How to Get Promoted

I had spent the 2 summers before I enlisted working as a civilian through JTPA. So I really thought I knew what I was getting myself into. During that time, almost everyone treated me with respect, something I assumed would continue once I finally was old enough to get in. On my first drill weekend,  I learned that my new Section SGT was now “Ranger Wags”. He always had acted like he hated me for the 2 years I had known him. He had been a recruiter for years, but had been fired because he was not able to get the numbers in. My first trip to MEPS, I was 3 pounds over weight, so he blamed me for his losing is job.

I was not thrilled that he was going to be in charge of me, and he made it clear he was going to treat me like crap. I was happy to be rid of him for 6 months of training. But the oddest thing, he started writing me these crazy letters while I was in basic training. They even turned sexual. It freaked me out big time. I replied that he was funny, that he had almost scared me, but I figured he was just pulling a prank. He wrote more descriptive letters, stating he had left his wife, and couldn’t wait for me to come back, that he was going to take me out on a date when I got back. I quit replying to his letters, because they scared the crap out of me. I did keep those letters for years, and wish I still had them, but about 4 years after Basic Training, my boyfriend at the time decided to throw them away. If only he had let me keep them, I would have had proof for what happened later.

 A couple of weeks after I got back from AIT, I had my first drill with my unit. I was scared, because so many people knew that I had been raped in Ft Gordon, and I was worried how I was going to be treated. Ranger Wags was a jerk, but I expected it. Then he told me at the end of Saturday, that he was going to take me out for pizza. I assumed it was one of his famous pizza parties he had for years, but had always excluded me, so I agreed to go. He came and picked me up and took me to Godfathers. When I didn’t see anyone else there, I became concerned. I asked where everyone else was, he said this was a private party. Then I got scared again. But I was basically trapped.

After pizza, I couldn’t wait for him to take me home, but he had other ideas. He had rented a hotel room for the weekend, something he never did. Wags always stayed at the armory on Drill weekends, because he lived 1 1/2 hours away. He stopped and bought himself some beer, which I thought was odd, because he never drank, but said nothing. He said he needed to pick something up from his room, and I said I would stay in the truck. He told me it was cold, and I should come in. Anyone who has been in Iowa in January knows that it didn’t take too much convincing.

So, we get to his room at the hotel, and it turns out the beer was for me. I had no intentions of drinking it, because now I was most definitely afraid. One thing led to another, and he told me the only way I could get my E2 stripe was if I slept with him. He made it perfectly clear that I wasn’t going to get out of that room until we had sex. So I gave in, because I figured I would wind up getting raped again if I didn’t. I just laid there and stared at the ceiling while he did his business. Then I took a shower after that, which he joined me in, and had his way with me again. I felt disgusted and ashamed. I trusted him, and he violated it.

 I was never so happy as when he decided to not learn the new equipment, so he got transferred to a different unit a few months later. He tried several times to talk me into transferring into his unit, but I refused. And as fate would have it, 8 years later I met Joan. Wags was Joan’s recruiter, and had written her creepy letters as well. And she still had some of them. Also, at one point, Joan had to live in a transition housing complex for abused women and children a few years after that. As fate would have it, the hotel that Wags had violated me in was converted into the transition housing for battered women.

I have to say that Joan and I are so much luckier than most in some respects. We found each other, and have been best friends for almost 14 years now. It wasn’t until a few years after we became friends that we discovered we had so many things in common, and had both suffered MST. I wish not one person had to endure this horrible crime, but thank God every day that Joan and I were brought together.



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One Response to “How to Get Promoted”

  1. enemyinthewire Says:

    Love you, Brigid!

    Yes, Ranger Wags was my recruiter and he was one creepy son of a bitch! He was constantly trying to get me to change over to his company. I don’t know what it is about the recruiters in our area…but I have met more than one that made the hair on the back of my neck stand up!


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