Posts Tagged ‘military sexual assault’

…listen to these words from a guest writer!

July 21, 2011
looking into the face of God by jayfherron
looking into the face of God, a photo by jayfherron on Flickr.

I suggested to Jay a while back that he should consider having some “guest bloggers” share their stories. I think this was when Jay said he was finished, and had no more to say. That was not good news for those of us who follow his blog, and the chronicle of his struggles. Because I know, at least for my husband, it has been immeasurably helpful to know there is someone out there that gets it.

But now it is time to put my offer to the test. And I am realizing just how hard it is to put myself out there. And I am not the MST survivor. I am the wife of a man who was raped violently in the military.

I know the statistics that the divorce rate is astronomical for veterans. I honestly do not think I would still be in my marriage if it were not for my background in mental health counseling. At the very least , I have some tools available to me. Like how to handle it when my guy is disassociating, and does not know who I am, when he screams in the night. Or is hearing men’s voices, or believes someone is in the basement. Or when he attempted suicide. No one has written a manual on how to do this.

Not that I’m a saint , by any stretch of the imagination. I did not sign up for this. I met and married a lovely, kind, gentle man. He was prone to dark, dark moods. He had issues with men in authority. But the good qualities far outweighed the negative. I did not know that this monster issue lay buried within him. He had a cover story, that “something” awful happened in the military. I was not aware of the scope of the trauma, the despair. It took a suicide attempt, and a hospitalization, and lots of added trauma from the VA to even get to the point where he “blurted” out the truth to a psychologist. Then the real fun started. We are now four years into the battle to get this to a point where my husband is functional.

I sound cynical, as I hear the words in my head. I have watched the VA make my husband into a pharmaceutical zombie. I have fought the battles he has not been able to fight. I have been the keeper of information, the chauffeur, the counselor, the babysitter, not often wife. No one tells us wives how to deal with this, how to be in a marriage when the partner does not even feel like a man. I have even been told I now have “secondary PTSD” from living with him. I know there are days I drive him crazy, constantly checking on him. Ah, yes…being hyper vigilant, sleep disturbances, missed work, intrusive thoughts…

But, things are getting better. The symptoms are less disruptive, and I am getting more and more glimpses of the man I married. Or maybe a different version, now that I know the truth of his difficulties. He just got awarded 100% compensation for PTSD. It feels like a little justice, although the fight is not over. That is another story. But, at least some validation from the VA has made my husband feel like he was heard, and wasn’t crazy or making it up. Like anyone would make up what he has been through.

I hope I am not rambling, or not making sense. I do not feel like I can share my husband’s story. It is not mine to tell. I think he will tell his story on this blog someday, as long as I type it for him. For all those who read this wonderful, brave blog that Jay writes, I hope you find peace, justice and love. We are all connected.

Love to you all,

Mel, the wife of a MST survivor

MST survivors-front and center

April 25, 2010

American flags
Originally uploaded by jayfherron


May 10-11,2010 may not be the exact venue to stand up for MST survivors! That will not matter-what will matter is-there will be a voice! I will be there in Washington DC to stand up for all survivors!

If I can carry your message to Congress:

MST /9950 NE 132 Terrace/Williston FL 32696



Even if a lone banner stood out-a garden begins with one seed!

I know I am not alone-and I know there are many,who like me,thought that they were the only one. I still can’t imagine it at all to where it could make any sense. I lived for 35 years before any attention came to the fact that I was raped while in the US Military. I had reported the rape the day it happened-but because my attack happened in a detention barracks it was shrugged off. I kept it to myself since.

Detention barracks? Yes…I was trying to get home for a holiday and was caught in a snow storm. I was unable to get back to ship for roll call,my bus was stuck at a terminal. That was my crime!

My post traumatic disorder of a life came to the care of a therapist at the VA hospital in nearby Gainesville,Florida. During that care I was told that I should find a sense of validation and appeal for disability benefits.

I reported my case to a Veterans Service Officer ( VSO ) in my home county (as is the way the process is to run in order) explaining to a man I had never seen before in my life-someone who is to be trusted as my advocate-how it was that I was raped and repeatedly abused for nearly two months.

The VSO nodded his head in disbelief-his comment after hearing my story was: “Gee…you’d never think homosexuals have a need to rape each other”! and he seemed to think this was something that only black men do – to rape young whites in a detention center. My attackers were white men.

I am angry at the ignorance of this man-his comments made the crime of rape sound like a sexual encounter…one I must have enjoyed-although it did not seem so at the time. Rape is not a sexual encounter. Rape is not anything of any kind of pleasure. Explain where getting socked with closed fists is pleasure-or having someone wrestle your legs with force…pleasure?

This kind of ignorance is everywhere-the way the appeal procedure is organized for the veteran to appeal for disability benefits. The veteran must apply for his or her claim in most cases an office staffed by those experienced in combat related or natural related injury. In most cases-there is no training regarding the sensitive issue of rape…no one wants to accept that it happened anyway!

The appeal process is carried to the Veterans Administration by the VFW or AMVets…again,someone who has no experience dealing with the sensitive issues of rape! The veteran is required to be sponsored by one of these organizations…perhaps the greatest for legitimate veterans-but those like me do not share that same honor. I’ve never felt right about any of my military service since the rapes-my life completely changed forever. I had begun my Navy life with the desire for a career-those dreams were shattered.

I am going to Washington DC! Whatever it is I have to do to draw attention to the poster I will carry-I will do. My poster will be the banner…


The lobbying events scheduled for May 10-11 are centered around ‘Don’t Ask-Don’t Tell’…I am going there despite that our issue is not company with that-I AM going because our issue is one of grave consequences on the effects of the suffering of an MST veteran.

We NEED to raise awareness…I will attend these two days in Washington DC to stand up for MST survivors!

If you have a message to Congress regarding MST and the Veterans Administration’s treatment of MST veterans-the disability claim process…a statement about MILITARY SEXUAL TRAUMA that you want hand delivered-send it to me and I WILL deliver!


catching up…

June 13, 2009


Originally uploaded by jayfherron

The past two months have been blank…then I return home to what should have been a time of relaxation did not work out as such-I became fatigued on my return flight from Hawaii. That wore me down where I got sick-and stayed sick and tired for a number of weeks.
Then the computer died-or,perhaps,caught that I was tired and it bogged up. That meant a call to the Dell Indian who vacuumed the thing bone dry removing with it my photographs and certain bookmarks and my will to want to!

I have not lost the motivation to write. I have come to a point where writing my story has got to come to an end somewhere-I said this before…this is not really meant to be about me-although what happened to me is important for others to understand. In basics-the reader just needs to read back and the whole story is there. Also ,what I am saying here seems to have had influence on others-so I don’t want to end it-writing! I would like to transform into hopefully helping other veterans-survivors of MST to approach the long battle to get what is rightfully belongs to them…admission-acknowledgment from the military that you were indeed victimized on their watch.

It would be better to see the attackers convicted. I know that is asking for a little much-but I do feel emotions from having papers saying that MST did occur and that I had no blame in what took place. No blame being because I was in a detention barracks and that I had done nothing to warrant being there.

I’m not an educated person so I don’t have all these powers of a degree and fellowships to give me a boost in becoming an advocate for others. Actually-I’m thankful in some ways that I’m not a degree scholar. I happen to see a hole in the way certain classes of veterans are treated-and perhaps a gap in how a survivor sees themselves as a veteran. I see this from the perspective of a survivor-being a male survivor myself.

What I do see are men in position as advocates-sanctioned by the individual states Veterans Affairs department…uneducated men particularly where the crime of rape and sexual assault is considered.

What I will continue to advocate for is a change in how MST survivors appeal for medical and financial benefits. I will keep shouting the best way I can to hopefully be heard on behalf of change…military sexual trauma -MST (any sexual trauma) is horrific to live with. Sexual attacks change the victim so deeply-fear consumes the survivor.

To send an MST survivor through a process of appealing for compensation where they are required to seek the confidence of a veterans advocate who may not ever understand the details of a rape-is wrong.

The way the system is set up every veteran who has been injured in military service must file the beginning papers for a benefit claim with a Veterans Affairs (BVA) officer in the home county of the veteran. Every veteran! This includes a claim for MST.

For those that do come forward-the veteran who responds to the question of unwanted sexual contact,they most likely would be doing so at a veterans hospital. They rountinely ask the question during a scheduled physical-yet the veteran might find other channels to find a confidential ear.

When the question is answered ‘yes’ there should be an automatic open avenue for the MST survivor to go through. A medical professional should be in place instead of a BVA representative-the MST survivor should be treated with sensitive attention to his or her injury and case.

I was sent to my local BVA representative and he was challenged to confusion as why homosexuals would need to rape each other-he was certain my attackers were blacks…he was nearly dumbfounded when I told him they were not. There were later comments that sounded more like jokes about me. I am angry that someone who suffers from the shame of sexual trauma is subjected to that kind of rudeness and ignorance-and bigotry.

I want to see it different for others. I hope some way comes to lighten up the path to show what trauma this is-and to inspire a change in how MST survivors find healing and hope through a gentler system.


finally at the door!

October 28, 2008


Originally uploaded by jayfherron

It seems almost as if it has been planned this way-next week on November 6 I will be meeting the Honorable Ginny Brown-Waite,Congresswoman from Florida. It is one day day short of a year from having my hearing before a judge who heard the details of my rape and assaults. That hearing was 37 years over due….the answer is also over due.
I am not going to meet with Congresswoman Brown-Waite to talk about me.
My meeting with her is about the ‘silent wounded’…the silent and the scared.
The topic I want to discuss is what happens to those like me-the fears and anxieties that consume the life of a trauma survivor. Sexual trauma. Military Sexual Trauma.
I want to explain that many of the numbers that the Department of Defense offer as known offenses are incorrect-and only a guess. Many are afraid to come forward-many men and woman remain silent out of fear.

I understand that fear. Over the years I had to learn to live around it. It never goes away.
The Naval intelligence officer I reported the rape to the morning it happened responded with a chuckle,nodding his head and telling me to “get used to it”. That I have never been able to do.

What I want to tell the Congresswoman is that after living the way I have for all these years I finally found help through the Veterans Administration Hospital (in Gainesville Florida). That help was the first time I found a place of trust-that trust taken away by the VA Hospital…abruptly,as it was for a number of other veterans,also survivors.
I want to explain how during the few years that I was being seen for my ‘post traumatic’ issues it was suggested to me to appeal for a disability compensation. These appeals are handled by filing with the local Veterans Affairs office.
I trusted that idea. I was wrong.

When I met with the Veterans Affairs officer I was also met with remarks that were bigoted and racial. The ignorence of the man was too deep to fully reach. He was perplexed that “homosexuals had a need to rape each other” and was seemingly disappointed that my attackers were not blacks. A few weeks later more remarks came almost as if they were teasing me and I was going to get the joke-this time the room was full with others laughing along.
As you can guess this horrified me-and then angered me.

I want to impress upon the Congresswoman the need for a change in how the ‘silent wounded’ are met when they return to civilian life. We already know the numbers are high-but what has happened is too many remain silent out of fear of the same things I just described.
To be harrassed with the insensitive manners of an uneducated individual who’s job it it to hear the details of how a soldier was wounded is wrong. Perhaps it is so they possess the qualifications to take the reports of legitimate injury. By legitimate injury I mean those sustained while doing your duty-not those sustained while being forced sexually by a fellow service man…or woman.

I want to express to the Congresswoman that when such veterans do come forward and reach the proper health care area of VA Hospital that thier case should and must take a more sensitive route to be resolved.
To willingly enlist n the United States Military-to volunteer to do your duty to the country you love and live in…to do somethng honorable and yet to find yourself treated in the worse way imaginable,and then to be blamed for it-forever! It is wrong. And then to be unable to come forward out of fear-and unable to say that we are disabled too is a part of our civil rights being restricted.
It is those civil rights I am going to talk to the Congresswoman about.

This is for all of us. Let us hope God loosens my lips so I can say everything and say it properly.

ROTC arrests!

June 2, 2008

Originally uploaded by jayfherron


I usually begin my mornings early enough to beat the daylight-drinking my coffee and reading up on the local paper,which takes longer to get on line than to read…mostly to check the obituaries,but sometimes we manage to get the news.
This morning was an article about a former ROTC instructor from our area currently instructing in Sarasota-who now is in custody in Sarasota Florida where he was cooling his heels while awaiting first appearance before a judge. Demetrius Busby was arrested for sexual violation on a male student in his ROTC program at a high school there.
At first my mind was in a precoffee mode and it did not click that the ROTC is a form of military training at the high school levels-I believe it also enters college era as well….this is not something I am well versed on,however-I believe it has much to do with training students for a potential non-commissioned officers place in line when the student reaches active duty. I do know it connects with future military service.
That thought revived me and I wanted to re-read the news about this,so I did a search for the story…and what turned up was a surprise.

Demetrius Busby was arrested yesterday in Sarasota Florida-a ROTC instructor…sexual violation on a male student.

Victor Denson was arrested in Macon Georgia in February 2008-a ROTC instructor…sexual molestation on a student.

Sgt.Major Kevin Johnson was arrested in Portersville Pennsylvania in February 2008-a ROTC instructor…58 counts of deviate sexual assault on two juvenile males.

In January 2008-Sgt.Maxie Carroll Miller was arrest in Rolling Springs SC-a ROTC instructor…sexual assault on a 10th grade girl

In November 2007 Eugene Payton was arrested in N.Charleston SC-a ROTC instructor….was arrested for what he thought was consensual sex with a minor. It seems the age where he could have truthfully claimed it was consensual is 16 in South Carolina,go figger…

I sigh a sound of utter disbelief…more like a groan of disgust.
It seems to me that the ROTC program is a place where the young students who desire to stand up for freedom and what is right in a democracy go to learn the disciplines of military service-to become leaders.
What is it that makes those who are leaders already fail these young people…and treat them with absolute disregard and degraded intentions.
How can these young people respect that which is violated by a direct superior-the flag of the United States and defense of our freedom?
It is bad enough that the military services are realizing the numbers of sexual assaults are on the rise.

    What does this do to those teens who are doing the decent thing by showing an interest in their country and their flag and only to be demeaned by those who are supposed to be someone a youth are supposed to be able to look up to?

Who takes care of them in the years to come? When their lives reflect the indecent manipulations that took place during their innocent times-who takes care of them? Certainly they are not under the wings and care of the Veterans Administration!

Can they claim PTSD as any enlisted person might if the sexual violations happened while in active duty?
Does any body even care?

The truth is-I was startled by what I found. I was merely trying to research more on Demetrius Busby’s case because his sexual violations were directed to a male student….it is my expressed need to alert that males ARE violated sexually too.
I was overwhelmed to see the numbers of ROTC instructors arrested for these crimes…so frequently,so close together-it was too much to take in,too many to write down.
I am saddened by these things.
The need to teach honor and respect are deeper then we’ve ever understood. And how can we do that when the very ones who are entrusted with our youth-and the very youth that have stepped up to do the right thing…serving the country they call home,these instructors have stolen these young peoples futures-damaged their innocence.
A very sad state of affairs. And , the military has had to reinstate the second chance program to enlist convicted felons because not enough true patriots are stepping forward…no wonder.

a conference and the anxiety

May 22, 2008


Originally uploaded by jayfherron

This morning begins just as any other morning does with me-the mental inventory begins… the moment I awake I feel an anxiety and a memory of barracks D. I feel the poorness of the way I live and know it is a direct result of the way things happened back then.
I’m not too certain what I can pin point what sets it off-I just know that it strikes me as soon as I can think,as if it just had happened a few weeks ago instead of 37 plus years.
The trip to the toilet marks it for sure-I never miss having to think about it when I do the toilet.

This morning the ‘Sexual Battery Committee of the Gainesville Commission on the Status of Woman’ is presenting the 27th annual conference on ‘sexual battery’ (there we go with that sexual title) -which this years conference is called ‘Pathways to Healing:From Trauma to Recovery’ and involved in this conference is a ‘workshop’ (such interesting names) which is titled ‘Understanding Military Sexual Trauma (MST).
I am trying to build up the mental energy to attend.

I am a a member of ‘The Alachua County Rape and Sexual Assault Advisory Council’ and why I sought to be enlisted to join this group was to seek a stepping stone towards whom can help facilitate a change in how veterans who have been sexually (oh gawd-even I’m using it) assaulted are provided with the proper care when they depart the active role of military and enter civilian life.
My hope for being in this group is to bend enough ears to earn the audience of yet more ears to educate that there is a fault in the Veterans Affairs Administration where those who have been damaged by this crime while in service to the United States military-and citizens.
I am incredibly ashamed to be writing about this. My heart thinks of those who have done battle and have sustained  unbelievable injuries and deservedly should be provided with special care and help through their lives.
But yet,those like myself who walked up to the recruiters office with out any other thought but to enlist and do our part as Americans…we did not anticipate being hurt in this manner by the violence from the hands of one of our own.

There is no way to explain the humiliation it is for me to have every morning begin with the reminders of barracks D. To attend something so personal as ones hygene in something so general and usual as going to the toilet and come out of it with such guilt and emotional hurt….to have every morning begin that way.
And this morning-my anxiety level is on extreme high because I need to attend this conference and sit among a crownd and try to concentreate on the speaker and learn as much as I can.
I need to do this because of there being other veterans who need these changes so they can have justice.
It is ‘homework’ for my building up towards what I hope to present to this ‘advisory council’ I am on.
I don’t think that I’m going to have an easy time. I don’t know where the place is I’m going-although I know it’s in a church,I am postive it is a large building-ugh. But I am extremely hopeful that my mind can concentrate on the task at hand and not fail (and….I can fail).

My experience with the system the Veterans Administration has in the avenue of veterans advocacy is not arranged for the benefit of those who have experienced the crime of rape-or the crime of unwanted advances and touches….there is nothing it appears in place for these silent injured.
My hope is to try to bring awareness that we have a large number of vet’s who have have been harmed and keep quiet because there is no advocacy available for them.

I would have kept all this bottled up and to myself. I sometimes wish I had-now there sets a computer in my house and I am hopeful my words touch the hearts and minds of others and they think about what I am saying and will help bring this voice to a higher set of ears and seek a change in this poor system.

I was sickened when the reality set in as to whom I gave my lifes private history to when I was sent to by my local VA to report the rapes to a veterans advocate-employeed by my local government….the stupidity in his comments about how amazed he was to think that “homosexuals had a need to rape each other”….a comment of great ignorence.
How many more survivors are there?
How many more have to seek the advocacy of someone that bigoted?

I have to shower now-to get ready to attempt to go.
Another place where the reminder comes,the shower-the clean up of my days in barracks D will never stop.

April-National Sexual Assault Awareness Month

April 22, 2008

farm-john campbell school,brasstown NC

Originally uploaded by jayfherron

My own mental clock had almost ran through the month of April. Until yesterday I had not been paying too much attention to the calender and then realized it was almost the end of the month.

Being a survivor of rape and sexual assault is an isolated place to live.
No one but another survivor can understand the meaning of what I am saying.

As people we are all different. We have different backgrounds and up bringing and some of us come from families who are rich and others from families that struggle to live month by month. Sexual abuse has no regions nor age groups-nor does it separate from where you come from. It does not have a gender….it has to do with control. The control of someone over you.

Every one of us has an extraordinary life. There are none of us alike-we only have similar experiences,yet those vary.
I lived a life that I know has been different.

Actually-it is a bit ironic that I can’t exactly tell you what it has been like being a survivor. I never felt like a survivor.
I lived a life closeted away from what others knew. In private I carried the guilt and shame that came along with the assaults. Due to the nature what was taking place….I was a young sailor in the USN and by twists of fate I got stuck in a snow storm and became AWOL. I ended up in a detention barracks-barracks D.
The long of the story is written in all these inserts-but the long of the story is also that every day of my life I awake to the memory of what happened.
The guilt and shame are contrasted of that the rapes were not a part of what my father or mother ever knew-they only knew that I had gotten in trouble and was being kicked out of the Navy.

I kept my secret-and battled it. The damage of having to preform every day the way I was forced too back in barracks D had some kind of effect on me. After the discharge and after being free of the barracks-I found myself seeking to be treated the way I was back then. I found myself putting myself into situations that were certain to cause me harm. I called those times ‘damage control’,except-I damaged myself and had no control over it.

I was asked once about how it might be for another-how I feel and how they feel about being sexually assaulted.
I could’nt answer the question-each one of us had different experiences but for most of my life I never figured it happened to others in the way it happened to me.
I learned to understand how harmful it is no matter who-no matter what the scene was.
It is just difficult too explain-not knowing others might be having to go through the same fears I was. Fears of public places…public restrooms-or in crowds of people,such as at a game or a concert. Like standing in a room full of snakes.

I went through most of my adult life not knowing that April was an awareness month-it does cover sexual assault-and domestic abuse. It is rather odd these titles.
Yes,I guess-we have to call it something,but sexual has nothing to do with assault,being domestic has nothing to do with abuse.
The word sexual actually softens the reality….there is nothing sexual about having someone force themselves on you-as in my case,being socked in the face and laid out in a urine trough.
A very interesting thing. The physical part of it was over-but forever the mental part has distorted something inside of me.
The ‘sexual’ contact in my life since became a task-a job…like hard work. Something I had to do,I guess that is because it was something I was forced to do.
How can I explain that?

I can’t explain what it is for others. I only can imagine it must be the same thing.
Many things are disturbed inside of you when this happens.
I lost trust. I lost responsibilty. Soboriety. I could not keep a job. I became divided from my family.
I could not be close to someone.

The things I’ve been writing in this ‘Word Press’ about myself and my life are my way of bringing awareness. I don’t need a certain month to be set aside to do this….I need what seems a lifetime.
I did find things to keep me alive-to survive.
I learned to drive big trucks long distances-that to keep from having to work with others. Yet-I also learned to build high scaffolds,another place where no one is.
I raised two sons-good young men,as a single dad
Through my life things have been an evidence as to what had happened,but no one understood what it was or why I was the way I was. How do explain what through the years had become a calous on my own heart and chaos in my life….my own past to carry  alone in secret.

It was through Charlotte B.,at the VA who helped awaken a part of me and show me some things about what this was….the actions of PTSD.
Through the meetings with her I found the Survivors Art Exhibit…and that opened me up even more.
Also through the meetings with her I was forwarded to a Veterans Advocate to ‘validate’ my experience and hold the military accountable….this ‘advocate’ was so knee deep in bigotry that he re-opened the wound in a way that made me want to scream.
So-I bought this computer and began to learn how to use it and in this I found a way to speak.

My awareness message to anyone….men are victims too.
The title of ‘Sexual Assault Awareness Month’ needs to really truly tell the whole story.


March 18, 2008

my kind of design
Originally uploaded by jayfherron

Wanting to stay on the course why I began writing on the internet like this ( excuse me….Internet)…
I am finding myself distracted from the actual point why I have started writing as I have.
I’m not your typical person-I haven’t watched commercial television in over 10 years ( yes…I suck it right in when ever I’m in front of one) and don’t care for what it is I’ve might of missed. So far as I can tell-I’m not missing much.
For me to have a computer….well,lets just put it this way-if you were to say two years ago I would have a computer here in this ‘camp’ of mine any one would have said you were crazy.
Here it is. And due to lightning,this one is number two.

Up to lately I have found the computer a means to speak up. All of a sudden I find myself distracted by whats to come and by what has been.
It seems now it was about five years ago on a visit to the VA hospital I was asked if I ever felt depressed.
You can see that because of my having a stroke and the Americas Most Wanted person ‘Rose’ and my ‘rattlesnake bride’ and coming to grips that she left me hanging high and dry and with no wheels (it’s nearly 7 miles to the nearest town) and the fact that I was broke as one could be….I answered yes.
I was given some pills and sent on my way.

The pills were smile makers-they made me feel good-actually as if I was on mescaline…and after a few days I dumped them in the toilet and that was that.
Shortly after a notice came from the VA to meet in a group to discuss this medicine…and I told them the stuff made me feel that way. The social worker who was convening this group sent me to the phsycyatrist and he asked me the classic questions….are you going to hurt somebody? No,I am not…..are you going to hurt yourself? No,I am not….Then you need to give these pills a try-you didn’t give them a chance.

So I took the pills and drove home and dumped them in the toilet and then I wrote a letter to the VA saying how stupid it seemed that I went through the things I did and tried my damnedest to drink them and drug them out of my life-and then went through the battles to quit the drugs and the drinking…and then here’s the answer? More pills?

Why I trusted it once again is uncertain. I guess it just comes from wanting to.
I guess about four months went by when I wrote the letter-that’s when an appointment was made and I met Charlotte.
I learn to trust the system again after meeting her-and after about a year she suggests I file for a claim…to validate that this happened to me. The rapes in barracks D.

I find I’m supposed to report to a local veterans advocate-in my county. I don’t live in a county where most men appear to be sensitive about males being assaulted by other men…I did find this veterans advocate to be no different. His remarks were rude,vulgar-and bigoted .
Soon after I quit seeing that person as an advocate I read where he had retired-the story I read in the newspaper about his replacement told me she had no education-worked previously in a fish market and at nights as a janitor. The article said nothing about her being trained in sensitivity to a sexual assault report. Her former boss surely had none.

I figured it out after searching the Internet that through out Florida the requirements for the veterans advocates is slim in professional training-and more towards the veteran who has been injured during duty-perhaps even in battle,but not those who have been sexually attacked-and also injured during duty.
I got this computer to write about that-the  unjustness of the system that doesn’t give proper support for all veterans-and is biased to those who are injured in more understandable ways-in battle,but please…there needs to be attention given to those injured in sexual assault incidents. They know they happen.
It is almost as if our civil rights are taken from us.
My story-what happened to me,it stayed inside of me for years…until I trusted.
All of that has been let down. After three years of steady therapy with Charlotte-it has stopped,she stepped out of the system programs loop and the clients she had are no longer able to see her. I don’t know about the rest of them-but I surely can’t go through that again. Because of the therapist being a human and helping one of her other ‘vets’ we all see punishment.

So I’m rambling-I guess I can do that! I kind of feel like some cartoon character that walks out into the highway and a big Mack truck comes and blams right over him…and then he gets up and ‘beep beep’,another Mack truck blams over him again.

I am unable to stay amused by the events-the broken trust…we did try. Why didn’t I leave it alone?
I am amazed at how quickly I have begun to feel bad. I guess I can claim I socked it in the face for nearly eight years…this pain in my gut-maybe perhaps the thought of being validated by the ‘system’ has helped keep me going,but now that appears mute.
Some one needs to keep saying these things I’ve been trying to say…to announce to any one possible that sexual assault exists in the military-men are assaulted too….and the Veterans Administration needs to clean up its advocacy program and put people in there who are sensitive to this fact-sexual assault is an injury as much as it is a crime. Maybe then there will be validation.