the photo speaks for itself

I am Jay Herron-and this is my photograph.

I am a survivor of military sexual trauma; after all these years of writing it…most of you already know. For those who do not; I have pretty much laid out my life here. But-to be point blank-I am a male rape survivor.

This blog covers several years of bmy being a victim and living a life with the stigma and the added PTSD. All of that is here. I have written about my battle with the VA…here too.

All of that-the battle for justice….I guess as far as the VA is concerned, is over. I was successful in my case, but that is about the limit.

I still suffer the PTSD. That will be forever.

Living with the after of my assault(s) has always been a struggle-it still is a struggle-even now that I am 65 years old and yet the moment of time in 1969 has frozen into a memory of haunting proportions.

I suppose none of that being said is encouraging-but it is a fact of our life. Getting used to it-is not an option, and as long as it has been imbedded in my soul-like a callous-I doubt if there will ever be a comfort zone for me.

The other day-I had to pee quite readily, only to enter the public restroom where I was shopping….another person was already there-never the less-always there; the fear made me agonize until I could find a private place (such as a tree in the woods). A constant fear.


All of that explained;  I became detached from writing this blog. The problem is-I began something that I have to finish. My local VA PTSD clinic sent me to speak to the DVA advocate in mmy area. It was not easy to explain in detail my story to retired US Marine red neck gunny sergeant who had only one serious comment saying “gee-you never thought homosexuals have a reason to rape each other”….and-he was firm serious.


There are problems for the MST (military sexual trauma) veteran. Deep-serious problems; they need to be heard and regarded as sacred private and respected with dignity; not treated with hillbilly humor.


Like I have said before-I am disconnected from the VA; no longer do I feel comfortable with them-for ‘health care’ when these occasions happen that are traumatic as well.

In the past years-I became acquainted with Lynn Johnson-photojournalist-specifically to use her connections and ability to raise awareness for the light of the veteran-of MST.

Yesterday we visited; an idea came to the table where Lynn recalled the Viet Nam era when the photos of the casualties of the war were published in LIFE magazine. No story line-just the photos of the young faces killed in war.

It had an impact.

We talked about doing something similar and to develop a traveling exhibit to show in VA clinics and other venues where discussion and hopes may be born. Where the knowledge of the plight of MST can be told by the faces of each of us.

Thus-my photo here today.

Of course-this only just began about 15 hours ago in conversation….we are adamant that awareness and actions are paramount in a time where still-nothing proper is being done.

Would something like this-be of interest to you?




old pop three

4 Responses to “the photo speaks for itself”

  1. Elk Whistle Says:

    Yes, I would be interested in doing something like this. Have you also checked out the MST Group for Men on Facebook?

    • jayherron Says:

      Great! I will keep you and all posted as this comes together! I think I was subscribed to the male MST FB page; I get moods sometimes-and too often with too much material slaps me down. But-during the conversation Lynn and I had yesterday-FB did enter my mind and thank you for opening the ‘approval’ of the project-plus my eyes towards FB. Peace

  2. Swanmyat Says:

    Sounds like a wonderful idea Jay! Many of us have hidden in the shadows for too many decades. Sharing our story educates and gives us a chance to turn negatives into positives. Lots of encouragement and big hugs!!!

    • Swanmyst Says:

      Sounds like a wonderful idea Jay! Many of us have hidden in the shadows for too many decades. Sharing our story educates and gives us a chance to turn negatives into positives. Lots of encouragement and big hugs!!!

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