Posts Tagged ‘Department of Defense’

better is little than great treasure…

May 18, 2010

Originally uploaded by jayfherron


Another Proverb?  No…this is not a bible study…it is understanding what truth is!

A week ago I was in Washington DC-my trip was intended to speak  on behalf of veterans of military service who have suffered at the hands of fellow service members because of sexual trauma.

My fears of large buildings and public restrooms had to be put aside but my anxiety prevented that from happening…that is up until I found the dime in my suitcase when prepping for the trip.

The dime-as many know-has become a symbol to me from an experience some years ago. The symbol of safety and almost as if it were a miniature shield.

The sign of the dime was not perfectly clear until the end of my trip.

I had gone to DC to hopefully draw attention to our SILENT WOUNDED with those who can make a difference-our legislatures. I learned quickly the person I had partnered with was not who I felt very comfortable with-and I departed ways.

The feeling I had been that this was not right and the conversations we were having were not fully in the interest of MST survivors. I could hear the other man speak but my ears were going into a mumble-my heart said to exit this place swiftly and to separate from this other messenger as fast as I can.

Following me to the street was the photojournalist that is documenting several MST survivors, she asked if I felt I had made the right decision? I had and told her I made my decision because of Spiritual guidance and instinct…better is little than great treasure,was my explanation!

That is not hard to understand! It meant to me right then that it was better to cut and run before any more of these meetings took place. I held in my hands the responsibility of the words in statements from other survivors-and I was not going to mingle them in with this individuals agenda!

But…what about DC and seeing the Senators? Or seeing members of Congress? wasn’t this trip about seeking the hope of change?

The DIME! There was a significance in finding that dime! Great significance-which took the shingles from my eyes so I could see the purpose.

Some of the veterans who wrote statements for this trip are also men and woman who I have telephone contact with. I promised I would keep each step of my trip up to date with them. One of the veterans I spoke to mentioned the name of an attorney-her office was right there in the city!

One only needs to do a ‘google’ on the name Susan Burke PLLC to learn the power in what took place! The dime began to shine! is seeking the written statements from Military Sexual Trauma (MST) survivors. Susan Burke is writing a class action lawsuit against the Department of Defense (and hopefully the Veterans Administration) to force them to be accountable for every MST survivors case-properly!

I am invited to sit at round table discussions as to how to express every detail. This will require many more trips to our Nations Capital.

The dime? Ah yes…this was the reason I found the dime! Remember how my story went about finding my first spiritual dime? I explained that when as a boy visiting my grandparents in Washington DC (my grandparents are now buried in Arlington Cemetery) my grandmother would give us ‘car fare’…which was a small hand full of dimes. That is what it cost for streetcars then-and we would catch a car to the museums and travel all around the city. Peculiar to me…Susan Burkes office is directly behind the old street car barn on K Street NW ! Another good sign to me!

Why is this better? Why better is little? Why not the great treasure? Better is little than great treasure!

I could have continued my trip to Washington and The Hart Senate Building and the buildings that house Congress and canvassed through the halls-making unannounced entry to the many offices. It is our right-these are our elected officials, as they say-our employees!  I was also invited to speak at the Congressional hearings-just two days away!

I learned more-just yesterday! I learned more about better is little than great treasure!

In anticipation of being expected to travel back to DC I telephoned Susan Burke and asked if my money was better spent by attending her round table planning sessions-for the lawsuit…or should I come to the hearings? The answer was perfectly easy to understand!

She responded by saying more good is going to come from her firm rattling the very cage that holds the answers for MST survivors-the Department of Defense. Her opinion is that the hearings will be political-she plans to attend but told me that there should be no expectations that any changes will come from them-she said none has come from the previous hearings. Why? Because many of those who sit on these committees are seeking re-election or have other reasons NOT to rattle the cage of the Department of Defense.

I had lunch yesterday with a retired professor from the University of Florida. He is interested in my quest for MST survivors hopes and I told him all about the trip-beginning to end. He affirmed the power in better is little than great treasure! He agreed that trying to sway the politicians will be a long trail to travel…his feelings agreed with what Susan Burke told me-they may listen,but the hope for change from them will be a long way away! Because…they may not want to step on many toes, but Ms.Burke makes it her practice to do so!

She has sued and won settlements for the Abu Garib torture survivors-against Haliburton and Blackwater. No small task there! Yes…yes yes I see the clearer picture now! I see the dime in Susan Brurke-I see the message of better is little than great treasure…I see exactly what is the truth!

I believe ALL of us who have survived MST will agree that monetary payments will never suffice to return our lives and our piece of mind and spirit…no payment can ever heal the trauma my mind endures each day from an event 40 years ago,so I know it most likely can’t heal yours.

What will make a difference is if WE can create a movement to change the values of the Department of Defense and the policies that have shoveled our cases aside into a corner-if we can change the way MST veterans are responded to through the Veterans Administration-if we can change this for future survivors! Yes,sadly human nature and the deviance of others will never really ever change. There is no way our society will ever see an end to these crimes…even in our military. But we can change the way MST survivors are responded to!  We can force the Department of Defense to handle every MST case with sensitive care for the victim-and we can force the Veterans Administration to uphold its end too…we suvivors have a legal right to permanent treatment-they do not give us that,and WE CAN change this!

 Write Susan Burke-add your statements in testimony and believe me-this IS the correct path to follow! Be a WITNESS against this crime and be a part of the change!

Proverbs 15:16