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!