% disabled-I am still and will always feel the unjust parts of what happened to me in 1969-and how it happened!
So-I hope to sponser the right to show the film ‘The Invisable War” to this committee (hopefully to the public) to affirm the depth of the issue of MST, and by the numbers of veterans involved it is likely there are more in our own County and region (as we have a regional VA medical center in the city).
I encouraged to hear from one of the sources I know at the ‘victims services center’ which would be a recipient of the advisory committee advices that there is more information coming through thier offices regarding military sexual trauma!

You might understand, speaking of sexual trauma and combine the word military with it and some people will kind of recoil about that as “not in my mans Army”.
We MST vets know what I am saying!
My hope is that our voice is getting louder and louder!
The recent case at Lakeland AFB in Texas-has been current news; as is the General who cut the conviction for a convicted rapist in his branch of military-but had no immediate connection with the criminal-he merely dropped his conviction.
These events and the crimes are becoming more heard of then in any time I can remember in my few years of reading and writing for this cause.
Before I ever heard the words ‘military sexual trauma’ I had thought that I was the only one this ever happened to.

And-so from what I understand-and I hope if it comes to be that the writer feels the depth of the pain and misery from being what is softly called a ‘survivor’ of an inter personal trauma that is disgustingly refered to or thought of as a sexual act!
An article is in the work of a writer from the Gainesville Sun newspaper-I hope an article that touches on the severe need to recognize and reach out to male trauma victim / survivors and devote some paragraphs to educate the need to remove gender and social level and age and the term ‘sexual’ from how the people percieve this crime-it must be changed!
Rape is violent and will never be gentle.

There is-however-a strong hint that the article will be about me.
I am also okay with this-to put an aged face on the topic of MST, which is where I believe the article is going…especially the extent that I have a very low impression of the VA medical system-especially where it comes to health care for us-the MST vet!

I described in detail how poor a place the VA sits in my determination-to have the VA suggest that the only way to validate myself from the tragic past was to file for a disability-which the VA said I deserved…then-the VA spends five? six? years fighting me and calling me a malingerer (I am not sure what that is-or how to spell it).
I really had no motive-nor ever thought of a disability,never-it was the VA therapist who I had been assigned that told me to do so…for healing-and empowerement-and validation, was how I remember it described!
It was nearly the trauma-it was maybe equal as the pressure and anxiety was miserable, so was the constant over and over of telling the details to prove I had been a victim-raped in the US Navy detention barracks D where it all was NOT SUPPOSED TO HAPPEN!

I was finally classified as 100% permanantly disabled from MST related direct PTSD.
Like with my ‘honorable discharge’ I feel no honor, and feel no validation…I do feel stronger for fighting the battle-and they admit it happened, but-the rest?

There was never NEVER a punishment for those who hurt me! And-it is me who has to continue to defend my truth!

It is my hope that the writer of this article ‘gets it right’ and hears the voices of the ‘silent wounded’ and tells that story too! It is not just me-or about me…it is about the need to expose this crime and quit hiding MST-its facts-its damages-and its survivors!
We ARE veterans-too!