NO WITNESSES


Now that Bridget has joined me on line, I am ready to give what I can of more of my story.

Sexual Abuse in the military is only a portion of my problem.  In fact, for me personally, “Clarence” is the easiest one to talk about.  My ex-husband, the fellow service member that liked guns so much that he brought them into the marriage bed, isn’t that hard to write about either.

There is one story that when brought up in therapy, C+P, or in the shower in the morning, is the one incident that I don’t like to deal with.  I don’t like to talk about it, to write about it, to think about it.  In fact, for me it was so horrible that I didn’t even remember it had happened until I had a massive flashback in therapy.  I am going to do my best to share it here. 

It was annual training.  I had a section sergeant whom I will call Jerk, because I don’t want to give any identifying information about him and I don’t have enough of these $%^&*(!!$%^&* to really describe him.  Jerk hated women, we all knew that, and he had a special place for those who had stripes.

I was his second squad leader.  I outranked the first squad leader, but because I had breasts, my rank didn’t count.  I was given an assignment to drive a person to town.  Of course, we were way back in the boonies on terrible roads.  I had moved far right on an ugly blind corner, I had just taken a drink from my water bottle when the road gave way.  I ripped the vehicle to pieces and the mechanics later said it was a miracle I didn’t go over the cliff on the other side.  I arranged a ride for my soldier to get to his appointed location and waited with the vehicle for the wreaker.  I had run my shoulder into the metal portion of the vehicle seat so I had make a makeshift sling by slipping my hand inside my BDU blouse.  I was taken to the field TMC, declared bruised but not broken, and sent back to duty.

The leaders in the TOC laughed at me, and I laughed with them.  “Limp for us!” and I obliged.  “It’s okay CPL…that is an ugly corner.  Just glad you are not badly hurt.  Got hit there myself earlier this week, dang MP’s driving too fast.  Don’t worry about the vehicle, gives the mechanics something to do.  No charges on you, file under the **it happens category.”

Wow!  Did I feel better!  No problems, stuff happens.  Write the reports.  Laughed with them, joked with them, pat on the back warm fuzzy feeling. 

“Corporal *******!  Get your f-ing ass over here.  2nd platoon, get over here!.  On your knees, Corporal.  I said, get on your f-ing knees!”

Oh, God.  It’s SSG Jerk.  He is freaking pissed at me right now.  He is going to play his little BS game of “lets humiliate the girl.”

“I said on your knees.  You broke my vehicle!  You broke my soldier!”

Suddenly, he was raising his walking stick in the air.  A large, thick stick that he always carried in the field. 

“You broke my vehicle!”  Bang on the shoulder

“You broke my soldier!”  Bang on the head.

He was beating me.  The platoon was there but I don’t see faces, I’m on my knees, there is no where to go.  I see boots, BANG!  I see leaves, BANG!  I smell leaves, BANG!

“SGT, you’re hurting me!”  My voice is a whisper, his is an angry bullhorn that someone is holding too close to their lips so the words are all fuzz and blur.  Try louder, “SGT, you’re hurting me.”  I’m frozen.  I’m like ice.  I can see the platoon now.  I am above them.  It is a movie.  Why is that soldier being hit?  Now there are boots…just lots of black boots. 

Now I see a hand.  It is someone I know and he has placed his hand in front of the Jerk’s hand.  “You’re hurting her…that is enough!”

I start to crawl like a whipped dog…I won’t crawl…I will stand up like a soldier and walk!  I walk away from the platoon and the tent…I am walking toward my tent.  I see trees and I see my tent.  I hurt, I hurt.  My head hurts, my shoulder hurts. 

I don’t remember anything after that for approximately 3 days.  Those 3 days have become an obsession.  What happened to those 3 days?

My therapist says that you don’t have a choice between “Flight – Fight – Freeze.”  That is what she says.  I am trying so hard to believe that.  I froze.  Sometimes I wish I had fought.

No one in the platoon saw anything – that is according to their own statements. 

In therapy I was asked if I still knew the person who stopped the beating.  I did and I knew where he lived.  I have to go ask him, says my therapist.  Talk to him about it.  I will try.  “Gee, Joan.  That was a messed up AT.  I don’t remember that happening.  I don’t remember much of anything.”

FIFTEEN PEOPLE WITNESSED THIS.  FIFTEEN SOLDIER’S SAW A FELLOW SOLDIER BE BEATEN ABOUT THE HEAD AND SHOULDERS WITH A LARGE STICK. 

FIFTEEN SOLDIERS…NO WITNESSES.

Joan

Advertisements

2 Responses to “NO WITNESSES”

  1. jayherron Says:

    wow…I am speechless!

  2. enemyinthewire Says:

    Jay,

    I know what you mean! I just wish that I could say that this was my only encounter with Jerk.

    Ultimately, it was charges that I filed against Jerk that put an end to my career in the military.

    Joan

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: