Michelle, United States Marine Corps
The Marine Corps hate muslims. I am a muslim. The Marine Corps do not like women. I am a woman. The Marine Corps is not favourable towards blacks. I am black. The Marine Corps are not sympathetic towards rape survivors. I am a rape survivor. I am also a Marine. The thing that I got out most from the Marines were that I should hate somebody like myself.
Growing up I never had a desire to serve my country. In my Junior year of high school I even talked an older cousin out of joining the Army and go to college instead. I was going into my senior year with hope to play Volleyball at a Div I college. I was talking to recruiters and was one of the nation’s top prospect. Then 9/11 happened. As I was watching the news from the TV at my high school in Detroit I knew that I had to get those that did this to us. That Thursday I visited a Marine Corps recruitment office and in June 2002 a week after graduating high school I was on my way to Parris Island. I chose the Marine Corps cause they are the baddest and the best.
I went to Iraq. I loved it. I loved being deployed to Iraq. I loved the Marines. I loved my job. I loved serving my country. I fell in love with another Marine and we had a Marine wedding with both of us in uniform. When I put my uniform on I felt nothing but pride. That all changed in 2007. I was raped.
My rapist was a Captain. I was a Sergeant. I knew him from Iraq. It was early afternoon and he was intoxicated and was about to go into his car. I told him that I’ll drive him where he needs to be. He had my back in Iraq and was like a father figure to me. I was not going to allow him to drive drunk. I drove him home roughly 20 minutes from post. I drove up to his driveway. He got out stumbled up his front steps. As I was driving out of the driveway I saw him fall. I rushed out of my car to help him up. He unlocked the door and pushed me in. He raped me in his home.
After it all happened I called my husband who said he’ll meet me at the hospital. He told his command why he needed to leave but by doing that he made my rape public. At the hospital they gathered the forensic evidence in the SAFE kit.
I chose unrestricted reporting and it went up the proper channels. They said that there was not enough evidence that I was raped. Yes, they found evidence of sexual intercourse but could not find evidence that it was by force. He was never charged. They said, “well, you are a big girl (I’m 5’11) so why didn’t you just kick him in the balls.” In the flight, fight, freeze response I froze.
They said that he was suffering from PTSD and may had made a bad judgement. He was medically discharged for PTSD. Well I also have PTSD and won’t rape anybody!
I was raped at Camp Lejeune just months after the Maria Lauterbach case got worldwide attention. You’ll think that people would have dealt with my case much more carefully as all the news camera was pointed to Camp Lejeune. I had to continue working directly under him for a year. I was the scape goat of the company. I was blamed for everything. It was all my fault. Being a muslim they even blamed 9/11 for me. My grand parents are from Guinea. I was born and raised in the USA. My parents grew up in the United States. We don’t pray 5 times a day. I only put Muslim down on my enlistment papers when they asked what religion that I am. We are not at all die-hard practicing muslims, I am as American as the next Marine over but I was not that blonde girl, blue-eyed girl next door so I must be a terrorist! I did after all blew the whistle on a rape. I went against the United States of America when I dared reported rape from a United States military officer. I am married to a white, Anglo-Saxon American as they get. I had to remind myself that I am an US Marine while everyone else was calling me a sand nigger. My husband got out of the Marine Corps last year partly because of what happened to me. He is having difficulties finding a civilian job and been unemployed for over a year. He blames me that he had to leave his job. Our marriage is falling apart and my rape and PTSD is to be blamed.
I lost my career because I was told that I have Adjustment and Personality Disorders which the VA denied that I have either conditions. They said that I have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder which they rated me at for 100%. I tried to get my investigation and medical files but the Marine Corps ‘lost’ them both. How convenient to lose the investigation files from rape survivors.
I am a survivor.
I am a Marine.