U.S Army

Drugged and Raped in Germany

Anonymous, United States Army

I joined the Army as a bright-eyed and innocent 17-year-old in 2004. I knew exactly what I wanted to do and my desire to become a Blackhawk Crew Chief controlled most of my choices during my ten-year career in the Army.

Basic and AIT went pretty smoothly, I found most of the challenges exciting and quickly learned that my gift of easily adapting to nearly any situation was a skill that enabled me to fit in with my all male job choice when I got to Germany. Not to say all of the men in my job wanted me there, many spoke openly about how women were not cut out for the job, but I had thick skin and good friends, so I just drove on. I was lucky to not be betrayed by a friend and am thankful for that fact every day.

In May 2006 at the age of 19 a group of friends and I went to a bar that was frequented by soldiers, us included (in Germany at this time prosecution for underage drinking was unheard of, I could buy alcohol at class six) I had a drink or two but was to be one of the designated smart people that night so I kept my wits about me. I chatted it up with my would-be assailant and his friends then went back to my group, nothing was weird, he didn’t pressure me, just talked about our MOSs, and that’s about it. The next thing I can recall is being herded into a cab by him and his friend, the entire time all I could do was say over and over “I want to go home to …, I want to go home to…” but I could not move no matter how much I wanted to.

I was somewhat coherent throughout, with crazy colors swirling like the view from the tilt o whirl at a carnival. I don’t remember anything the two of them said. Considering I came from German farm girl stock and was far from dainty, it took the two of them to haul me up his barracks staircase. Again all I could do was slurringly say no, leave me alone. The friend left me with the guy in his room. I told the guy please no, and that I was in fact on my period, he was undeterred. Having no control over my movements I was like his fucking puppet, he would put me into a position, and I would just stay there all the while screaming in my head. He was rough causing bruising all over my body, and he almost bit my nipples off.

The next day I woke up and he was gone, I pretty much what had happened, but was still a little foggy, there was blood on my thighs, and my breasts and I were extremely sore. I was so angry, but all I wanted to do was get the hell out of there, I snooped around the room looking for his name but after a few minutes the need to leave won out. I emerged from the barracks to find myself at a different kaserne about 20 minutes from where I lived. I knew a strauss was nearby and rode it to the train station. When I got there, I spent hours there bewildered all I knew was that I was drugged and you cannot fly if drugs are found in your system, it doesn’t matter how they get there. I was set to start flying just two months later and had worked my ass off to get there. All I wanted to do was fly so I kept my mouth shut, in 2006 nothing good came of “crying rape”. So I dug out the tampon the guy had lodged into my body and eventually made it back home.

I told me few very close friends, and they asked, what do you want to do? All I could say was “kill him.” I never saw him again, most likely because I don’t remember what he looked like. For the next couple years, I drowned myself in booze, work, and sex but rarely felt much and endured a painfully forced unhealthy relationship. Three years later a close friend turned into a lover who is now my husband of seven years. I told him the short version when we were dating and never spoke about it again for five years. I was managing, but after a relatively graphic tour in Afghanistan, all hell broke loose.

By 2012 I was losing it, I was detached, having horrendous nightmares, panic attacks in groups. I would hold it all in till I was alone driving to work where I would cry my heart out, all I could do was think about this guy violating me over and over, then paste the professional Sgt face on and be dying inside. I went off the deep end the day we had to watch The Invisible War for EO training. I had to get up twice to hold it together, as always it sparked talk on the subject later at work. One of my soldiers jokingly said there is no way Sgt…(me) would let a man do that to me, that I would rip his balls off. If only. I just grabbed a good friend and hauled him to the smoke pit where I chain smoked his cigarettes. I could tell he knew something had happened to me as we just smoked in silence, the pity in his eyes angered me even more. I sought help that week, things got a bit better, sleep came easier over time.

I was medically discharged in 2014 for an injury incurred in AFG that I could never recover from. Now in college, many days are a struggle, telling some close friends lately has brought some peace, but I will probably never tell my family. To this day I continue to have vivid dreams of being raped by faceless men ending in me killing them in any fashion I can. It is disturbing and exhausting. This is my story, I selfishly choose my career over the need to protect other women, and the need to find justice, but seeing how other victims have been treated all of these years what other choice did he Army leave me with? I will be haunted by my decision for the rest of my life whether it was right or not.

My Duty to Speak

U.S soldier raped and denied justice.

Anonymous, United States Army

In 2001 I joined the US Army. February of 2002 I left for basic training. In Aug of 02 I arrived at my unit in Hanau Germany. My chain of command during this time was constantly telling me what an outstanding soldier I was. I worked hard, did everything they told me to do, they had no complaints. I even broke records for performing my job accurately and quickly. I also shot expert with the M16. Then in late November 2002 an NCO in another battery tried to rape me. I was able to fight him off long enough for someone to overhear at which point the NCO fled.

I went to my NCO and informed him that I had been attacked; at the time I felt I could trust him. He told me to write it all down Asap and then he’d find out what the chain of command wanted me to do. A few hours later he informed me that per my platoon sergeant I was to go see the equal opportunity NCO and file a sworn statement. I filed a report through the EO NCO per my chain of commands instructions, the EO NCO kept my hand written copy and typed up a sworn statement and told me I could get a copy from my first sergeant. Several days later my first sergeant called me into his office where he told me “forget about it, it never happened” then he proceeded to shred the report. I was never given any copies.

I sank into a major depression and had to begin seeking treatment at mental health who diagnosed me with major depression. During this time suddenly my chain of commands view about me changed drastically. No matter what I did I was treated as if I was the worst soldier there. My counseling statements began reflecting this as well. In December 2002 I was diagnosed with pneumonia and put on quarters. My first sergeant decided he wanted me to guard trucks at campo pond (there was a snow storm going on at the time as well). I told him I was on quarters because I had pneumonia, he told me he didn’t care there was a building out there that I could serve my quarters at.

At 5am those of us on guard duty were kicked out of the buildings and forced to stand outside in the snow and 20 degree weather. This caused my condition to get much worse and last for much longer than it should have. At the very end of December of 02 we were sent to Israel for what later turned into a 6 month deployment. During the deployment the treatment I received by my chain of command was so severe I attempted suicide. I also went to my chain of command several times about harassment from one of my fellow soldiers; I informed them that if they didn’t do something to get him to leave me alone I would be forced to take matters into my own hands. Their answer to this was to discipline me for threatening another soldier and to take my weapon from me.

At the beginning of June when we returned to Germany my NCO began to give me numerous negative counseling statements, he informed me that my first sergeant wanted to build up enough evidence to chapter me for a pattern of misconduct. Shortly after that in mid June 2003 I was injured and almost severed my spinal cord. After this I was under profile for a while not to wear any gear. I informed my chain of command of my profile; they told me they would remove me from the guard duty roster. This did not happen. On July 9, 2003 they attempted to give me an article 15 for dereliction of duty. They held the hearing July 11, 2003 later and gave me no opportunity to see JAG. The article 15 was thrown out by my commander because my platoon LT had written in her book the exact date and time which I had fulfilled notifying the chain of command of my profile.

Within 4 days of them failing to give me an article 15, July 15, 2003, I was notified that I would be getting chaptered out of the service on a 5-13 personality disorder discharge. By this point, I admit, I was ready to get out of the service. I was majorly depressed because of the lack of action on my sexual assault. I was also in severe back pain. They informed me that if I tried to fight my chapter they would make my life a living hell. Once I told them I would accept it, they finally gave me some peace and left me alone, I stopped receiving any counseling statements except for the ones telling me I was a high risk soldier and should be safe when driving. On my birthday November 17, 2003 I was finally told that I would be leaving the service as of November 22, 2003.

On Nov 22 when I went for final out processing I was then informed for the first time that they intended to recoup $3,412.97 from me. As of July 2010 that amount was $6,411.13. They have now started to take money from my Social security disability to try to recoup this. The balance now after having them recoup portions of tax refunds and my social security is now just under $3k. I still refuse to pay financially for the horror of getting sexually assaulted then watching as the people who are supposed to back you up and ensure proper punishment happens instead do the exact opposite and instead choose to torment and punish the victim.

I am terrified of having to fight this but I know I have to. I will not be victimized repeatedly by them. Every little reminder of having to deal with DoD puts me into a severe panic attack. But I have to be strong enough for just long enough so that one day I may have some glimmer of hope of some kind of recovery. Over these last ten years I’ve dealt with nightmares, flashbacks, my ears are a huge trigger because when the NCO attacked me he sucked on my ear and whispered into it, meaning that now I’ve had to teach my kids not to whisper into mommies ears. I didn’t talk about what happened to me to my family for years. Earlier this year though I started talking and my sister was pretty shocked. She even told me I deserved to get the discharge I got because before I joined the military I had several different jobs. I loved being in the Army, I loved my job and I was good at it. To have my sister say I deserved what happened and that I was just being over sensitive because the military is supposed to be hard hurt. It’s made me doubt everything and made it all hurt so much worse. I wonder every day now if they were right in how they were treating me afterward, or was it retaliation. Recently the stress from all this got so bad it actually made my brain short circuit and I had several seizures. Thankfully it all seems to be calming down, but now I keep getting these debilitating headaches. It’s almost 1 am as I finish typing this now, I can hardly sleep anymore. I haven’t slept good in years. I wake up screaming sometimes feeling hands on me where no one is touching me. I can hardly face the world because I can’t trust people.

My husband practically walks on egg shells to keep my trust, he’s had to work so hard to earn it and keep it. He’s my rock. I know it’s hard for him too though because he witnessed what my chain of command did to me after the assault. We met and became friends about 3 weeks after the assault. I can never explain how much he’s supported me through all this, and he has stood by my side as I’ve told my story over and over again. He’s held me as flashbacks and memories have overtaken me and helped me sort through the jumbled mess my memory has become. It seems lately every flashback helps me remember the little details of what my chain of command did afterward. I have no issues remembering the assault though, and that is the one thing I wish I could forget.

My Duty to Speak

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.

My Duty to Speak

Men are survivors too. Male soldier writes about surviving female-on-male rape.

Richard, United States Army

When you think of a Predator or Military Sexual Trauma (MST) you think women being raped by men. When you think of Male who has Military Sexual Trauma you think male on male rape. I am a Survivor I have Military Sexual Trauma (MST) PTST & no male has ever touched me.

I was an Active Duty Liaison during this time period. It was my supervisor who was a female “Civilian Employee” during the week and during the weekends she was the First Sergeant. She was in a position as a civilian that she used her higher rank & position to get what she wanted. Then the threats came in… but I had to report it after it took the best of me. Once I reported it to the military they didn’t remove her or change her position. If the role was reversed I as a male would have been moved that day no questions asked. But she got to stay while they investigated it.

I still remember it like it was yesterday, step by step. I want to stop thinking and dreaming about it but it is hard when the person who violated you works at the Dallas VA Hospital where I go for medical care and have been since 2007. I had her as a supervisor for another year and thoughts of suicide was in my head every time I came to work. She would harass and embarrassed me in from of my peers. My doctor put me on 2mg bars of Xanax, 280 pills a month. Then I became an addicted to them. Today I still have to take something for my anxiety; because I see her every time I go to the Dallas VA Hospital for medical appointments.

When I came off active duty I didn’t leave my house for over two years which means no medication for my injuries and Military Sexual Trauma or my Combat Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. I was too scared to go to the Dallas VA to get treatment because I found out that she worked there. Yes, it has been over ten years and it still has a big impact on my life today. I was a broken down soldier and didn’t know what I was going to do or why I was still living. Today I still cannot sleep, have anxiety, panic attacks, flashbacks, and broken relationship with my fiancée who I had dated over five years. I became a work alcoholic and buried myself in my work. I felt ashamed like I did something wrong.

When I reported it not more than five minutes I received a phone call from both of our supervisor who started screaming at me as loud as she could over the phone. She kept telling me I was a lair and why would I do this to her. This went on for over 30 minutes I broken down over the phone & told her that I was telling the truth but she didn’t believe me. Once I got off the phone I went and told the head person in charge of the hold battalion during the week days. She was also my First Sergeant on the weekends which means she was using her military rank as in uniform during the weekends and during the week days she was in civilian position. She was what they called dual status reservist and civilian personnel and she was a predator. I had never in my life taken pills.

I was the Division Master Fitness Trainer. I was in excellent shape before I was transferred to this new unit because our other unit was deactivated. She was on me my first day there and I told her I was not interested. I kept my personal life away from my professional life separate. She would not take no for an answer and I didn’t know anyone in this unit or who I could trust or who would believe me. I mean come on a woman wants a man…most men would had jumped on it. That is what all the men kept telling me.

I had a perfect career and was on fast track up to this point. I was an E5 with 4 MSMs awards which this is unheard of in the military. When you hear of Military Sexual Trauma (MST) PTSD remember it’s not only females, or male on male rape. Women are part of this mess too and they will use their rank and position to get what they want. I will never forget the words she used after she was finished; I always get what I want. Of course, the much more important question here isn’t medical; it’s criminal. Can a woman rape a man? Yes. If someone does not agree to have sex with another and a sexual act is forced upon them, which is called rape. According to other statistics, at least 27 percent of men serving in the military are estimated to have suffered what psychologists call “military sexual trauma” which is either sexual assault, or repeated harassment and threatened assault.

I have been asking for Military Sexual Trauma MST treatment for male soldiers but they keep telling me I don’t qualified because mine was a female, not a male on male rape. There are only six programs in the USA for men who have been raped, SIX!!! I do not believe I would get any support for several years from the Dallas VA Hospital but they keep telling me do this first or take these pills. I have been given so many pills to take that I almost killed myself several times. This letter is in no disrespect to my fellow sister-in-arms back then and today, but I felt that my story needed to be told because I know it is still going on today and there are still women predators out there.

Finally, the act of persecuting the victim is dishonorable, and morally repugnant. This didn’t happen to me but I was threatened with it by her. It is true that the United States demands much of its service personnel. While military service is both an honor and a duty, and carries with it substantial risk to life and limb, the risk of sexual assault and abuse is one risk that no service member should fear. But with a third of all women and possibly a quarter of the men experiencing some type of sexual abuse, or trauma, it is clear that changes have to be made.

Richard and my Service Dog Military Millie

My Duty to Speak

Solider recalls surviving multiple assaults, harassment and domestic violence.

Anonymous, United States Army

I wanted to join the military since I was about 12, although no one in my family had ever joined. I had been enamored with it after seeing the Navy women in my hometime in their beautiful uniforms. The Army got me, instead, after being convinced by the Army recruiter. That should have been my first clue…the recruiter!! On a trip with him for some documents, he attemtped to coerce me to have sex. I said no, I screamed no, but was so very scared because I didn’t even know where I was…some other town he’d taken me to. The powers that be were looking out for me that day since when I began to get out of his car, to walk, who should be driving down the road but a police cruiser.

He begged me to get back in the car, that he would take me straight home…I complied and he did take me home. I never saw him again…a few days later when I went to report it, I don’t know what the truth was, but I was informed that he’d retired? When I’d shared with my mom what had happened, she said she’d warned me she didn’t think it was a good idea to join the service. After that incident, I didn’t want to go on active duty anymore, not fully understanding what I was getting myself into, but the new recruiter lied to me, saying I could not get out of the delayed enlistment program. So, I shipped out.

We were some of the first women recruits that trained with the men. It was an experience not expected by me, or many of the other women, but training had nothing to do with it. I was used to a lot of guys around me, having nothing but brothers, male cousins, and male uncles around while growing up. Additionally, I considered myself as a tomboy, so I had no trouble with guys. Yet, basic was like nothing I’d been exposed to. So many men, so many troubled men, at least in our company. For the most part, most of the women were sexually harassed (we didn’t know it was called that then), including from the training personnel. I made it through basic, moving on to AIT, but know what? The harassment continued. Sheesh, you’d think we had some statement written on our foreheads…leer at me, touch me, grope me, stalk me…NOT!! I was so ready to be done with the whole training time, but little did I know that even in permanent party, the end was not to be.

While living in the barracks, asleep on my cot, whence my roommate left our door unlocked, an unknown to me soldier attempted to rape me as he gained access to the women’s side of the barracks. I woke up at that time, fighting him off, chasing him out of my room, down the exit stairway, never knowing who he was, surmising he must have been on guard duty and knew about that door many times left with a wedge by some of the women, so as to make it easier for them to gain access to the barracks without having to go all the way around the building. Bad idea, even worse place for me, never felt safe in the barracks after that.

Eventually, I moved out of the barracks, marrying a fellow soldier who had been a charmer while we were dating. Who would have known? Not me…not even a clue!! Some say one doesn’t really get to know a person, until one lives with them. I dare say that can be so true, certainly was true for me!! I had no idea, so unexpected. The first weekend after we married, I learned who he was, really. It took a knock down, being shocked by it, to realize that I was in trouble. He was devious, very much so, waiting until the weekend, so he could terrorrize me the entire weekend, which left me without seeming able to figure things out. Something happened to me that weekend…no longer that brave young woman…I had lost something…seemed to have become immobilized by fear!!

Nobody knew what was happening to me, on a routine basis, whenever he was around. He always made sure the bruises were not visible, bruises always hidden by the uniform, or other clothing. I honestly did not know how to make it stop, nor what to do about it, still keeping it to myself. I became a shadow of who I’d been, but kept a low profile at work, stayed away from people I knew, so nobody would notice, and nobody ever did. Eventually, I told my mom, my dad, and my best friend back home, but nobody in the command, or near, knew how I was being terrorrized.

Eventually, I felt so beaten down, became very depressed, always in an anxious state, just waiting for the next hit, the next threat, the next sexual assault by him. It took the final of three days when he pulled a rifle on me, threatening to kill me, after he’d humiliated me sexually, threatening to dismember me to get away with it, that I took myself to the medical dispensary in such a state of despair, depression, and anxiety, besides a headache that I now had after getting knocked upside the head by him, yet again. I was still too scared, shamed, or I can’t even explain it, but I did not tell what had been happening to me, just that I was depressed and in a nervous state. Guess what they did for me? Nothing!! The woman medic that saw me did not even explore anything, nor sent me for an evaluation with the PA, just gave me meds for the headache, even as she wrote the symptoms in my medical records. Hindsight is 20/20 as is said, but at that time, I still did not tell. I requested a transfer out of the country, just to get as far away from my soldier husband as I could get, but it was denied because we were short on personnel. So, I trudged on, continuing in the daily routine of abuses, until my discharge from the service and my divorce from him.

I had to leave the state to get away from him. I made a new beginning for myself, eventually remarrying a good man, but the memories from that awful time in my life never left me, neither did the fears, or my reactions. I have been in mh treatment for more years than I’ve been alive. Yet, I still wake up in a sweat, being chased, when I awaken from the throes of those nightmares. I have not found healing yet. I managed to carve out a good life for myself, and my family,even as my children grew up with a mother whose pain they did not understand because I put myself somewhere else in my mind, so that I could take care of them. My boys are all grown men now,finally know my story, and I still have a very good life, but the memories still haunt me…

My Duty to Speak

The rapes of a U.S Soldier.

Valori Slaughter, United States Army

My name is Valori Slaughter, I joined the Army on December 16, of 1996 and was discharged February 7, 2008 after over eleven years of honorable service. I left the Army with a misconduct narrative because I spoke out and stood up for my rights. This is my whole story:

February 1999 I gave birth to a little boy as a single mother at the age of nineteen. He is now thirteen years old. He is the result of being raped by a recruiter, I was told by my local jag officer that they would not pursue him for rape. He told them he never touched me and a CPT from the Oklahoma Military Department JAG stated that because, “He is an E-7 with a meticulous record and I’m an E-3, who did I think they would believe?” Young and naïve, I believed that they would believe me because I was telling the truth. I was wrong and they explained that too me, despite of my three month old son who happened to also be evidence sitting on my knee. The Major who spoke to me in the presence of now State Command Sergeant Major of Oklahoma as my witness, asked me to please not go to the media in exchange for help with DNA to establish paternity, and at the least gain financial support to help raise my son.

My son is thirteen and DNA has never been established. I had planned on transferring into the Active Duty side of the United States Army and due to single parenthood was held from my goal until 2005. At that time I did make the transfer and join the Active Duty side of the Army. It was a dream come true, and I had long time awaited for the chance to truly serve my country, I felt a strong calling to do so. Financial situations caused by problems from military pay began Causing strain on my family with no money or food; unknowingly coping with past triggers from my assault I found myself in Darnell Hospital on a three day suicide watch after attempting to end my life. The same week that I had been released from the hospital after attempting suicide my squad leader a SSG found it necessary to have me sign a counseling statement releasing him of all liability so that he could bring me to the rifle range. Shortly after the range my husband and I learned I was pregnant. Due to the pregnancy I was transferred into a battalion that was standing up in attempts to give me a little extra time with my child after birth. This battalion was new being completely stood up from scratch. All soldiers were transfer soldiers. I was placed in Delta Company 3/227th Aviation Regiment 1st Cavalry Division, 1ACB, Fort Hood, Texas.

My unit was deployed in October 2006 into Taji, Iraq, just three short months after giving birth to my now five year old son. I went to my command and requested a waiver from my pregnancy profile, I wanted to be there with my unit from step one and participate with them all the way through, this would be my second deployment and comrade is built in the building and tearing down phases of an deployment, I sincerely wanted to be part of my unit. I was able to move back into my shop in November of 2006. This is when the first signs of harassment and inappropriate behavior started appearing. I started being hazed by my squad leader, making me carry an ammo can with, “I lost my ID Card” Painted on the side, and carried on with other forms of hazing all documented in my board hearing. In March another NCO within my section started showing me pictures of his exposed genitalia, and one evening while doing a ground guiding mission he ordered me to come help him. On our 2AM mission in pitch dark he asked me to hand me my hand, not thinking anything of it due to the nature of our job I found myself being forced to touch his erect exposed penis. The next day I approached Sgt R who was my squad leader with that information and he promised he would handle it. Over the course of the next few months not only did the behavior from the SGT S not stop but the behavior from Sgt. R became very sexually charged. Sgt R was now taking advantage of the situation with SGT  S and sexually harassing me himself!

My First Sergeant temporarily moved me to work Battalion level with Sgt. S which was a relief to me. I was happy to be out of the situation completely. The things that my squad leader asked me and the comments that he made were completely not called for. Things like, “do I shave my kitty?” and more and worse. I finally had opportunity to turn in the situation on a Command Climate Survey so that I would not have to face further harassment. I figured this way I could address the issue without attracting any more danger. And I could keep my name completely out of it. In my board proceedings my Sergeant First Class admitted telling his NCO’s to break the confidentiality portion of the survey and find out who answered yes on that survey. So my NCO only had 6 women in our section and he directly confronted all of us. I was not going to lie, but made it clear that this was information given on a Command Climate Survey Anonymously. After being questioned for over an hour by SFC V I finally broke down and told him who and what, he said so that he could prevent this behavior further.

A 15-6 investigation was then prompted as a result of the Command Climate Survey and when responding to a question that asked me at what point did I feel uncomfortable and did it step over the line of being professional to being unprofessional. Apparently the fact that I was there for that conversation being harassed opened me up for an Article 15 for Inappropriate Relations with an NCO. As part of my Article 15 I was given 14 days additional duty where I was supervised by both the NCO who sexually assaulted me, and my squad leader who sexually harassed me following the sexual assault. I confronted my command with this issue and asked to be moved, this request was also submitted in writing to my Brigade Commander who declined my request. I challenged the Article 15 with my chain of Command and had letters written in my behalf to senators and congressman relaying the treatment I was going through. I could feel my eleven years of service being taken from me. I was stripped down to E-3, spoke to my Brigade Commander on the 14th of September who in the presence of Chaplain Fox stated to me that there was not enough information to merit removing me from service. I was informed my congressional had hit on the 16th, and told that my Brigade Commander had changed his mind on the 17th. Before my board I asked to speak to my Brigade Commander again so I could ask directly why he had changed his mind. His response was along the lines of my behavior being that I left the day room crying and such made me look vulnerable and somehow welcomed sexual assault and harassment. That is paraphrased, but I do have the whole conversation on audio and also have had it transcribed as much as possible for evidence.

I was accused of crying wolf, and told by my First Sergeant that there is a Rampant problem in our brigade and that is the reason why I must have a female in addition to three other people in the room with us when speaking to me. And probably the most shocking event was in my actual board hearing when my Commander  openly admitted that he felt like I caused the harassment and assault committed against me, and acknowledges not only that he knew that I had been assaulted but that he did not feel the need to report it to the Criminal Investigative Division. The week before my misconduct board I was raped. The soldier raped me, and told me he picked me because he knew my Command wouldn’t believe me. I reported this rape to the Chaplain who over saw the Mudd House, I turned it into to the Psychologist right after the fact, and was blown off, literally told by the Psychologist that Taji is not the time to get my feet wet. I was not going to be believed. At the least he proved that in the Army’s eye rape is nothing. I kept the rape to myself until after my board proceedings because I feared that my Command would use it against me just as they did in my Article 15 hearing. I was discharged fully honorably with a misconduct narrative.

I was told so that I can go to the VA to seek medical help for the sexual trauma. Common PTSD reactions and responses normal to trauma were pounced on to build a misconduct package to discredit me, besides the intentional scenario’s my command built in order to set me up to make me look like I was not doing what I was supposed to do, when in actuality they were giving me the wrong times and information. I was very clearly being retaliated against by my Command, and it is very clearly documented in tape recorded conversations, meetings, and in my board transcripts.

My Duty to Speak

Rape in the Army

Editor’s note: The following statement was originally posted on our facebook wall.

Anonymous, United States Army

Serving a tour of duty for female soldiers, even when it was times of peace, was very much like being a pow. You couldn’t get out, you couldn’t get help, you were called names and don’t ask don’t tell was used as leverage. You were not safe. You were not safe when you slept, nor when you bathed. You were outnumbered. You couldn’t say “oh this is a bad guy, I want to stay away from him”. Furthermore, sometimes that bad guy was your first sgt. You can look back at how many women in ratio to how many men, have been turned out for homosexuality.

When and if they kick you out of the military-they don’t just kick you out, they try to break your spirit and destroy you, then they will send you back to society. There is no justice, and the ironic thing was their ad for “an army of one” such and oxymoron, yet that is how I felt. I slept with a buck knife in my hand, I learned to trust no one. I learned that you can serve the country that you live in, but the enemy you must fear most is the one closest to you. I wish I had the power to give the government a dishonorable discharge, since they don’t know what honor is. You have to know what justice is to actually have honor.

My Duty to Speak

Raped by a fellow soldier

Anonymous, United States Army

My rape happened when I and a male friend had duty (CQ) the same night which mean we were both off work the next day. He had an apartment off the waters and we both thought it would be cool to chill together and drink while everyone else was working. I was not attracted to this guy, we have never been in an relationship, and I never had an idea that he ever saw me like that because he never gave any indication otherwise. I was dressed in an Izod shirt, a pair of Lee jeans and nothing about what I had on was attractive, tight, or showed anything because to this day I dress more on the conservative side.

We were sitting around drinking when all of a sudden, he came over to the couch where I was and started rubbing up against me, and I kept telling him to stop and asking him what was he doing. After he could see that I continued to struggle and resist him, his 6[4”, 200 pds size overcame my 4’11” 110 pds and raped me. I felt so bad after it was over, I just asked him could I take a shower, which he said yes. I took a shower and when I came out, he had the nerve to be laying on the floor in his underwear with is legs crossed as if he was a king and was really proud of what he had just done. I just asked him to take me back to the barracks. He did and I did not say a word the whole 20 minutes ride home. I never reported because of the activity we were doing and I know they would try to blame me, because this was back at a time when rape was not reported too often or was at least hard to prove, or at least that was the preception. When I got back to the barracks, I told a couple of my friends who encouraged me to report it, but again, because of what we were doing I was more afraid of the consenquences of that. Since then, I have suffered silently major chonic depression, anxieties, and social fears. I have been treated a couple of times, but as a single parent, treatment has always been short lived due to financial hardship. So, I keep it suppressed and don’t talk about it because for the most part, I think judgement would be made again because of our activity with the drinking and drugs.

My Duty to Speak

United States Army recruiter RAPED

that1chick, United States Army

In 1995 I was Department of the Army selected (DA Selected) to be a recruiter. It was the most exciting time of my military career. Shortly after I finished recruiter school, I was promoted to Staff Sergeant. I believed in the Army and the NCO Creed and tried my hardest to live up to it. I believed that the Army had my back as long as I did what was expected of me—as long as I made mission.

When I got to my recruiting station in Chicago, the first thing my station commander (One of two names I will never forget) SFC ****. told me was he did not want me at his recruiting station. I should have taken that as a warning. This was the beginning of my hell on earth existing as a recruiter. In 1996 I was raped in that recruiting station by a Marine recruiter.

The next day, as a way to cope, the words of the NCO Creed resonated in my mind as I worked like a robot trying to make mission. I tried to bury what happened to me in my mind and continue my mission. I was a nervous wreck I was scared to run into SGT **** (the other name I will never forget) as I tried to do my mission. Finally, a friend in another unit, SFC ****, drove me to the police station –because I wouldn’t go myself out of fear–to file reports with them and NCIS at Great Lakes.

What a joke that turned out to be. I did the requisite rape kit and police report a few days later. I went through with it expecting to be protected and validated somehow. The local police told me they could not assist me with what happened because I was in the military. I was stonewalled by NCIS when I tried to press charges against SGT ***. Once the case was closed, I became the source of insult, ridicule, and gossip. NCIS even told me I should have been grateful that a Marine raped me.

I was rejected and dehumanized by everyone in my unit. I had a scarlet letter on my forehead. I constantly had migraine headaches and anxiety attacks because the battalion abandoned me –no one had my back. No one wanted to work with me –I had no way out of recruiting duty so had to complete my mission. As I struggled to hold onto my dignity and integrity, I became the problem child of the battalion. I almost never made mission because I was blackballed.

The MEPS disqualified my applicants so I had to work weekends to try to do it. SFC **** refused to transfer me out of the recruiting station or assist me in any way. The entire battalion knew what happened to me, they whispered about it and called me a slut and wacko behind my back. The female recruiters denigrated and rejected me as if I was lying about being raped by the bastard.

I had to look at my rapist every day for six months until my complaints finally reached the brigade Sergeant Major. He forced SFC **** to transfer me to another recruiting station. The rumors got to my new recruiting station faster than I did. The transfer did no good, nothing changed. The command ultimately continued to disqualify my applicants so I would not earn my gold badge (even though I had the points) when my tour ended.

Even after I left recruiting I was blackballed and as a result lost my career in 1999. In 2000 I enrolled in school to put the pieces of my life together and build a stable life for myself. In hindsight, I now realize how naïve that was. Since then, I can’t recall a time when I was totally at peace during that tour or since then. I was even going to the DOD websites to see if the bastard was killed in Iraq. Back then, I felt like a failure and I am still haunted by the memories. I still like a handicapped woman. It takes a lot for me to trust males.

Over the years, because of the lack of resources back then, pre 9/11, I had been laid off from jobs because I did not know how to manage my disability to function. With help from my family, I found resources for help. Still, in the veterans’ community MST survivors are often not recognized. There seems to be some stereotype or prototype of disabled veterans. When I got rides in the DAV van to my VA appointments, the other male veterans looked critically at me as if I didn’t pass muster or they hit on me. When it dawned on me that going to the VA in and of itself, was a trigger of my disability, I talked to my doctor to find safe places for me to go when I came for appointments. I continue to be optimistic by keeping my faith in God because he is my strength and my help.

My Duty to Speak

Army War veteran/MST veteran adjusting to going back to school.

Anonymous, United States Army

I am a 28 years old Army war veteran. I am suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder that resulted from being raped while serving. I am a student attending a small yet prestigious liberal art college. There have been talk on here about military sexual assault survivors returning to college and I have added my two cents but feel that there is so much more to say.

I went back to classes today after a long weekend. I was able to complete most of my work and academic wise I am doing fine. Emotionally I am a mess when sitting in my classes. I sit in the back seat always, partly due to my PTSD and safety and partly because I feel that nobody should have to see me. I sit quietly with tears rolling down my eyes. For no reason other than I feel like an outside. I feel like I am ostracized. I simply do not have anything to say to the 19 years olds in my class who are living without a care in the world.

It is being ostracized that is the worst. It brings such emotion from my time in the Army that I feel like I am back every time I step inside a classroom. I know that my classmates are not doing it on purpose. I  know that I do not make myself the most approachable while wearing my BDU blouse and sitting in the back crying but the hurt is still all the same. I can put on a fake smile and pretend to care about the keg party that is going on that evening but quite frankly I could care less. I don’t want to change who I am to make friends. I want to make friends who understand what I have been through.

Most who attend my college are wealthy, suburban kids straight out of high school. They were just starting high school, some were still in Junior High when I was being raped in a war zone.  They do not have much real life experience. At times I just want to scream that there is more to life than the mall.  I want to scream to them that there is more to life than parties. I want to scream to them that I WAS RAPED. I WAS TOLD THAT I AM A LIAR. I LOST MY CAREER. DO YOU UNDERSTAND HOW THAT MAKES ME FEEL? Instead I keep quiet and sit in the back alone.

We do not have a veterans organization or support on campus. Veterans Day came and went with more thought on being another free day off than the meaning behind the day. Like last year I requested a ceremony to honor our military on Veterans Day and they felt that it was not appropriate. They instead display books on Veterans in the library as we are some sort of case study and said that they are doing more than enough to observe Veterans day. Last year during a showing of the film Lioness I requested to be part of the panel to  answer questions about the film. I was denied because I did not have enough experience. I did not have the credentials or the degree to speak about women at war. According to my college a PhD who read books on combat has more credentials than a war veteran to speak about war.

My college  wants to put me on a medical leaves of absence while I deal with my Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. The idea of not being able to go back to college in the spring scares me. The idea of not having anything to do next semester scares me. I was actually looking forward to the spring semester and felt that it’ll be a change from the norm. I signed up for 2 on-line course, an internship, leaving only 2 classes to be taken on campus one is the internship class which only meets a few times a semester so pretty much just one three credit class which I think was manageable. The Dean of Students contacted my Professors and a couple wrote back saying that I make them feel uncomfortable, that I make them feel unsafe. I sit in the back of the classroom, alone and do my work. I am sorry that I make you feel uncomfortable or unsafe. I am sorry if being a quiet, depressed veteran scares you. I fought to protect your freedom and I’ll never hurt you.

I feel the same emotions that I felt when I received my discharged papers. I am no longer wanted. I am broken. Something is wrong with me. As I watch my classmates without a worry in the world caring more about the keg party than the final papers I feel envious. I know that they have a greater chance of graduating college than I do. I know that they have a greater chance of being happy than I do. I know that they have a greater chance of living out their goals than I do. Yes I am envious of them.