Soldier raped after basic training.

Monica, United States Army

I am an MST survivor. I went into the Army because I thought it would be cool to wear a uniform and serve my country. Little did I know what would happen after Basic Training, in Ft Lee, Virginia. I had an off post weekend. My battle buddy and I went to a hotel with a bunch of other battle buddies and hung out for the night. I had gotten my own room also. My battle buddies husband was coming to meet her at the hotel. I was single and not looking for a guy. My battle buddy thought it would be cute to hook me and her husband’s friend (also in the Army) up.

We all four went out to dinner at Applebees Restaurant. Everyone was drinking except me. We all finished eating dinner. We went back to the hotel. I was just hanging out with my battle buddy and her husband. She then wanted “alone personal time” with her husband, so I went in my room to hangout. My battle buddy’s, husband’s battle buddy was also just hanging out. He asked me if we could go into my room to just watch TV while they were doing “their” thing.

We were just sitting on the bed watching Law and Order SVU. He had had a couple beers at Applebees, then proceeded to have several more in my room. I didn’t care as long as I didn’t have to drink any. He started to get belligerent. He got on the bed and started touching me. He put his hand on my breasts and started squeezing them. He was really getting excited. He started to make noises, kiss my neck. I felt really uncomfortable. He told me I liked it and that this was normal. He called it fore-play. I was completely disgusted. He then said he had to pee. I was happy because he finally got off of me. About 3 minutes later he came out of the bathroom….butt naked! I was a virgin at the time, so I was totally shocked. He jumped on the bed started to take off my shirt, I got really angry and started yelling NO!!! He acted like he wasn’t listening to me. He then told me to take off my shirt otherwise he would do it for me. So I did what he said (by this time he was getting angry that I wasn’t cooperating). I was getting scared cuz he started to yell. I fear when people yell at me or around me. I started to cry because I was scared. I didn’t know what to do except tell him no. I didn’t want to have sex. He still wasn’t listening. He told me to take off my jeans and underwear. I was starting to shake and cry even more. He then pinned me to the bed with his arms and shoved his penis in to my vagina. I screamed like there was no tomorrow. He was totally having a good time. I was so angry, I didn’t know what to do. It went on for a while that I started to feel numb, I completely disassociated. I didn’t know what else he was doing. I then came to when he was done. He walked back into the bathroom, got dressed and said this was fun, and walked out of my hotel room. I was lying there completely naked and traumatized. I felt so violated!! I then threw my clothes back on, left and took a cab back to my barracks. I didn’t care if I had paid for the hotel room for the night, I booked it outta there. I got back to my barracks.

I then went immediately to my drill sergeant, and told him what happened. He looked at me like I was stupid. He started to ask me questions of what happened. I didn’t know what to tell him. He was a male. I was so scared. He was in authority of me so I had to tell him I was raped in a hotel. He then got on the phone and called SART (Sexual Assault Response Team) and told them that he had a private who claimed she was raped. A man from the team came out and talked to me. SART wanted me to go with them to the hospital in their car. No way was I going. I was not about to put myself in a vehicle with a man to go to the hospital. I refused treatment because of that. He had me sign a bunch of papers and went on his way.

I went to the barracks and took the longest shower of my life. In the middle of the night I started to have really bad cramps, I hurt so bad down there. I couldn’t sleep. I then had to wake up at 0400 to go do pt. I told them I couldn’t run, I wasn’t feeling well. I got yelled at for this. I then ended up going to sick hall and telling them about my pain and that I needed help. Once again, they looked at me like I was just being over dramatic and send me on my way. I was so angry that no one would listen. After my rape I started to have a really hard time, emotionally. I couldn’t focus, I was getting angry and yelling at my drill sergeants and other soldiers. My drill sergeant told me to go to CMHS (Community Mental Health System) to get evaluated! They thought I was crazy. I ended up talking to a psychologist and telling them what happened. Within a couple weeks, I was getting my papers to be discharged from the Army. They said I was unfit to be a soldier and that I was useless. I wasn’t allowed to deploy and not allowed to carry a weapon. They treated me like I had a psychical and mental handicap. I got on the plane home and found myself in homeless shelters, jobless and completely lost in this world. I was very angry, I started having more outbursts and completely shutting down. I wanted to kill myself. I felt like a reject, a nobody.

I went into the Army to serve my country and this is how I got treated. I had no goal in life, no family who accepted me. My family even blamed me for my rape. I ended up getting into a shelter that helped veterans and really cared about us. At the time I didn’t even think I was a veteran, I thought you had to do like 20 years and retire to be considered a veteran. Long story short, I got into my own apartment with the help of an uh-mazing social worker. I received a 100% service connected disability from the VA. I have a service dog, substantial amount of income each month, I’m receiving mental health assistance with the VA. Overall I would say that I am doing better than I was when I left the Army. I still have my emotional and mental struggles but I have so many MST sisters and professional help to assist me in my recovery that things are going to be ok. I really want to help other MST survivors get well, once I am well. I think it would help with my healing process.

13 comments

  1. Much love to you…stay strong and thank you so much for sharing. It is hard to read when someone else tells it, it sux knowing we arent the only ones. HUGs to you sister. dont hesitate to email me if you ever need to talk. i am on facebook…Evonne Niki Nicholson

  2. Silenced No More !!!

    Twenty six years ago during my AIT training in Oct. 1986 I was stationed at Fort Eustis, VA and we had an acting 1st Sgt. because the current 1st Sgt. was being held on rape charges. The acting 1st Sgt. called me into his office after formation one evening and told me that I was to report to room # (Turned out it was a dorm room being used as a storage room that had a bunk set up in it.)

    When I opened the door, the light was off and as I reached for the light switch I was pulled by my arm into the room.

    The acting 1st Sgt. proceeded to tell me that he loved my accent and that we were going to become very good friends and if I went along with it, I wouldn’t have any trouble, but if I didn’t he could make my life hell and that he would see to it that my husband and I never served at the same base. Being new to the Army, I had no idea that he didn’t have this type of power!

    The only person I ever told was my husband, who was also in AIT training at Fort Sam Houston. I wanted to report him, but my husband said not to say anything because the acting 1st Sgt. could ruin our Army careers.

    I did not report him, and let the rapes continue suffering in silence. I began to hate myself, my husband, and the Army. I called my uncle who was a Sgt. Major at the time serving in Korea and told him that I had a friend who this was happening to and what should she do, he told me to tell her to report it.

    I wished I would have listened to him. But being away from your family and in another state for the first time in your life and being in an institution where you are taught to obey and not challenge, I remained silent.

    Instead, I let my husband convince me to stay quite because it was only for a short time compared to the rest of our lives.

    He passed away in 1990 by the hands of a drunk driver and I still have not forgiven him nor the Army or my Government for the betrayal.

    My entire life has been affected by what that acting 1st Sgt. did to me (and I am sure to others before and after me).

    I had a flash back in 1999 when a male coworker, a helicopter pilot with DEA who resembled that acting 1st Sgt. reached across me to check my seat belt harness and brushed against my breast while checking it.

    I had a major panic attack that led to a meltdown and attempted suicide. I still suffer from depression, nightmares, low self-esteem, distrust, lack of affection and emotional detachment even to my own children and my boyfriend of 14 years. I will not ever remarry because of what happened to me!!! Because of my husband’s betrayal!!

    I have no close friends because I trust no one. There are weeks at a time that I won’t leave my house. I am locked inside a living hell in my own mind.

    My boyfriend, a retired Marine Lt. Colonel has finally talked me into facing this issue in hopes that I can put it behind me and enjoy the rest of my time on this earth.

    I remember every detail as if it is happening today, except for the acting 1st Sgt.’s name. My psychologist said that I have blocked it out because doing so has allowed me to punish him in my mind. I don’t see it that way, 26 years later he is still raping me!!

    This occurred in Oct. and Nov. of 1986 at Fort Eustis, VA. I was in H Co 71st Transportation Battalion, 8th Transportation Brigade. He was one of the male company Drill Instructors before being appointed as acting 1st. Sgt.

    As of yesterday, I have finally contacted Fort Eustis CID division and filed a report. They have put me in contact with the CID division at Fort Hood as I reside in Texas (Born and raised in Texas). The Fort Hood CID come to my home and took my formal statement.

    I am going to get justice not only for myself but for all the other before and after me.

    I came across a report in People Magazine from May 5,1997, Vol. 47, No.17 about a special committee in 1981 who investigated sexual assaults at Fort Eustis. Major Ned Marrs, who headed this committee had three female Journalist interview female soldiers stationed at Fort Eustis, VA.

    The article reads as follows:
    “Retired Maj. Ned Marrs felt a twinge of concern when his daughter Keely, 20, decided to join the Army in November 1991. A decade earlier (1981), Marrs had formulated one of the first official Army policies banning sexual harassment at Fort Eustis, Va., after female journalists under his command in the public affairs office interviewed women on the base. “They recorded horrifying stories of rape, verbal harassment and physical sexual touching,” says Marrs .”

    Why didn’t the Army take measures to protect its female and male soldiers from being victims? I was willing to give my life for my Country and in return my Country has taken my soul and sanity.

    My campaign of “Silenced No More” will become a National slogan because I do not intend to be Silenced any Longer !!!

    Sincerely,
    Silenced No More,

    Melissa “Missy” Davis
    Proud Veteran of the U.S. Army
    “Liberty and Freedom are lost to those who compromise.”

  3. I’m so sorry this happened to you and I hope that asshole was punished for what he did. I am going through it right now, and I’m being labled a whore and told that I was asking for it. I did not report my rape but it got reported and now I may be forced to testify against him at a court martial.
    Sometimes doing the right thing is hard, especially when it feels like no one is on your side. I am going to stand up for what is right and testify against him, even if I’m the only one standing. I’m going to do it for you, and the other rape survivors on this site. It is truly a traumatic experience that no one should have to go through. It is a nightmare.
    You are not alone, I don’t know you but I am here for you and I support you. People may tell you that you are crazy but you are not. They are ignorant and it is so easy to blame the victim.
    This needs to stop, and by speaking out about it we can stand up against them and make a difference. Please stay positive! You are doing great and the world will pull through. There are good people out there who care about you. I do.
    By the way, I also went to tech school at Ft. Lee, VA. I was there Dec-Jan 2012.
    Ashley

  4. Hi there it’s so sad to hear what has happened to you . I am a soldier of 15 years male with a daughter who will be going to AIT at ft lee in November . Your story or tragedy I would say needs to be shared with young girls in basic and AIT . I apologize for the actions of the military and as a Christian man I am considering going to drill sgt school to prevent these things and keep moral standards enforces . It would be a blessing if my daughter can hear from you and get advice on how to conduct herself during AIT. She is a follower and not a leader that scares me a lot. Well once again I am sorry for your experience but I admits your bravery and I hope you reach out to me thank you and GOD bless.

  5. Oh I am so sorry for u I hope u heal mentally and show the BAD people in this world that u are no weirdo and who his that careless?! when I am police officer (that will be soon) I am gonna bring pepper spray wherever and my gun and badge I believe ther is gonna be happy ending in ur life stay strong don’t let them bring you down.
    ~Angela

  6. You know, it’s always seemed to me like as a woman in the military – at any enlisted rank – you’re either considered a slut, a bitch, or one of the guys. If you’re considered a ‘slut’, you’re in real danger, all of the time. If you’re a ‘bitch’, you’re an outcast, lose promotion potential, and lose much needed support of other military members when deployed. If you’re ‘one of the guys’, it means laughing at the rape jokes and buying drinks at the strip clubs. I don’t know. Sorry if that’s offensive, but that was my personal experience. It’s disheartening as hell, too. I was always ‘one of the guys’. There’s this empty feeling every time you’re in a group where you have to pretend you don’t care about the stories and the bragging.

    I do commend the military on establishing better training and reachable SARCs. But you have to me smart, and stick up for yourself. Always. If all else fails, find a female NCO who you can go to for help.

  7. Something similar happened to me at Fort Jackson in Basic Combat Training. I was sexually assaulted by a drill sergeant and got a CID report, treated like garbage by the other soldiers in training and Drill Sergeants, and then thrown away. I was homeless for a couple of years and stayed in a couple shelters in a couple different states. I felt like no one as well as, disposable like a piece of garbage. I owed money. I have a bachelors degree too! People thought I was crazy and went to the extreme. No one wanted to be around me not even my own mom and brother who threatened to call the police if I showed up at their door. After 7.5 years, I got 50% and now appealed my VA disability compensation case. All I can do it wait. 2 of the drill sergeants who trained me have facebook accounts including the man who sexually assaulted me and made my life hell.

    1. i wish you strenght and courage through all you’ve been through. The same happened to me in AIT. I had only served 8 months in the army andf wasw raped. It’s been over 20 years i never understood my moods and had a problem with authority figures. It seemed like couldn’t hold aq job. My family didn’t understand me, i lost relationship, chronically homeless. I was willing to give my life for my country. And this is how they treated me……The Army failed me.
      In my heart i believe i got the separation (Chapter 13) because they were trying and did protect the dril sergeant. I have sent 68 days in a PTSD/MST program ! I am starting to feel better about myself as a woman admist all the pain, shame, and humilation i received from my superior officers.

  8. Thank you brave souls, I thought I was the only one and maybe imagined it all for the last 35 years. I will submit my story soon. A1C Jennifer Day

  9. I am glad you received something for your trauma. I was raped by a priest in walls miss. all the physciatrists I have seen tell the board at the va that I have ptsd from it but it happened off base so I don’t qualify for benefits, so I am glad someone is getting something

  10. Im reading this almost two years after you have shared this so I don’t even know if you’ll see this. I’m so terribly sorry you had to go through such an ordeal. I just served four years in the navy and I just separated a few days ago. Reading this made me tear up and believe it or not I’m a guy. This made me tear up because nothing upsets me more than hearing or reading about an innocent girl with the purest of intentions getting taking advantage of and then being treated like garbage because of it. What happened to you is unforgivable and how your chain of command handled it is equally unforgivable. I’m pleased to see you’re doing better. Stay strong. And you take care…

  11. Omg… I’m so sorry this happened to you love :'( …me growing up in a house with just my mom and 2 sisters mainly because my dad was away for work…but, this really hits my sensitive side. I wish you a speedy recovery.

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