Anger and Afterthoughts


While I was typing my sworn statement, I got angry all over again. Some of the things that angered me beyond belief were the fact that I couldn’t use the term ‘harassment’ to my 1SG. I was specifically told to not let him feel threatened. It was OK that he had been harassing me and threatening me for 1 1/2 years, but I couldn’t be blunt and tell him it was harassment, which is exactly what it was.

And how ironic was it that two of the people in my chain of command that gave/witnessed my counseling were witnesses on many occasions to this harassment? Many officers and cadre witnessed his inappropriate comments, but not a single one of them said a word. No one stood up for me, the soldier, and told the 1SG that it was wrong how he was talking to me. I have no respect, none whatsoever, for any of those in my chain of command that allowed this to continue. I should never of had to say anything to anyone, it was obvious that he was behaving inappropriately. It was so beyond blatant.

As to the reasoning that there wasn’t enough evidence? I had over 20 witnesses to his harassment. Are you kidding me? Seriously. But the witnesses said that I sometimes acted in a flirtatious manner, so it was all OK? I didn’t act in a flirtatious manner, I was acting like myself, which was being nice to people. I learned long ago that people will be more willing to help you or listen to you if you are nice, instead of being a bitch. Which one of us was flirting? Me or the 1SG? It seems to me he was flirting, and I was rude to him. How is that flirting.

Oh, and it was all my fault because I showed poor judgement in going to his hotel. What was it on his part? Besides pre-meditated? I went there for help, which he promised to give me. He also said we would be going to a public place, not stay in his room. How is that bad judgement? What about the physical struggle for me to get away from him? Isn’t that considered assault. Even after I narrowly escaped his room, he still tried dragging me back in.

I was also counseled because I told people about it. How many people did I have to tell before someone did something? Several. How long did I complain? Over a year. Nobody did anything. I went to a female officer in another unit for help, who talked to her male commander. Still, all I got there was that I couldn’t tell him he was sexually harassing me until I warned him privately, and politely 3 times prior, and then I needed witnesses. I had all of that. Still nothing.

What disgusts me more than anything is that my Troop Command decided I needed to be counseled about all of this. But they wanted to make clear that they were not going to proceed with any disciplinary action against me. What the hell discipline could they possibly take against me? Is there some law in the UCMJ that states if you DON”T sleep with your 1SG, then you can face charges? I would just like to know.

You know, just like when I was raped, the investigating officer treated me with such kindness. And then BOOM! they she turned on me. I think that hurt more than anything, because this time it was a woman who turned on me. My only thoughts on her now are that I pity her. Officers are supposed to be leaders. Being a female officer must be hard, but here is another case where a woman throws another one under the bus. Pity her, seriously, we should pity her for her lack of strength and conviction.

After that whole incident, I was treated like the plague for quite a while. I got married, and was told by my command that I was not allowed to speak of my pending marriage to any of my fellow soldiers. That I was not to have a personal life in any way shape or form. Everyone else was allowed to, but none of them had pressed charges on their 1SG. So it was OK. I was actually told by my commander that I should act sad for a long period of time, because of what had happened. I should not smile, or joke. I should not be able to get married because of the horrors I had endured, although there wasn’t enough evidence to proceed.

I told him and the rest of them where to go. I invited my whole unit to my wedding, and posted my wedding invitation on the bulletin board where everyone else posted theirs. I told the commander if he took it down, I would call the Inspector General’s office and tell them that I wasn’t given the same rights as every other member in my unit. My invitation stayed there. Some people from my unit did come to my wedding.

1SG Orange retired 6 months after the findings came back. I was in the hospital, just finding out I had cancer and barely survived that whole ordeal. He called me the day I was released, and apologized to me for everything he had put me through. We had a nice talk. He said he was happy that I survived, and that I had decided to marry George just a few weeks prior to that. I was able to forgive him for what he did. But I was never able to get over what my unit and Troop Command had done to me. Because he admitted his guilt and asked my forgiveness, it made a big difference, it was the vindication I needed. That is why I say this is the easiest of the things I am getting ready to publish on this blog. So, I warn you, what is to come is going to be even worse.

Brigid

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