My Duty to Speak

Rape in the Massachusetts National Guard

Anonymous, Massachusetts National Guard

I grew up in an affluent town in Massachusetts. My family was expecting me to follow in their footsteps of getting an ivy league education and becoming a doctor or a lawyer. I had other dreams. I wanted to join the Army. I found the National Guard to be a great combination of both being able to attend college while still fulfilling my desire to serve my country even if it was for just a weekend each month and two weeks in the summer. That was until the ban of not deploying Guard members was lifted in which I found myself in the dessert during a war.

They warn you not to go out “after hours” and to have a “buddy” with you at all times. If it is 0400 and you need to use the latrine make sure that you do not go alone. They do not straight out say that you may get raped but the buddy system was not put in place as a form of voyeurism and to fulfill someone’s fantasy of watching others urinate.

I woke up needing to pee. I was not going to wake up anyone cause I did not want to say “hello Spc. ***** can you wake up and walk with me so I can take a piss”. So I went alone. It was daybreak and not even dark out. I did my business and was walking back to the tent when I was grabbed, pushed down and raped.

I ran straight  to my tent and woke up my best friend at the time and before you know it the entire tent was awake. I was sent off for a rape kit examination and the MPs questioned me. They asked me why I went to the latrine alone. They went to interview the man and he denied it. I had to stay with him for another 14 weeks before we were sent back home.

Back in Massachusetts the SARC was less than helpful once again asking me what possessed me (actual words) to use the latrine. Now I am possessed cause I needed to pee? The SARC went on to being awarded the 2010 SARC Award. She may have put on a great presentation for the command to the point of lying about how great her performance was but one-on-one with a rape survivor she was less than helpful. You know the type of people that would kiss ass to a command and get rewarded even though their performance suck? That who she was. She ended up being deployed and was replaced by a 1st LT who did not understand the process of returning phone calls. After over a dozen failed attempts I blocked my phone number and called her. This time she answered and when I said it was me she went…”Hello….hello…I can’t hear you….click” she did not answer the phone when I called back.  When I visited her office she was less than helpful. I guess the first SARC did not tell the new SARC about my case and she called me a liar when I said that it was already reported.

I did not tell my parents right away. They are the helicopters parents and I am sure would have found a way to go the Middle East if I told them right away. After serious consideration and the Guard orders to re-deploy me with my rapist did I finally tell them what happened. They were supportive but with an underlying “well we told you so”.

I has since left the Guard and am in a pre-med program at a private college in Massachusetts. I am ineligible for any financial compensation for college such as the GI Bill and therefore paying out of pocket. I am trying to put the entire Mass National Guard experience behind me but it been difficult. I just started seeing a therapist at the Vet Center and been attending the Military Rape Crisis Center support groups but the pain is even worse now than the day that I was raped because of the lack of help and response from the Sexual Assault Response Coordinators especially 1st Lt K.S. If you are reading this-FUCK YOU BITCH.

My Duty to Speak

My Military Experience Mirrored an Abusive Childhood.

Jen STG2 United States Navy

Gandhi said:

“First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they attack you, then you win.”

I grew up in a seemingly normal barely middle class home. What I mean by barely middle class was that I was born to two unemployed college students who moved from their provincial southern California hometown to the emerging economic boomtown that would become Silicon Valley.

My mother was an interesting but chronically depressed woman. My father was a seemingly jovial but bipolar alcoholic former Marine .He would say, “Once a Marine always a Marine. My father glorified his days as a Marine serving in Vietnam. He felt that his Purple Heart gave him a license to do pretty much anything that he wanted. Anything that he wanted includes beat and molest his children and psychologically terrorize his wife, my mother. They both put on a good game face and everything looked great.

In John Bradshaw’s terms, I was the “Acting out child.” The acting out child is relevant to the military rape that will come several years later. I knew that things in the house were wrong and I called attention to that fact. By the time that I was twelve years old, I was popping all sorts of over the counter allergy and sleeping pills to stay disengaged. I found solace in poetry and drama. I even watched pathetic soap operas as an escape.

By the time that I was in high school, we had moved to Duchess County New York because the IBM there looked as if it were going to be a new Silicon Valley. My father went to IBM East Fishkill ahead of us and I was hoping at this time that my mother would file for divorce and refuse to join him in New York. She didn’t. We moved to New York in May of 1983. I was about to turn thirteen.

Things looked normal for a while. My parents rented a house with five bedrooms in Rural Pleasant Valley New York. Things seemed like they were going to be great. I thought things had changed.

My parents eventually bought a raised ranch in the town of Pleasant Valley. My father’s drinking reemerged and the abuse came back. He had always physically and sexually abused my sister and me. One night he came to basement where we had bunk beds. He began to assault me, “As punishment.”

I was on the bottom. He had me pinned with one foot free. I called out to my sister. She whined, “Go to bed Dad.” She must have forgotten to say please. I pleaded for her help while she lay on the top bunk wishing that this was not happening. Perhaps she was in shock. She could wish all she wanted. I did not have that luxury.

The bunk beds were not very stable. I kicked the top bunk over and over until the top rack dropped on my father and me. My sister pulled him off of me and went and got my mother who came downstairs and took my father to bed. Betrayal began in the home.

Eventually, I told my father that I was going to turn him in for that night. He looked at me with his mean Marine stare and said, “I’ll beat the charges.” I did not turn him in for at least a year.

About a year later, I took off with a friend. We planned to report the crime. When the police picked us up I reported the assault. The police sent me home to my abuser and we were ordered by social services to attend eight visits of family counseling. This solved nothing!

I grew up and became a small time stand-up comic. Being wasted was a big part of my stick. Many funny people are damaged. Humor saved me. I was terrified to go out on the road as a stand-up. I knew the likelihood revisiting dangerous places. I put my career on hold and took a job at IBM in Burlington, Vermont, where my father was a legend.
I left that job to join the Navy in my mid twenties. I thought that I could serve my country, sober up, toughen up, and get back on the road as a stand-up when I got out. I really felt at home in the Navy.

I became the walking recruiting advertisement. I went to school on the side and I volunteered everywhere. I was grateful to be in the Navy. I loved being alive.
Things began to crash at FleetASWSan Diego. There were three men in C-School who were white power advocates. I have mixed faith and I feel closer to the Tanakh than the New Testament. I wore a Star of David back then. At a PT muster, one of these bullies saw the Star of David and yelled “Hey you dirty Jew” at me in front of sixty people who remained silent. Silent. Like my sister on top of that bunk back home. The difference, they were not barely thirteen years old and should be held to a higher standard.

I turned the haters in. The higher ranking among them – already on a suspended bust – was relieved of his supervisory role.

Thus began my decline. The recently demoted told most of the men on ASW that whoever went to sea with me should ruin me. In 1998, I reported to a DDG in Norfolk, VA.

Someone that I knew at Fleet ASW training Center in San Diego reported month ahead of me. He told the division that I was a feminist ball buster. By the time that I got to the ship, they already had it in for me.

I arrived with a good attitude and did my work. I won a few people over with humor. I was oblivious to me preemptive reputation. I found a “Dog log” where my “Other” names were listed. “Bitch, Dyke, Whore!” I confronted members of my division. I would take bitch and even dyke (I would never use a discriminatory term like that but as far as being called such a thing, who cares) but not whore.

The ship went to the Caribbean for a long cruise. We sailed through three hurricanes off the Florida coast. I was put on a nightly mid watch for six weeks with a shipmate (rapist) who just returned from a night in jail for beating his wife. It was known that I despised him.
Several times I was sexually assaulted by a second class petty officer (Rapist) during this watch. In high seas he would get seasick. Once, he got sick on me while he was trying to assault me.

The ship pulled into Puerto Rico. I bought a bunch of sleeping pills, Nyquil, and allergy medicine that I used to detach as a teenager. I drank Nyquil with sleeping pills. I could not sleep without them.

I took a bunch of Sominex, Nyquil, and Benadryl, and tried to drown myself in Puerto Rico. The Caribbean stays shallow for miles. The next day I called my aunt. She urged me to turn the rapist in. I knew this would come back on me.

I eventually reported it anyway. I went to the HMC, Chief Hospital Corpsman. I was taking a big risk because this HMC had been in trouble for leaking privacy act information about STD’s on the ship. I decided to throw my career away and report the crime.

Shockingly, the Chief’s mess circled their wagons and covered this up. My Senior Chief took me out on the fantail of the ship for a “Smoke break.” He told me that they knew that I was a feminist and that if I said anything more about this, they would have proof that I was just trying to get “The rapist” into trouble.

I was baited and trapped into an argument by my work center supervisor. He ranted that there was nothing wrong with “The Rapist,” “He just grew up in a touchy feely family.” Now some bitch that did not belong in the Navy made a division of people change.
Enter the famous “Unit cohesion” argument! I blew up and went to our LPO and told him in graphic detail what “The rapist” did to me. I blew the unit cohesion argument out of the water.

Whether or not “The rapist” grew up in a touchy feely family or not, I did. I grew up with a touchy feely father and it WAS molestation and it IS molestation now. LPO said, “It’s not molestation. It’s rape. I have three daughters. Report it!”

NCIS Investigated. “The rapist” passed a polygraph. The case was dropped. “Criminal” investigation!

America needs longitudinal policy discussions about preventing this epidemic, preparing women, treating the problem.

After I reported a rape I was put in the hands of two failure psychologists, sent to anger management, and sent to smoking cessation classes. Really? Anger management! Really?

Today I have emerged as a formidable woman. I still cannot sleep. I still jump if people come too close to me. This still hurts.


When they come to accuse me of being a feminist, BRING IT! When survivors need strength, lend them hope. BRING IT!

If the rapists and rape apologist’s think they have won and that we cannot resist and rebuild ourselves, BRING IT!

If they think that women united cannot solve this problem, BRING IT!

Then we win!

My Duty to Speak

Raped by a Staff Sergeant. United States Army

Michelle, United States Army

Like most soldiers, I grew up in a less than ideal household that I wanted to escape as quickly as possible. It was bad enough that I enlisted with parental permission less than 2 weeks after my 17th birthday. I was very young, and pretty naive. In high school I didn’t really date anyone, was actually a virgin until after graduation, when I finally let the boy I was dating have very awkward sex with me so I wouldn’t be the only virgin in Basic Training. While in Basic, I finally realized that I might actually be a lesbian. I had grown up in a very homophobic house where that simply wasn’t acceptable, so I decided I was just…wrong.

I spent the next three and a half years trying to convince myself I was straight. I drank like a fish (going to Korea at 18 sure helped that) to try and make myself actually friendly to men that I really didn’t want to sleep with. Of course it didn’t take. At 21, some very good friends finally took pity on my laughable attempts to be straight and took me to my first gay bar. It was growing more obvious I had a crush on my best friend, at least to them. Before I could make a return trip, or even begin to acknowledge what I was going through, I went off for 5 weeks to do a rotation at JRTC (Joint Readiness Training Center) with my unit. When we got back from the long field exercise, the usual drunken party got underway in the barracks. An E-6 from my unit (I was an E-4 at the time) who was married decided to come to the barracks for the party. Several of us were drinking in my room and in general blowing off all the accumulated steam. I was pretty drunk myself.

When I realized it had gotten really late and the party had started to die out, I asked everyone to leave so I could go to sleep. All left but the Staff SGT who didn’t live there. I asked him 4 times to please leave, then attempted to ignore him. I climbed into my bed and under the covers, with my tshirt and shorts I was wearing still on. He somehow decided that was an invitation. He promptly climbed on top of me over the covers and started trying to kiss me. Somehow I managed to shove him off. I jumped up and opened the door and told him to “get the f&*k out” of my room. He said he was too drunk to move, and sat down in my chair again. I looked down the hallway for the CQ (Charge of Quarters, the duty NCO for the barracks) and did not see him. I figured, “I know this guy, I know and like his wife, I’ll just keep on him until he goes, he’s too drunk to realize he’s being an ass.” I closed the door and told him he could sit in the chair for a few more minutes and I would go into the hallway to the phone booth and call him a cab. I started walking back to the door when I heard a squeak from his shoe on the waxed floor. Then he grabbed me with both hands around my neck from behind. I struggled quite a bit, but between the alcohol and lack of oxygen I eventually blacked out. He must have dropped me at that point, because the bump I had on my head the next day felt like I landed right on it.

I groggily came around to him raping me, my shorts down around my ankles and the smell of Wild Turkey overwhelming virtually everything else. I couldn’t breathe well, he was laying on my chest with his whole weight (I was literally half his size) and one of his forearms pushing down just below my neck. I tried pushing him off as I had managed on the bed, to no avail. All I managed was to rip a muscle in my stomach. When he finally finished, he got up, pulled his pants back up, and sat back down in my chair like he owned the joint. I couldn’t even manage to get off the floor for a couple of minutes. When I did, I pulled my shorts back up and stood up to face him. Before I could say anything, he said “You know, everybody knows you’re a dyke. This just helps keep the rumor down. If you say anything to my wife or anybody about this, I’ll make sure everyone knows its true.”

At that point I finally panicked enough to run out of my own room. I beat on the door of my best friend’s room down the hall until she finally woke up and answered. I went into her room and immediately began crying. When she asked what was wrong, I told her that he had raped me. Her response? “You shouldn’t have been drinking with the guys.” After that comment, I put all the blame on myself. Yes, I shouldn’t have trusted the soldiers I served with every single day of my life. It as all my fault, and probably what I deserved because I was gay, even though I wanted so badly not to be. The next morning I went to sick call and got treatment for the torn abdominal muscle. I managed to get the doctor to give me a temporary profile so I wouldn’t have to return to my normally very physically demanding job and have to take orders from that SSG. I managed to pull a temporary duty assignment away from my unit for 6 months, something very few victims are able to do.

During that 6 months, I finally came to accept what he and everybody else knew, that I was gay and there wasn’t anything I could do about it. Ironically, that was immediately after President Clinton was elected and promised to repeal the ban. When DADT went into effect that summer, it was the final straw.

I left the Army that fall of 1993. I realized that there is no honor in forcing someone to live their life a lie. I also knew if I had ever reported my rape, that I would have been the one investigated. Sexuality meant more than sexual assault to the Army.

Flash-forward 9 years. A good friend at work was joking around with me and put his hands around my neck from behind while I was sitting in my chair as a joke to startle me. I went off on him. I stopped feeling safe in my job, and started missing work and having flashbacks of my rape along with other problems, most of which will sound old hat to victims of MST. But I’m incredibly lucky.

After several months of trying to survive the breakdown on my own, I moved back home to Seattle. I walked into the women’s clinic at the VA there and was introduced to one of the most caring social workers I’ve ever had the honor of meeting. She helped me understand that MST is way more prevalent than I had believed, and that I was most certainly not the only woman (or man) this had happened to. I finally got the care I so very much needed. As I write this, some 8 years after meeting her, I realize how much has changed. I’ve been in a healthy relationship with the woman I love for nearly 7 years. We’ve made a great life together, and I know finally how lucky I am. I’ve seen the very worst of myself, and thanks to that social worker and several other caring professionals at the VA, I’m the one in control of my life. Me, not the man who raped me.

Coast Guard, My Duty to Speak

The rape investigation the Coast Guard claims never happened.

PO3, United States Coast Guard

I reported a rape on a Coast Guard cutter in 2009. I was a lower ranking enlisted member and the perpetrator was an E-7. After reporting it a YN sat down with me to hear my side of the story. After I told him he spoken to the E-7 and then came back to me and said that the E-7 denied raping me and because I did not have any physical injuries he can not go further with my allegations. I was not treated for rape, a rape kit was never offered to me even though I reported it within hours of the rape and did not shower and followed all procedures like you are suppose to.  CGIS were never contacted which I later found out that they were required to do so. I requested my investigation files and they said that they do not have them. It was like my rape never happened. The YN should not have been investigating it in the first place and he didn’t tell anyone that he was. All I have is a statement from a shipmate that remembered that I reported a rape. That is all. They kicked me out because I have a personality disorder and with an RE-4 discharge I can not even re-enlist even after I found out that the personality disorder was a misdiagnoses.basically my entire life has been destroyed because of how the Coast Guard dealt with my rape. Maybe if I was able to have a rape kit or if CGIS were involved the outcome would have been different but who is holding these people accountable when they are not even doing their job for reporting it to the appropriate people? They do not teach you what to do when you are raped. All the training is about how not to get raped but how about if you are raped and your command does not listen. What do you do then? What was I suppose to do? The about section of this website states that there were 3230 reported rapes in the military last year however how about my case, does that count part of the 3230 or were it just covered up and not included? Cause if Coast Guard headquarters nor CGIS knew about it why will it be included in that number. How many more rapes that are actually reported that are not included in those numbers. The Coast Guard has to read this article by Panayiota and take her advice…. She the only one in the entire Coast Guard that believed me and knows what she is talking about.  Why isn’t she running the sexual assault program? Instead we have someone that thinks that everything is perfect and victims are respected. We are not. The Coast Guard is losing way too many women because they are clueless on how to deal with rapes. The Coast Guard DOES NOT CARE. Instead of saying that they screwed up and want to improve they constantly think that they take allegations seriously. No, they do not. Just like an alcoholic first step is to admit that they have a problem then they can get help, the Coast Guard’s first step in improving their sexual assault policy is to admit that what they are doing now is not working. Then they can work towards improving but they have not done that yet. Where is Shawn Wren? she never returned my phone calls. Where was work-life? they never returned my phone calls. Where are all these people who are suppose to be help. Why are they not returning phone calls from rape survivors? Not even the Chaplin returned my numerous phone calls. My mother called the Commandant and was concerned on why in over a year I was still on the same ship as my rapist and they never even returned her phone calls. My mother went into a recruiting office cause that is the only Coast Guard-related office near her home demanding to know what is going on and they kicked her out threatening her with arrest while saying that rape is a serious crime and that the Coast Guard always deals with it seriously. They looked at her like she lost her mind when she said that for over a year her daughter is still on the same ship as her rapist. They actually tried to say that she was lying! Why couldn’t they help her? Imagine if it was your daughter.

Who is holding the commands accountable who are ignoring the allegations? Who is making sure that rape survivors who been forced out of service are able to re-enlist despite if they were un-rightfully given an RE-4 or had to be in counseling to process the rape?

When we report rape they say that we are lying and were never raped. When we report that our investigations were not dealt with properly they deny that we even reported raped. It is a constant head game and they are wrong. So wrong. I never met anyone more evil than a person in the Coast Guard that say that all allegations are taking seriously. If my allegations were taken seriously why wasn’t CGIS informed? Why wasn’t I able to get medical treatment or even just a rape kit? No one even told me that I had the option of restricted or unrestricted reporting until months later when I found out from MRCC’s website. if you too been raped in the military please speak out. if you are thinking about reporting a rape do it but make sure that you carry a tape recorder with you at ALL TIMES cause they are going to come back and deny EVERYTHING. Heck they probably would deny the conversations in the recordings but at least if you have something to show the VA or the public it can make them believe you easier. I wish that I did that and envy those that I heard that did. The Coast Guard is going to say that you are lazy and crazy and not fit for military duty but it is all lies and you can not fall for it. You are going to be called a whore, a ho and a slut. They are going to assume that if you been raped you been drinking even if you were not. They are going to call you stupid. Your career is going to come to an end. You’ll end up with a bunch of bogus page 7’s. I received a page 7 for wearing a t-shirt  with yellow writing instead of white. Well the yellow writing was the ones that we all wore that we ordered with our unit’s name on it. I was wearing the shirt that I ordered from them and they wrote me up for wearing it.  I was not the only one that wore it. Some wore non-Coast Guard issue shirts from American Apparel or whatever and some were not even the same shade of blue but nobody cared about them. You need to do something for yourself each day to know that you are worthy and not the shitty Coast Guardsman that they are going to make you out to be. Get help and counseling from someone other than the Coast Guard. Don’t tell the Coast Guard that you are getting help. I wish that I knew that cause I received all of my help through the Coast Guard and am just so tired of them not believing me. They also lost my medical records, did I say that already? Yes they lost my medical records. The VA social worker called all over looking for my records and they said that they don’t have it. I recently found out that if you been raped state side or even if you are deployed you may be able to get free services through the state. I live in the same state that my ship was home ported at and the state’s victim compensation fund is paying for my therapy. Look into that and stay away from any military-related, tri-care related therapy. Just imagine how a rape victim is treated in Saudi Arabia or in the 1940s and that is how you are going to be treated in the Coast Guard.  I am not the best writer. Writing this has been very difficult but I know it needs to be said with tears falling down my eyes with each letter that I type.  that is all I have to say.


Editor’s Note: The 3230 reported rapes that we have posted on About My Duty to Speak are the number of reported rapes from the Department of Defense four military branches; Army, Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force. The United States Coast Guard which is under the Department of Homeland Security is not included in those statistics.

My Duty to Speak

Carri Leigh Goodwin, United States Marine Corps

by Melissa Obrien as said by Carri’s father; Gary Noling

Carri Leigh Goodwin, USMC

August of 2007 at the age of 18 Carri Leigh Goodwin of Ohio enlisted in the United States Marine Corps to make her father, Gary Noling, a former Marine proud. During her time in the Marine Corps Carri reported a rape. Instead of being supported and having her allegations being taken seriously she felt that the Marine Corps did not do enough to help her. Similar to what many survivors reported, the blame of the rape was put on the survivor instead of the perpetrator. She was bullied by her command for reporting a rape and was eventually forced out of the Marine Corps for reasons of Personality Disorder. According to an external investigation the alleged rapist was accused of another rape in 2006 at Camp Pendleton but was able to continue serving. The alleged rapist did receive an NJP for the rape of Carri Goodwin but that was all. He is still in the Marine Corps.

The day she was discharged from service, her father Gary Noling along with her sister Misty and brother Lukas picked her up from the bus station happy that she was back home-safe. Five days later at the age of 20 Carri drank herself to death. To make matters worse, her sister was eventually charged with involuntary manslaughter and furnishing alcohol to an

Carri with her father Gary

underage person. Because of the affects of Military Sexual Trauma an entire family has been turned upside down, with losing a daughter due to the military lack of resources to help a survivor in need.

According to a journal that she left behind she confessed that the pain of the rape and even more so, the ill response from the Marine Corps were unbearable to her. Carri had an alcohol blood content of .46, six time the legal limit. In combination with medication given to her by the Marine Corps, including zoloft it stopped the alcohol from going through her liver and went straight to her blood. She has signed up with wishes to be deployed, go to combat and defend her country. Instead she was raped, blamed for being raped and betrayed by her command.

She left behind three journals. Below is a picture of one of the drawings found in the journal.

Taken from Carri's journal. A picture she left behind showing her how the rape affected her.

Gary Noling started a facebook group for his daughter. Visit it here.

My Duty to Speak

Raped twice in the Army National Guard

By jgilber3, United States Army

17, that was my age when I joined the Army National Guard. I joined to carry on a legacy of tradition and honor, respect, and selfless service. Selfless service does not mean my woman part were “for grabs” (or free). I signed up to serve this nation in a time of need. I’m now nearly 22 years old and this is my story.

First, let me say I’m speaking about the individuals whom did the crime. It’s not there branch of service that did the crime, it’s the individuals and the fault/blame is for the individuals who did the heinous  crime. Now, here is about the first one in South Carolina. Yes I have several incidents . The perpetrator was a Junior NCO. We were training to a deployment to Iraq/ Afghanistan. Never did I think that such a thing would happen in training to deploy. We were about to conduct our afternoon PT. The command of the unit I was in at that time thought everyone was mature enough to do PT on there own. We warmed up as a unit and then was dismissed to run around the building until the commander told us to stop. Well once around the building it got “darker”. The perpetrator came up behind me and took advantage of me. It was by a tree and everyone was running and not paying attention. My bestest battle buddy was off at some detail. That doesn’t mean it was her fault, it was/is the perpetrators fault. I reported it to my command. They offered to separate me from my perpetrator and did so. I sought out the help of the Chaplin and also services through the hospital. My personal courage to take care of myself in a self help way wasn’t enough though. I was on lock down several time. My perpetrator got to wonder around, not in the same area as me, but in a much larger scale area. Eventually I was discharged under a medical discharge.

Unfortunately I had a perpetrator come after me again. This time it was during my transition from soldier to permanently wounded warrior (aka permanent veteran) that a Air force NCO raped me in Nebraska. I had gone out on pass. I was told by said NCO that we would meet my friends for a party. This NCO took me on to the base. He then took me to a hotel and told me that if I didn’t “follow orders” I would be dead. So out of fear I “followed” him and at this point started thinking of a plan to escape. He forced me in to the elevator and tried to “make out” with me. Once off the elevator he forced me in to the hotel room. This said Air Force NCO ripped my cloths off and put himself inside of me and all along telling me if I told I would be dead. At the time I was very scared but maintained composure until I reached a safe spot. Once I got back to my transitional housing I told a friend there. That friend referred me to the SARC. But again the NCO was not put away for this. I was told I needed “mental health” services. I have a hearing loss,PTSD from MST and several obgyn problems. I can never join the service again.

Often people think once your discharged you are never a warrior again and that there is never help. That’s not true there is always help and once a warrior always a warrior (excluding the perpetrators in our life). Now, with that said here is my version of the wounded warriors creed. Use this to help you drive on and continue to strive for the services and rights you deserve. Here it’s titled Army Permanently Wounded Warrior (to include those whom are permanently DAV’s)

Creed By: jgilber3. The following is it. ” I am a permanently wounded warrior. I am a member of a team. I served the people of the United States and still live the Army Values. I will always place the mission first. I will never accept defeat. I will never quit. I will never leave a fallen comrade. I am still disciplined, physically and mentally tough, trained and proficient in many tasks. I always maintain my arms, my equipment and myself although it may require extra help or assistance. I am still an expert and I am still a professional. I stand ready to volunteer, help, and assist any soldier or warrior of the United States of America on state side or through care packages. I have served my time as a guardian of freedom and the American way of life. I am a permanently wounded warrior.” Permanently  wounded warrior does not mean we are crazy or a bitch. This creed I made my own version of to help carry on the legacy of our fallen victims. Those of us alive are not only permanently wounded warriors but we are also SURVIVORS. Doesn’t matter how many time done we are all survivors!

My Duty to Speak

Reported a Rape, discharged under Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell-United States Air Force

By Melissa, United States Air Force

I guess it is only fair that I start of with a description and background of myself. I am 5’1, weighed around 110 pounds at the time working as a medic in the Air Force. I grew up in a tiny town in New Hampshire. We did not have a lot of money, for most of my life I was raised by a single mother who had me when she was a teenager.  Up until recently it was just me and her. We were very, very close. We did not have much money for college and I enlisted in the Air Force in 2003 at the age of 18 during the summer after high school mainly to pay for college. Since 10th grade I was openly Gay and everyone was always cool with it from my friends from New Hampshire to my comrades in the Air Force. Even during the period of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell nobody that I was working with directly cared, I was very well liked and my work was superb so they never made a big deal about it. The folks that I was serving with were at first some of the greatest people ever, aside from just comrades we were also best friends and hung out on liberty and even went on leave together. We had fun, perhaps a little too much fun. I had Christmas duty and we were all just goofing around listening to Christmas carols and playing stupid games cause after the morning rush the clinic was pretty much dead. We decided to let some leave early (against policy but we did it anyway) and since I was the only one that did not have any plans for Christmas, I was not going back to New Hampshire nor did I have any family in Colorado so I volunteered to stay in case anybody came in.

After they left a Colonel walked in as I was in the waiting area watching TV bored and asked where everyone was and I did not want to lie to him so I said that I was the only one on duty. I asked if there anything that I can help him with and he said “no, just came in to see how you are doing.” He kept me company and I was so bored that I was willing to talk to anyone. We talked about New Hampshire and his Air Force career and his daughters. The clinic was going to close at 1630 and it was around that time so I said that I am closing up. We said goodbye and I went to turn off the lights and to get my belongings from the back room. He came back, found me in an exam room as I was there closing up and pushed me on to the exam table and raped me.

Right after it happened I sent a text to my mother. She called me right away and told me to go to a civilian hospital. I was crying telling her that I wanted her to be here and she promised to be on the next flight to Colorado. I did as she suggested and went to the hospital and a rape kit was performed. I sent several text messages to my friends in Colorado and only two responded. One came to the hospital and then stayed with me the night because I was afraid to be left alone. We did call the SARC number and nobody responded (they were suppose to answer it 24/7) but we did leave a message. The next day my mother came and the SARC returned my phone call. I was assigned a Victim Advocate and AFOSI was contacted.

My next duty day I went to the clinic and by then everyone knew what happened. Those which whom I considered my friends did not return my text message saying that I was raped and when I went to the clinic they all ignored me. Only two people still spoke to me. After two weeks my mother left because she needed to go back home for work. I felt all alone. Everyone stayed as far away from me as they could just to not be associated with me. The women were the worse, with some women who I once considered friends betrayed me worse than even the men. They spread nasty rumors about me, calling me a slut and that I “slept with every man in the Air Force, all 330,000+ of them!” when in reality I am a lesbian that never been (consensually) with a man. They even said that I had sex with my male friend the night that I was raped cause he stayed with me and when I tried to explain that we did not have sex and he only stayed with me cause I felt unsafe they said that I am lying and a slut. BTW he was also Gay but I could not say that cause he was only out to me because he knew that I’ll understand and he was very career-oriented and did not want anything to ruin his career in the Air Force.

After a year and a half AFOSI came back and said that yes, they found evidence on the rape kit that there was sexual intercourse HOWEVER after interviewing the Colonel they concluded that the sex was consensual. I flipped out, why would I a lesbian in her early 20s consent to have sex with a male who is more than twice her age-and not to mention an entire foot taller than me and weighed more than twice my weight. The Colonel was clearly against the weight requirements to stay in but cause of his rank he was still around and here I was 5’1, 110 pounds why would I consent to sex with him? That basically what I told them. Within two weeks I was being discharged for violation for Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. Nothing happened to the Colonel. Even if it was consensual as they said that it was, the Colonel was married so charge him for adultery. I was a lower ranking enlisted personnel, charge him with fraternization. Fucking charge him with something. They had no problem discharging me for homosexuality but the heterosexual sex in their opinion was still consensual. He is still in.

I do not think that I ever officially thanked my mother for being there for me. She made numerous trips to Colorado on every time she could get off from work. It was very difficult for her financially as well as emotionally as it often is for family members having to watch their loved ones go through this. I love you mom.Military Sexual Trauma is not just something that an individual is dealing with but the entire family is also suffering through the pain. When you see the woman in your unit who is being revictimized for being raped remember she has a family somewhere who is worried about her and praying that she does not end up being like one of the many women who were found murdered by our military men; Lavena Johnson, Maria Lauterbach, Tina Priest, Keisha Morgan just to name a few.

Right now I work full time with Military Sexual Trauma survivors and going to school on the GI Bill to be a psychologist. I sometime flirt with the idea of re-enlisting since DADT has been repealed because even after all that happened I still LOVE the Air Force. They just need a better way to deal with the sexual assaults and rape allegations.

My Duty to Speak

Master Chief Jerald Motyka, United States Coast Guard

Master Chief Jerald P. Motyka

Three and a half years ago a woman was brutally raped while serving in the United States Coast Guard. This past Fall she was contacted by various members of the Coast Guard and the civilian public to be informed that Master Chief Jerald P. Motyka of the United States Coast Guard has been posting in public forums false information regarding the rape. He included his comments on what he feels a Coast Guard rape victim is by saying that a woman who been raped must have been “popular with the boys” or in other words if you been raped you must be a slut. He even went on in saying that rape is not a problem in the Coast Guard and that many women would lie about rape. In this particular case and regarding this victim that the furthest from the truth. If that is not bad enough after we did our own investigation we found that at the time this woman reported the rape, Master Chief Motyka was roughly 1500 miles away at a different unit. His rate of a Marine Science Technician does not give him any access to the investigation. He did not know this woman nor ever met her nor has any access to the confidential investigation. This is a clear example of a man using his rank and position to deliberately slander the reputation of a shipmate for the sole reason cause she reported a rape. There is absolutely no other reason why he did what he did.

During our own investigation we gathered more information about Jerald Motyka including a posting in which his wishes that pedophiles should have reduce sentencing, blames teenagers for being raped (he posts under the alias Malruhn) and an entire forum from several years ago in which he claims to be an Army Ranger, and later was caught in the lie.

The posting has been removed due the public outraged on this issue but let not forget that what he did and the pain that this survivor must have felt reading misogynstic rumors about her. The post did provide identifying information about the victim including a link to a news article about her rape. This woman is trying to heal from the rape yet she is being further abused even years since leaving the service. Military Sexual Trauma does not end when you sign your DD-214.

The victim herself emailed Master Chief Motyka to talk about this issue and try to understand why he did what he did. Her request to have him call her has been denied and he has not contacted her on this case however Captain Christine Cutter responded with:”

“Any member of the Coast Guard is free to contact you but I cannot direct that they do so. A command inquiry was conducted and concluded the post to which you are referring was not based on information obtained from official records. As discussed below, members of the Coast Guard have the same rights as other citizens to discuss publicly available information and their personal views in their private capacity.

The Coast Guard is available to meet with any congressional representative or journalist and conduct a full case review of the allegations made by you, if you believe that would be beneficial and you authorize us to do so.”

Obviously Captain Cutter’s response did not fulfill the survivor’s answer on WHY Master Chief Motyka has expressed such hatred against one of his own. As a result Master Chief Jerald. P. Motyka is officially listed on the Wall of Shame for the way that he treated one of his shipmate that reported a rape.

My Duty to Speak

Sailor reports rape in 2009

Jennifer, United States Navy

I am Jennifer. I enlisted in the United States Navy in 2006. In 2009 I was raped by a Lieutenant on my ship. The rape was immediately reported and a rape kit examination was performed. My victim advocate gave me a lecture on drinking.She told me that I should never leave my drink alone even if I was to use the head and to know how much alcohol that I can handle. She said that sometimes when we drink we do things that we later regret. She said that even herself that sometimes she woke up from a night of drinking and regrets doing certain things. My victim advocate said that we have to accept our mistakes and not try to find a scapegoat cause it may ruin careers and lives. I was confused. Why was she talking to me about drinking?  I WAS NOT DRINKING WHEN I WAS RAPED.  I wanted to talk to her about how I was feeling. I was very sad, scared and angry. But she was only interested in talking to me about drinking.

The special agent that investigated the rape asked me if I was ever was raped prior to this rape allegation. I made the mistake of telling him that I was molested as a child. The special agent asked me how was I so sure that I was indeed raped by the Lieutenant and not having a flashback from being molested as a child .

The rumor on the ship was that I am a slut. During port call many of the men were interested in getting prositutes. A Chief screamed out “I am getting myself a hooker” The chief then came up next to me, put his hands on my shoulder and said “okay bitch, let us go get ourselves a room” i slapped him and left. I ended up getting NJP for hitting a superior.

I was being med boarded out for adjustment disorder because they said that after 03 years that they finally realized that I was having problems adjusting to the navy lifestyle. In 2010 I lost my career for adjustment disorder. I went to the VA that said that I do not have adjustment disorder and that I am suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and rated me at 100% for PTSD. Now I am back in college just trying to put it all behind me but it still angers me that everyone who did this to me can still be in.

My Duty to Speak

Soldier reports Rape

Cathy, United States Army

I grew up a normal teenager doing normal stuff that my family wanted me to do. I worked on our farm that we had when I was little. My dad was a retired marine, my mom was a stay at home mom. My dad worked at truck driving we stayed on the farm and milk cows and feed the animals and grew crops. We did not grow up rich or well to do but we tried to act like we was a normal family. My mom and dad had problems of there own and my mom decided to move away and she took us and we moved to Tennessee where my mom’s family was at and filed for divorce from my dad it wasn’t until later that I found out why we moved off the farm in the middle of the night. My mom and dad always fought and my dad beat the hell out of my mother all the time and when he got through he beat on my older brother . I thought after my mother left him the abuse would stop well we moved from mother to father and my father abuse all of us kids and the abuse was emotional and physical abuse then my father didn’t want me so he sent me off to job corp he altered my age so they would accept me well they did i was grateful in a way I was away from him I went to school there and I got jobs there and i got my degree from there. While there I got gang raped by five boys and they went to jail.

I later went on with my life came home back to Mississippi where my mom lived to live with her new boyfriend and he had come to pick me up from the bus station. I lived with them and went to school and I got a job. Soon after I met my first husband and got married at 17 and then I ended up having a baby later and then another then I got a legal separated from my husband and I went into the military cause my brothers did and I was tired of everyone telling me I could not or would not make it so i made it. I did what I accomplished to do I have three beautiful children and I had the military shortly after I got out of AIT.

I went home and I got a call from my new unit I was assigned to and they said I needed to report to Camp Shelby for training I was going to Iraq. Again I had to say bye to my family and my kids. I wrote letters to them in case I died over there they would have something to remember me by. I waited two weeks and we got deployed over there on 04OCT05. I had to go over to another fob I had to go for medical for pre cancer and I got off the helicopter a normal day I went put my stuff up and went around the post and then I took a shower and went to the tent I was assigned to. I didn’t feel well so I went to sleep. I remember a man coming in to do head count then I went off to sleep again then I remember later getting woken up again this time the guy said that the chaplain needed to see me I had gotten a red cross message he told me I need to hurry up and get up and follow him. I did not know any different so I followed him he said that the man was in the tent here is a flash light look inside he is here. I did not think nothing of it so I took the flashlight over my head and open the door and I turned around to tell him there was nobody there he pushed me in and I stumbled over something on the floor he had me face down tied my hands with something I don’t remember what and then he turned me over on my back and he stuffed his shirt in my mouth and continued to take my clothes off and he took his off and then he told me not to move or scream cause his friend was over in the other tent and would come over and have his way then they would kill me. I was struck with fear and all i could do was lay there and cry then it felt like forever the last thing I heard him say was did i like anal sex and then I blacked out cause when I came to he was getting his clothes on and then he pulled my clothes up what was still attached and let me back to my tent he told me while he walked me back to my tent that if I came out my tent that he would come in and kill me or rape me again.

The next morning I reported it was investigate for two weeks so back to my unit they where talking crap about me and they took my gun away from me and I lost my rank not even knowing it and then they finally court martial the guy that done this to me and he didn’t get charged with the rape but he got charged with kidnapping me all he got was three years and all the evidence they needed was there.

He did not get justice for what he did to me and I have trouble everyday of my life now since that has happen I got married and I got a blended family and I got lots of troubles cause I’m still going to the VA for this and I have been in a program to and I’m still uneasy and even with my family have troubles with everyday life but I hope to let everyone know that I’m trying to fight this but it is hard just day by day.