Posts Tagged ‘the silent wounded’

the interview

June 18, 2010

me on the USS Vulcan
Originally uploaded by jayfherron

 

Last night was a gift for all of the SILENT WOUNDED!

Last week l was asked to consider being the guest on a radio program-The Rape Declaration Forum (WBAI-FM 99.5 NYC…the program airs the 3rd Thursday of each month).

The invitation was because l am a male-and survivor of sexual trauma.

Earlier this week I was contacted again-by the co-host of the program-and l was asked to do a promo…and l was unable to say anything intelligent. The co-host remarked “usually a spokes-person has something prepared”!!

I had to think about that-l was dumbfounded too,after all-l talk about MST in my blog all of the time…and then l realized why l was stuck! I am not a spokesperson about male sexual trauma-l am a spokesperson about ‘military sexual trauma’….and not necessarily about male victims-as important as that is also,but to inform others about MST is paramount.

Military Sexual Trauma-MST

I could not believe my ears last night as the hosts began the program-and introduced me as a “whistle-blower” against the Department of Defense (well…they said it,but it ain’t that accurate-the DoD already knows the problem exists) …

…and,they introduced me as a spokesperson for the SILENT WOUNDED.

I was very proud of that moment-hearing them say SILENT WOUNDED…and knowing then that there were no gates-and no closed doors…and that freedom was there to say what so many want to say! We have been wounded in a dishonorable way…we remain wounded and feel guilt and shame and pain.

Our voice was given an hour on a New York City radio program. www.wbai.org The program will be loaded into their archives next week. I hope I handled the message responsibly.

I am truly thankful to the hosts-Jay Grayce and Rebecca Myles for allowing us to speak!

peace

…goin to the city-Washington DC

April 20, 2010

084
Originally uploaded by jayfherron
 

 

Before I write this:

For those who have only just stumbled by finding my journal by accident….I am Jay Herron-a 59-year-old male (MALE) survivor of  rape.

 My attacks occurred while serving in the United States military-being so, qualifies me for a distinct kind of definition for rape…it is known as ‘military sexual trauma’…MST!

Several years ago-the time which can be dated by the date I first set up a computer in my home-the date I first started writing about my life as a survivor….the date I was offended by the remarks of a Veterans Service Officer-a VSO! The date that proved that there is an ignorance about ‘sexual trauma’ being related to something that just ain’t that bad! After all…sex was involved?? Right? Come on chum…am I right??

The interview I had the first time I ever met a VSO was responded to with humor and bigotry…the humor was self serving-the VSO saw it odd that homosexuals needed a reason to rape each other…and the VSO was clearly shocked to hear my rapist(s) were not black men. To him it just had to be!

I should have quit then.

A month or so later….the date that I started writing about the injustice of being an MST survivor….I returned to the VSO and more remarks (and again-the self-serving humor) about my being a male rape victim had more to do with homosexual behavior than it did with my being beaten up and forced to be victimized-repeatedly for nearly two months!

I’ve begun to realize since beginning this journal that I am not a lone survivor….there are thousands of MST veterans-many of them are silent and hidden away by the fears resulting from being a victim-and the fears that are energized by PTSD. I know these people-the MST veteran as ‘silent wounded’.

The SILENT WOUNDED came forward when duty called-like any soldier or sailor-came forward to protect and serve and the defend the rights and freedoms of this country-the United States of America! Our wounds came in an unreasonable way…a shameful way-not in battle as a final result of courage-with honor,not in a way that earns us the respect of any other veteran…or the country we stepped forward to defend. We are the SILENT WOUNDED!

I know this. I lived in silence for a great part of my adult life because of the stigma and shame connected with rape. No one wanted to know…no one ever asked! My injuries came at a time that I was considered a disgrace to my family…they never knew why I became the way I have, broken.

So you are out there too! You are mustered up in a line of veterans that live in silence-most likely not feeling any honor in your military service…injured and not able to speak out about it-how you came to be a member of the ‘SILENT WOUNDED’!

My name is Jay Herron! I am sick that there are no voices loud enough to hear your plea for justice-and civil rights!

I AM going to Washington DC. I AM going to attend the national rally at the Capital of the United States…and-I AM going to carry the voices of other survivors…that is,if those silent are tired of keeping quiet-and want justice and equal rights,will respond to me and allow me to carry their message!

I am Jay Herron. I AM an MST survivor! I AM going to Washington DC! Write to me and allow me to be your messenger:

jayfherron@yahoo.com  and I will print a copy to hand deliver- or…

9950 NE 132 Terrace-Williston FL 32696

(address it to SILENT WOUNDED and I will deliver your hand sealed envelope UN-opened) AND-will only place them in the hands of a Senator or Congress person ONLY!

Tell your story in however you can find the words and I promise you I will respect your pages and your words with all of my heart and I will hand deliver them to what ever Senator will accept them.

I AM attending the May 11,2010 Don’t ask,Don’t tell (DADT) rally in Washington DC…I have been told that there are people who want to hear our story! I have ben told I will meet a Senator that IS willing to listen and hear the words of the SILENT WOUNDED.

I am not concerned with who needs to ask and who needs to tell-my mission is not to appeal for anything more than for the equal rights of MST survivors! We need a freedom to be able to come forward and receive that which we first enlisted to defend-our rights,and the rights of others!

Help me tell your story-allow me the trust to be your voice.

PEACE

look out ma-here comes the elephant boy

February 15, 2010

006
Originally uploaded by jayfherron

 

The title comes from a John Prine song.
What was in his head when he wrote it has not been explained to me-but what is in my head when I hear it is the story of an oddity-a kid with an odd something about himself.

Call me odd. It won’t matter-it truly does not matter. It is too late to change me to any other way,I have adjusted to living like this after so long. I might as well. My life has been this for so long that it is a callous. Just as if I was a hand that worked all of its life with pick axe or a shovel or some kind of hard work.

There is a movie by Werner Herzog-titled “Where the Green Ants Dream”. It is a strange story about an Australian mining operation that is disrupted by a group of Aborigine peoples protest of the destruction of a sacred ant species. The people end up in court to fight for the right to keep the land sacred-and the judge calls a man from the Aborigine group to testify. This guy rambles on in a language of his own and the judge asked for someone to interpret what was said. No one could-he was the last of his people,his tribe-his language. Only he spoke it-and he knew what was being said.

That is the odd part about me. I feel silenced and isolated. I feel like an elephant boy. I feel as if only I understand what is being said.

I spoke to a survivor yesterday. We have been talking about organizing to rally against the Veterans Administration for the civil rights of veterans who have suffered from MST contributing PTSD. My conversation was with another elephant boy…elephant man…elephant woman…elephant girl…elephant white…elephant black….elephant odd ass person-an oddity. An Aborigine with out a language-because no one can understand what the oddity has to say.

As I spoke to this veteran-a United States Army Viet Nam era veteran-a rape survivor…I heard me talking! I heard my language being spoken. It was almost as if I was on the telephone and listening to myself. The things that were being said could only have been understood by someone like me. That someone understands the pain of the loneliness of our lives-the secret we have to endure…the self hate and self destruction-all because of what happened at the hands of others.

It is such a confused life. The Military Sexual Trauma survivors life. My conversation was with a soul just like me-growing up in an age where defending our country and our Constitution was the important key to survival and freedom…we were raised on values to salute the flag of our nation and march against any that would cause us a threat-to teach other lands,not as free as ours,the rights and freedoms-a word called democracy is used….the rights and freedoms of our United States.

We are elephant boys now…elephant men…elephant woman…elephant black…elephant white…with out a language-except with in our own group,but-the group is so isolated by its silence. We are oddities! We are not like the rest-we are silenced. We have no rights.

Look out Ma here comes the elephant boy-all dressed up in his corduroy!

Military Sexual Trauma is just a title-it once upon a time was not even known as anything….unless perhaps it had a behavioral title-such as ‘sexual activity’ or ‘homosexual behavior’ but not as an injury.

Imagine what it is like to look up to heros from eras past-like the men of Iwo Jima…or the those captured during war time and kept as POW’s. Just imagine what it might be like to want to be like those-to be a hero,to fight the battles and defending what is right,believing in what is right….and then it is shut down,and shut away by the devience of another’s power over you. Everything is taken away-the desire…the belief…and the ability to defend. We no longer feel the honor of the duty we stepped forward to do-and feel the right to stand up next to the others who made it through-the true veterans…we feel the right is lost.

Silenced!

Look out Ma…