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Coping With Military Sexual Trauma

By Dr. Vivian Anderson

As I write to have this article published within the New Journal and Guide, I sincerely pray that all who read it will take the initiative to share this  story and subscribe to this 119-year-old Black Press newspaper company and encourage others to do so. You will never see nor experience the TRUTH elsewhere about how our service men and women, especially the young, endure the worst nightmares of  horrors and murders committed in the Armed Forces.

What are the politicians and those in responsible positions doing to address and stop such horrible INJUSTICE to innocent young men and women joining the Armed Forces in this nation? Little or Nothing.

I couldn’t help but shed tears and experience anger as I read the horrible experience this Disabled American Veteran had to endure. Although, she reached out to acquire the appropriate help, she was told she had to deal with it on her own.  This is a shame to have to live and service this nation with the most horrific INJUSTICE that keeps rising higher without enough voices to sound the alarm of nightmares, flashbacks, coping with the trauma, anger, etc., etc. that keep occurring over and over again as it involves MST (Military Sexual Trauma).

It really caused me to visualize all that she suffered and it caused me to take a stance  to address this ongoing ugly monster as though it happened to me or thinking that she could have been my own daughter.

I am having meetings each month in order to bring forth the ill treatments of our Disabled American Veterans (DAVS) -(VETERANS IN CRISIS) who simply desire to render service to this nation.

I will do all that I can to bring this to reality and acquire the appropriate assistance to make enough noise and ring it upon the house top in order for all to understand that this is reality of the worse kind. Further, when it comes to acquiring compensation for damages, they are denied. This happens when they apply for the individual VA Claims for VA Benefits. I know because I see this happen each and every day when I counsel with the DAVS.

A news article in The Virginian-Pilot, dated May 3, 2019, titled, “Reports of Sexual Assault in the Military Jump by 38%,” by Frances Stead Sellers and Dan Lamothe, stated, “The Pentagon recorded a nearly 38% spike in sexual assaults reported by service members in 2018, according to data released … May 2, 2019… despite  senior military officials repeatedly saying in recent years that they have a problem that must be addressed.

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“The statistics show about 20,500 instances of “unwanted sexual contact,” a category that includes rape, forcible sodomy, groping and other offenses. Reported assaults increased from about 14,900 in 2016 and were about on par with the 20,300 documental in 2014, according to biennial survey results released by the  survey results by the Pentagon.”

“Acting Secretary Patrick Shanahan said the survey makes clear that the Pentagon must do more to address the  culture  that allows sexual assaults and harassments to persist.”

Believe me, there isn’t enough being done to prevent this INJUSTICE against humanity and it shouldn’t be silenced, but ring out so loud that everyone should hear and stand up for all that should be taken.

Now let’s hear from an Anonymous Disabled American Veteran.

IN MY OWN WORDS

I am allowing my story of what I endured while enlisted within the U. S. Navy to be released in “MY OWN WORDS,” and published in the New Journal and Guide, because it may assist others to come forth and express their individual story that   may assist many others suffering from MST (Military Sexual Trauma).

I have lived with such anger and despair that I am finding myself repeating the nightmares of being back aboard the exact Naval Ship I served for my entire four years in the U. S. Navy.  However, I desire to stay anonymous to prevent myself from continuing  the shame and guilt that has robbed my entire life of who I really am and was prior to enlisting within the U. S. Navy.

I sincerely pray that this will have others to come forth to expose all the evil that women and men endure within the Armed Forces in this nation with nothing really being done to bring forth those who rob innocent people of their lives. It really becomes a harsh reality when you file for the necessary VA Benefits with service connected ailments of the horrible endeavors and inflicted upon you without probable cause.

It is a shame that the VA Claims  Intake Centers in Virginia  ignore and deny this horrible and severe Post Traumatic Stress Disorder that have you really wondering, “Why did I enlist to serve this nation in the U. S. Navy?”

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I  begin!!

I enlisted into the  U. S. Navy in  1987 and was discharged in 1991. I was excited to join the U. S. Navy for a career choice, but later something as disturbing as the consequences that I had to experience, endure and witness had me wondering, why would this be allowed to happen while trying to serve this nation in the Armed Forces, because I know it isn’t just happening in the U. S. Navy.

I endured episodes so frightening that I can’t forget as though I was still going through such evils every day of my life since I was discharged.

It all began and continued for the four years that I was  enlisted while stationed aboard a  USS Naval Ship until I was discharged, as previously mentioned above. I went on to do active Reserve from 1991 until 1994, trying to understand that I wasn’t the cause of what happened, but a victim.

I wondered if I would ever get over what I had to endure to no end and when I did reach out for assistance, I was told, “This is the Good Ole’ Boy Syndrome” and I would just have to do as I was told. This really had me afraid because the fear of this getting back to the officer in question would only cause me further problems.

As I go further, I was an undersigned Fireman when I started in the repair department/lagging shop on board of a USS Naval Carrier. I first started having problems with my stomach in the year of 1989.  I was going to sick call once or twice a week, on board

I was being seen by one of the physicians, but every time I would visit with him, he would check me out and tell me that I was having gas and give me medication and place me on bed rest for a day.  No matter when I visited him, it was the same diagnosis that was getting worse.

In the spring of 1990, the physician I was seeing was replaced by another, and she would recommend the exact same treatment that didn’t relieve the suffering that I was going through with severe abdominal problems.

When I transitioned from active duty to Reserve, I still had the same issues with abdominal pains. One day I got so sick that I was rushed to a medical clinic where the physician took one look at me and stipulated that I had liver problems, because of the coloring of my eyes. He took  and performed tests on me and when the results came back, he explained that I had gallstones.

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I had the surgery to remove the stones, and was told that the stones had been in there so long that they had to remove my gallbladder because it was so torn up and worn out.

Outside of this serious medical problem with my abdominal area,  I desire to share with you what really  and truly  disturbs me and it has tremendously filled my life with trauma so evil as it reflects on how the officers treated women,  including myself,  aboard the USS Naval Carrier where I spent time.

I was in my early 20s and a virgin, but treated as a prostitute with sexual abuse beyond anything that I could ever experience. It’s a shame and disgrace how the officers aboard my ship approached women as sex objects and chose those they wanted to force themselves upon to rape and sexually abuse to no end. Even the upper superior officers knew and wouldn’t do anything to assist us, simply, because they were indulging themselves.

I am still seeking out sessions with a psychiatrist in order to cope with all that happened. I am attempting to do this without rendering names of players and I am remaining anonymous throughout this horrific experience, including other names.  Not, because I am afraid now, but having people to address me with questions isn’t what I desire to have happen. But, it has to be told.

In 1987, while I was Mess Cranking in the Galley Chow Hall aboard ship, I served in the officer’s quarters via breakfast, lunch and dinner as a mid-cranking servant.  I was approached by an officer who began feeling up on me with his hands with no hesitation with me telling him no. This included other women and the officers would have their picks as  myself  to sexually abuse, rape, and assault.

This officer made it clear that he didn’t care anything for Afro-American women except to satisfy his sexual desires. He stressed that I would do what he told me to do without questions.  In addition, he told me, if I opened my mouth as far as telling what happened, I would be kicked out of the U. S. Navy receiving a Dishonorable Discharge.  They would believe him more than they would believe an “E” Nothing. I was afraid and kept quiet and it was the most frightening circumstances as the worse horror movie I ever saw.

A lot of  what happened was within the three months while I was Cranking until a young Caucasian Sailor, E1, was found hung within an officer mess hall. She had been sexually abused by two officers and became pregnant by one of  them. Somehow, when the truth surfaced, the officers  were both put off the ship and never came back. And believe it or not, they always are placed on other Naval Vessels without suffering anything as much as a Court Martial.  I was told to keep my  mouth shut or else, I could suffer the same fate.

The officer who forced himself upon me made me have oral sex and intercourse whenever he chose to do such traumatic episodes on me. If I told anyone of the horrible rape encounters, I would be kicked out of the Navy on a Dishonorable Discharge, as previously stated above. This went on for the entire time I was enlisted in the U. S. Navy.

I don’t understand how this happened and nothing has been done to stop it, because all the women aboard that ship had to endure such evil of officers not understanding that we were human beings and not objects of their fantasies.

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I sincerely pray that our politicians will pay attention and stop the horrible nightmares that women and men have to endure.

With all that expressed, I desire to take this time to thank Dr. Vivian Anderson, because of her passion and understanding and her assisting me with what I endured, She has supported me in many ways, including refiling my VA Benefits in order to acquire a higher award of VA Benefits Percentage that I should have been awarded during my initial filing.

I have found Dr. Anderson as a woman of strength and integrity and she will do everything to assist when such crisis arise as you have read within the content of this article.

I pray that someone will read this article and understand that there needs to be investigations preformed to assist innocent women having to endure being raped, assaulted, abused, murder, etc. by the officers who should know better. What a way to serve your country and even when it is exposed, it is covered up and continued.

I thank Dr. Anderson and we need more like her to take a stance and help to stop the Horrible INJUSTICE towards innocent human beings.

“What Say You, America?”

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