Posts Tagged ‘MST’

March 7, 2014

Today-actually-at this very moment while I am writing these words-a veteran aged old enough to be a Viet Nam era veteran…is also a MST veteran, and is being interogated at a Compensation and Pension hearing to defend…again…his truth and matter of fact that he experienced sexual trauma-and suffers post traumatic stress disorder- while on active duty in service to our country!

Today the newspapers reported that Senator Gilllabrand’s Bill did not pass Congress; still-the military is in charge of the injustice of protecting rapists, and shoveling off the victims.  Still a veteran this moment sitting in a chair in a small brightly lit room with a non-believer that the fact MILITARY SEXUAL TRAUMA even exsists.

I have never known any where else where a victim of a crime as violent as rape must prove every other year that indeed they were a victim – and still suffer from the memory with the nightmares and social fears; I have never known any where else where the criminal is protected for the sake of a uniform, and the victim must endure a lifetime of shame and loss, and-if able to claim a disability from the VA must continue to endure more abuse by having to repeatedly defend that claim!


Pray for our brother; pray for all of the Silent Wounded!


44 years ago-and today too

December 31, 2013

I am under clouds of depression awake this morning at 0230 as if some horrid ghost returned to wake me at this hour….close to the very precise time that I found my way into the ‘head’ in detention barracks D and attacked-beaten-and raped; it seems as if it was only a few hours ago.

I am sorry. This is still happening to others-every day.

I know that I keep trying to close the blog; problem is-the problem is. More and more the news is beginning to speak more of MST. To insult it all….still there are so many who make less of the crime “after all-it is just sex” I have heard “so what?” has been said as well.

Jeez….it is a sad state of things when people have become so insensitive about this crime.




December 25, 2013

December 25, 2013

I have come this day to say that many strides have come the way of Military Sexual Trauma awareness, more than we’ve seen-ever!

The news-President Obama-Senator Gillibrand-all have spoken the words out loud. This is more than ever.


We still have-countless many who over the years have suffered in silence not believing anyone would ever understand, or care. One week ago a 70 year old veteran telephoned me and told me he too was assaulted during active duty.

Often-still-despite that I stopped writing many moons ago….still a veteran contacts me-wanting to know how to find sincere help, away from the VA….you see-when one is attacked in the disgusting manner that MST victims are, in our ranks-among our peers, and no justice is offered. Trust of everything-goes away.

So often I hear the distrust of the VA clinics – it does not matter what part of the USA they respond from, the fact that many of us are afraid of the VA!



That is when I became a victim.

I have kept away from this blog for a long time now-since last April; my words were met with attack from a person related to this history of mine. A person who discredits me-yet knows what I am saying is truth.

I still cannot read those words-spew of some kind of hate.


Every veteran of MST that contacts me-those seeking advice as how to achieve some sort of justice from all of this MST mess….the very first piece of advice I give is “never embellish the truth” and that “nothing but the truth is solid”. I know no one would lie about the circumstances of being raped, but was advised one time by a veterans advocate from an on-line ‘group’ called VETWOW to attend my case hearing with the VA judge as disheveled and unkempt as I could appear; to sleep in my clothes to seem disoriented.

I was so offended by the very idea that I would lie….about this?

THIS….has been ALL of my life since. I am not a ‘survivor’ but a result!

My story has never changed, it has been as accurate as it is in fact-true.

I was an innocent kid of 18 who volunteered during the Viet Nam War to serve my country and defend our Constitution….most do not know-I enlisted at age 17 into the USNR program, and received an ‘honorable discharge’ from that period from April 1969 until I took an oath enlisting in active duty in Baltimore in August 1969, days after my 18th birthday.

I went through boot camp happier than my life had been the past months at home; the death of my baby brother being part-my own teenage inability to manage control-another part.

I had gladly signed up to be with my older brother-who I thought I looked up to, and discovered my mistake a few months later.


Christmas….to me-now….crixmix, was a special fairy tale time in our home. My mother made crafts on every season, crixmix was no exception. There was no doubt as little boy-I was thrilled each time this day rolled around.

In my youth we would travel to Washington DC to visit my grandparents; we’d tour the city to see the lights; we’d go to Woodward and Lothrop to see the fantastic windows….and if it snowed-we made angels in the drifts.

On ship was my first time being an adult and away from home.


I do not desire to tell it – this anymore. Then I attempted to do something a little risky, which turned out to be riskier than imagined.

I did not-as accused-go AWOL. Technically yes-legally no. I had a liberty pass in my wallet for the weekend-new years weekend-and yet was accused of AWOL.

The VA Judge exonerated me-because-in fact-I was able to prove that.

I was accused of drugs….which after duress from the actions of my own brother upon return to ship-I admitted.

The paperwork from that date written by the USN Master at Arms on ship clearly shows a coffesion from someone who had no idea of what he was talking about…me-and the drugs I admitted to were sniffing glue or drinking nutmeg; it is on my paperwork-the silliest wording written. But true-I did tell them that I used drugs to escape the present situation I was in.

I never expected in a million years I would end up in the brig.

I was just a kid.


I entered the brig at somewhere around 8 p/m December 30 1969.

I’ve never been the same since.


I have been told I have no relationship with God.

I am glad I never utter those words to a person….the one who uttered those words to me apparently believes they have some private ‘in’ with the Lord to be my judge…enough to say I have no relationship with God. I would never presume to think I am able to make that statement without guilt, as-for ALL have sinned and come short of the Glory of God.


I am never returning to this blog after today. I have meant to stay away months ago; now I need to say this to every man and woman out there who willingly served their country only to become a victim of this violent crime-rape.

Today is the time to report it! Today is the time to release yourself of the secret and from the damage that MST has done to you over time.

Your voice is being heard-louder now. There is more attention to the facts….MST is real.

I am still active in keeping the awareness going in my home area, still speaking out against the VA and teaching others about MST. I sit on a board of several others appointed by our County Commission – the Alachua County (FLORIDA) Rape and Sexual Assault Advisory Board.

It has been tough to talk out loud about the plight of MST veterans, until recently-now the news is focused and our President has spoken-now there are those who hear me. I AM still active. I am just-done here-in this blog.

I had written before-I have said everything about me-here…and welcome written items from other MST vets, to be published here. Your words have meaning!

Your voice is needed to build the facts!

Please-seek help and advice how to speak out-determine your needs-and be free from the silence!


more words are opening up!

May 26, 2013

September 13, 2012

I was speaking to a veteran yesterday and he was explaining how his conversation had gone with his DVA officer-this conversation was about the veterans claim for post traumatic stress and directly connected with MST. I could not help to remember my first meeting with a public paid DVA officer in my home county. The man had no clue any more than a rock would have about what I was telling him!

I sat across from a former Marine. The office walls behind his desk were crowded with decorations from active military duty and Congressional awards because of his dedication to US Military veterans.

I have no doubt of this mans experience and success in aiding disabled veterans filing claims. He just had limited experience only capable of understanding the needs of a veteran that has legitimate injuries…as for this desk Marine-he lacked understanding!

No-there are no legitimate injuries! But speaking to this particular former Marine he would have never been able to accept the fact that ‘military sexual trauma’ exists in his military! He made jokes, his staff made jokes-there was no seriousness taken in what I had opened up to tell him.

The VA mental health clinic had made the suggestion to report my rapes to the DVA for validation. What happened at the DVA office was unacceptable for any survivor.

So when the veteran was talking yesterday my mind kept drifting into my local DVA office and getting a visual of whom my friend was trying tell his story to in his home area. This has been what I have felt is insensitive treatment to this type of claim and to expect any sexual trauma survivor (we actually just limp along) to go to ‘any ol’ Joe’ to fill in the details of the criminal act of rape!

This is re-traumatising…and this is not right!

Honestly my friend was not complaining but you could sense the reserve in his voice as “what are you going to do”? but it isn’t just him or me alone, it is the countless silent wounded who have  the same concerns-after all, this is not an injury one easily speaks to anyone about-especially if ever trying to report the crime in the first place and being told to “snuff it up” or “not in my battalion”! From the moment of the attack the victims self-esteem is shoved into the dirt…it keeps on being pushed into the dirt from then on! So-who is welcoming going into the office of the local DVA and follow VA procedure on filing PTSD disability claims?

There needs to be a more sensitive solution to ease the burden of filing a claim for post traumatic stress when the filer is a survivor of MST! We shouldn’t have reason to file at all-sexual trauma is not how the enlisted person expects to be injured and no one expected to gain a lifetime of suffering-silently! We stood up to defend our flag and our national security-and we are veterans, but it is not the same sense of being a veteran who can speak proudly of their service-because there is a very black and missing piece that cannot be told! I know this is so because I can never erase that I spent time in the military-and wish that I could erase all of it-but in fact, it comes up in conversations here and there and especially in unexpected moments. I have to leave the blank every time and so often I am so ashamed. And, I am not the one who should be ashamed! I am a veteran from a war-time and I enlisted months before my legal age… I should have a different story to tell. All of us should!

But-what troubles me is when we do want to talk about our military life, and what happened, when will there be someone the veteran can feel confident the person they are telling this history to is quailified to understand the trauma?


vet’s with MST share more

September 7, 2012

I received the following as a comment to a recent post,today-and…the entire comment needs to serve as a post-the reason being the blog Joan mentions “the enemy in the wire” began a few years back and through it has grown many conversations regarding Military Sexual Trauma-MST. When your blog encourages a newspaper article which headlines MST so many eyes are opened to the crime than would ever have been before. What a powerful achievement for every survivor for your being the branch that opened our words to more than just our blogs have done-you know that the eyes that will read this article might not have chosen to search for MST blogs. And this means the eyes of many people-just think of what this means!

You are a blessing!! Joan and Brigid…and, please read on:


I wanted to post this link to your blog:

This is Brigid and I – I know that sometimes in our fight we feel as though we aren’t really getting anywhere. We feel that all of our efforts are for nothing. I particularly wanted to be sure that you see this…becuse you started us on this road – and I am forever grateful!




August 25, 2012

I began yesterday to say something else-it had to do with accomplishments and my lack of! I have pondered this problem about myself for all the years of my life since release from the military! And, today I have on my mind what it is I feel has pushed me to return to this blog.

I had been advised by my psychiatrist to stay away from it-but my feelings are that of abandoning a lot of work! I also was beginning to carry a lot of other problems-the weight of the VA determination on my disability claim-the constant defending of my case-all the time knowing how the attacks in barracks D had eaten away at a normal life, a sober life, a life free of  the demons of remembering. All of that took a toll.

I went off to the sea for three months with hope to try to relive what I might have had as an 18-year-old sailor-before everything went askew.

When I returned-I found myself in a hypnotic trance-able to function but limited by having the world eliminated for three months straight…understand, there was no world other than the eighteen crewmen on the ship. 72 days on the oceans-only 11 hours on actual turf!

I had thought that I would finish my book while at sea but became mesmerized by the constant attraction of the white caps of the waves-and I had fairly much concluded this blog should come to an end. The ‘break in’ and theft of all my ‘Yahoo email’ stuff had maybe pushed that idea off the edge to be certain, but in my heart is the thought of my lack of accomplishement…after all, the blog may be about me-but it is not only just about me…it is about any person who is effected by sexual trauma, military sexual trauma-or not! I only know it from my perspective but can say that I am likely accurate on many survivors feelings!

I finally got off my seat after the recent comments by the congress guy who so full of authority spoke about a topic he obviously has no clue about!  It is that kind of ignorance that pushed me back a few years ago to begin writing this blog….a DVA representative taking the initial report on my rape listened to my details as I told him of the attacks-his comment was “gee, you never think homosexuals have a reason to rape each other”-his comments made me sick, and the comments of Todd Akin are just as ignorant and evidence of how UN-educated our society and our leaders are about sexual trauma! Worse off is the case of former Idaho Senator Larry Craig! Remember him? Arrested in a Minnesota airport mens room and pled guilty for soliciting sex. This man actually has the nerve to bill our government for his defense fund….an excerpt from one news article says:

In its complaint, the FEC contends the three-term U.S. senator’s campaign account, Craig for U.S. Senate, paid at least $139,952 to the law firm Sutherland, Asbill and Brennan in Washington, D.C., and $77,032 to Kelly & Jacobson in Minnesota for legal services related to his guilty plea to disorderly conduct….HE WANTS US TO PAY FOR IT!

You see…. many of you who are sexual trauma survivors-are afraid of people like this! I AM! Worse is-to think they are ‘leaders’ and representative of our nation, but they do not know everything!

Sexual trauma is not understood! The confusion of sex being in the line of thought-somehow makes it less harmful sounding, as it is known to the normal, sexual intimacy is to a comfortable and pleasurable moment in two people’s life. Being beat up or having a knife of a gun held to your head-or stuck in your body, and having your body ripped open along with your soul…is not a pleasure-I promise! Todd Akin used a phrase that determined a rape would have to be legitimate (and all this has to do with abortion-I am not going there) and for the life of me….what is a legitimate rape?

I prove this by the statements of the DVA jerk…gee, you never think that homosexuals need to rape each other! He is only a small fleck of the ignorant…it grows-as I recall my first open discussion about my rape(s) was several years ago in the office of a local Baptist preacher, telling him of my assaults he replied that “God has forgiven you!” almost as if that should completely wash away the filth of the memory! The associate pastor of the same church admitted to me that men my age revert to homosexuality as a part of our sinful nature! The idiot has no idea! His head-and their heads-are stuck in a sand-hole….I have not been sexually active in many years-realizing my own intimate contact ability had been broken along with everything else in barracks D….and yet, with out conviction, these men relate rape as a sexual activity-and a sin on the victims part as much as it would be on the attackers. These are church leaders, supporters of nit wits like Rep.Todd Akin!

For those of you who do not know…barracks D is where my assaults took place!

Around my home are many unfinished projects! Some only just begun, some just at the slim brink of complete, but not quite done! It has always bothered me that it is this way! I was not able to finish high school, and then the military…and once my DD214 was in hand-the truth in code to notify potential employers of my conduct…jobs were never available for me-until I learned to drive long haul trucks! What jobs were available my personality and fear of others would see to it the job was temporary, it is a fact-my work history was sporadic and spotty, I’ve had more jobs than industry! I believe the unfinished projects are a part of the tail wind of PTSD, it seems normal to me to keep things unfinished…but-

This unfinished project-the hope to facilitate a change in the VA and DVA system of representing MST veterans-must continue! I am afraid that I do not know how to procede…many of the contacts I had made over the past few years are deleted when my YAHOO account was wrecked-and robbed…and as I mention over and over…my connection to the VA medical system is over-a clause in my disability statement, no more VA health care for me!

I want to welcome-even beg for-guest writers,survivors of MST-PTSD, and supporters…this is your story too-and your justice, so please write as you feel free to do so!

My hope is to try to understand who really in Washington DC is interested enough to hear us!

PEACE…and-if you are willing to contribute, post your story in the comments section and specify if you would want to post it on the blog as a headline-post! I will copy and paste it for others to read! Thank You! and-may the heavens bless you!


July 1, 2011
088 by jayfherron
088, a photo by jayfherron on Flickr.

I am at a roadblock!

I have made promises to continue this blog in effort to continue to raise awareness of MILITARY SEXUAL TRAUMA and that MALES are victims too! Lately I have failed to keep my promise!

It is not that I am moving on…no,but that I am stuck! I have had acquaintances say to me that I have repeated myself…they not understanding that to keep the information current I need to repeat myself! However…I am no longer involved in the legal matters of my own claim/and case and have a total separation clause in my final paperwork from the VA…the VA no longer has jurisdiction over my life or mental health care! Therefore I am not connected in a way that I can be critical of the VA and VA hospitals.

I am still trying to survive myself!

Lasting living facts that will not go away is that there are issues in concern of those survivors of MST that have yet to have ANY justice in their lives as a civilian,a survivor…and a veteran! Pointing at this moment towards “what is being done to help the MST veteran?”

To repeat myself and my past and what had happened when I was told that I should file a disability claim…I went to my local VSO officer (veterans service officer) to describe the events in 1969-70 that changed my life forever. I explained to a male…a male unknown to me,but had all the suggestions of being an advocate…I explain how I was raped! To do this was not easy but was made even worse by the comments the VSO officer made regarding a rape between men as homosexual behavior (and therefore was sexual play) and equally were the comments of racial stereo typical ignorence….the man assumed that my attackers were black men,almost insisting such.

The later visits at the VSO office were not improved. So…how can justice be met in this scenario of ignorant bigotry?

It is no doubt that a change in how the VA meets the needs of an MST veteran must happen! Soon! Because we are negligent to the survivors…very negligent!

I am negligent too! Leading this voice along for several years and then seeming to drop the lead! I am stuck!!

I apologize. (although…apologies seem a dime a dozen anymore!)

There are many of us out there! There are so many who are still silent and the need to support and offer guidance is so important…but there is something else,the need to know the MST survivor veteran is not just ‘one’ alone…there are many!

Through this blog I have come in contact with many! I remain in telephone contact with about a dozen MST survivors! Some of these have decided to open a claim against the VA for post-traumatic injury due to MST incidents. Several have succeeded in seeing the claims to satisfaction where the VA admits the MST took place. That is a huge hurdle to leap for the survivor…the veteran,to at least have acknowledgment that this is a fact!

One of the veterans recently contacted me about wanting to post their own story and experience…and I encourage that idea very much!

It is not my story alone,although for a long time it seemed I was the only one this had ever happened to. I know now that there are many storys to be told.

My e-mail address is

Any survivor of sexual trauma is welcome to post! Any MILITARY SEXUAL TRAUMA survivor is encouraged to tell their story!

I PROMISE no one will ever have your email contact…as one may know,as one comments on this or any blog,the commentors email address is shown to the blog moderator in a personal part of the site…so,your email address would also be kept in privacy if one was to write me directly…I will copy and paste your words for encouragement to others!

We are clearly seeing more changes in the discussions of MST in the media…but not enough,and change may be happening in teaching that MST exists,but not enough change in how to see the survivor safely and swiftly find justice!

Please tell your story! You may help someone…one of the ‘silent wounded’ find a path worth following!


veterans parade

June 13, 2011
veterans parade by jayfherron
veterans parade, a photo by jayfherron on Flickr.

I am inspired by a conversation I had this weekend with a fellow MST veteran. He said things to me that helped me tremendously,he told me things I had not considered fully. I did not realize how many I have reached,not for me,but to find a hope for a change in how Military Sexual Trauma (MST) veterans are received,and treated,when they are returned to civilian life!

I expressed to my friend that my blog had taken a dip from my own interest because I have no more connection with the Veterans Administration Hospital and therefore have no ground to raise issue . I’m not a real brite guy!

There are still issues! Serious issues!

I am very proud of this veteran,the man who inspired me. His conversation lifted me back on the track I was trying to leave!

Why I am proud for him is because independently this veteran appealed to the VA for disability due to ‘post traumatic stress disorder’ related to injury directly related to MST….and he was awarded 100% disability.

There is some justice,in fact!

But then in this case the VA holds re-evaluation rights every so many years. There are still issues!

This veteran and I both agreed that this was an insult. We both agreed the damages to our souls were too deep to ever heal, and PTSD is forever.

Of course the veteran can appeal and hopefully will. But why? Why should this ever be? We were the victims! This veteran was a victim to a crime where the only convictions were always on him, never was anyone convicted for the crime,never was the crime taken seriously, and as typical the blame was placed in the veterans direction…and it stands there! In the veterans possession is a paper saying “after some 40 years of your suffering steadily and full-time we finally agree you have been 100% injured,but might improve in a few years”!!

What an insult to think that could ever be so. While a criminal walked free the victim has to continue to defend themselves? It is hard to comprehend how we can say there is justice in these decisions as many of them have come years too late. And that perhaps all will change in a few years. I wish I could encourage somebody to hope for that, but I can’t.

I spoke to a lady from a non-profit group that is gearing up to expose more of the facts of MST. She gave me praise for my courage. I have no courage-it is more anger…but, I don’t believe it about the courage. You see, even if the VA approves a claim for disability in your favor it does not mean you are finally free of the past that disables you! I am in a life long battle to remain sober,and yet my knees still have scrape marks from the times I fall down. And,I fall down. And then reality glints a ray in my heart and I try to pick back up again. And I do…for a season,maybe two! But I fall. I have been determined 100% disabled due to PTSD related directly to MST. Still…everyday,even this days beginning I remember the events that led to my rapes as if they took place yesterday. Why the reel must play over and over and over is something I can not answer. I don’t want to be drunk. I don’t want to be drugged. But I do indulge in these manners of escape…thankfully now not as frequent as once was, but then there comes a trigger of some kind that causes me to seek escape.

It is an insult to any survivor to assume things have gotten better! On the last day of 1969 I was told by the officer who saw my injury from being beaten up while being raped to “get used to it”. He did not offer any help, he merely chuckled at the fact of my demise, and expected me to just live with it. I have never been able to live with it.

So much was taken from us. We intended to serve our country, to defend the Constitution of the United States and our Flag. It was a ‘boy-hood’ must in my era! We grew up playing Army games with great pretend wars. We were enlisting to share the freedom of democracy to lands that had none. Freedom! And rights! It add’s to the power of the damage to us because we were there to be defenders, instead we are sore with shame. It is nearly impossible to speak of my military time without feeling the shame. Many of my friends served in combat, real combat unlike anything we could imagine as kids at play. One of my friends disabled from stepping on a land mine.

It is hard explaining our military time with veterans like that.

No. It won’t go away, and it won’t get better.

But despite it all…here is an MST veteran who lost a career and went through the mishaps of life because of PTSD’s help, who after many years of suffering has taken on the VA on his own, and was successful in at least the recognition of MST being a valid connection to PTSD.

All MST veterans should applaud the courage that took! And…should take the same issue in their own lives, because this veterans achievement is powerful.




river and stuff

February 26, 2011

river and stuff 034

Originally uploaded by jayfherron

These things are hard to understand.

The only way I can figure it is that over the past few years my mind was deeply concentrated on the final outcome of my disability claim against the VA (Veterans Administration). That concentration was apparently strong enough that it began to soften the effects of other aspects of what goes on. Last night as now for many nights,I have lost count,I slept a short while in my bed but the fury of dreams and restlessness due to pain but ended  up sitting the night out wrapped in a blanket and sitting up in a chair.

I believe what had happened was my mind was so deeply involved with getting the disability claim process behind me that the power it had consumed me with softened other sense.

I noticed a strange peace and rest began almost immediately after learning the claim was final. That has subsided. The nights have become worse for me.

My body is in pain. It has been for a number of years,but lately it has seemed more progressive in its manner of keeping me feeling bad all day. I believe that too has taken race for the blank space left behind after the claim was settled.

My dreams lately have taken a shift in size. No,that is not the right way to beginning to describe them,it more reminds me of being in one of those ‘crixmix carol’ stories Charles Dickens wrote,the one where the ghosts take old man mean out to show him what for! I am in these dreams and present as a bystander and witness. They always,always are in a prison scenario of the most hideous bizarre description. I wake from them four or five times,or more,as how can I count? I look at myself in the mirror days and seem to look so tired. I feel tired.

Nothing has changed,and nothing has improved.

Validation is what I was told the awarding of a disability would offer and likely bring.

There is some. I guess really it is the awe of the thing to have lived all these years with it (PTSD) and then to have it be made aware to yourself and to so many that it is what is wrong with me and to share with so many as why. The true validation came from inside, a Spiritual validation that I trusted faith and not a system of men.

Still are the same old things. I drink less,but that is because of my physical pain and I don’t feel like sitting up in a chair all night feeling drunk. The fears are the same. I have made and excuse each day for several why I don’t need to leave the property to go to the grocery store,or even take care of smaller errands. The anxiety is still exactly the same. I still have to prepare myself mentally for certain excursions. I hate finding myself in a place needing to pee. Restrooms are like entering a chamber of horrors for me liken it to being afraid of snakes and every restroom is a den of vipers. Each snake head is really a hand,and all hands are out to grab you.

Let me tell you the truth. I am thrilled to have the VA behind me…not as a back up,but as a past that I no longer am required to respond to. But let me also be honest, Other than being glad the process of the disability claim being over nothing different is in my head to remove the memories of barracks D and what followed.

I wish you peace.