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.