A Moment of Clarity


Hello, Friends.

As you know – if you are a regular reader – I have been running my ass off promoting the film The Invisible War.  I have been talking to every person I can think of, scheduling showings and talking to old white men in my VSO.  That isn’t to put down the VSO members, because they care, they are a terrific group (most of them.)  Primarily…they are just confused.  Most of them are too old to have served with women in the capacity that they are serving in the last 20 years.  The women they knew were nurses and clerks – many of them went their entire military stint and never worked with a woman.  I think that some of them just believe that a woman should never be treated badly – so they can’t figure out how it happens.  Whatever the reason – it gets to be a tough row to hoe.

This weekend I spoke about the film and a gentleman stopped me and thanked me for what I had said.  He explained that his ex-wife is a veteran and that she was raped.  He was glad to see people talking about the problem.  I told him how sorry I was and I asked him if she needed help, filing a claim or getting therapy. 

He told me – “She’s dead.”  I told him how sorry I was and he stepped in and volunteered – “She killed herself over it.  Fought with the VA for years and she just couldn’t do it anymore.”

That’s why we do this.  That’s why we put ourselves out there even as we try to maintain our privacy.  That’s why this film is important.  No more, no more rape, no more abuse, no more violence and no more dead brothers and sisters!

I told the guys at the meeting this last night and for the first time they seemed to start to “get it.”  One of the guys started in about how, when he was contracting in OIF/OEF/OND, he noticed that 20 percent were women.  He got kind of excited and talked about a woman who pulled her LT from a bombed vehicle and carried him away from danger.  Then he said something very, very interesting.  It was really a moment of clarity – “Of course, they aren’t just women…they are Marines!” 

I know he didn’t see it this way – but it is the point that many of us have been trying to make.  I wasn’t a “woman soldier” or a “female soldier”…I was just a soldier.  I’m not a “female” veteran – I’m just a veteran – just like every other veteran. 

I know it won’t solve all of the problems – but maybe if we can stop some of the gender bashing – we can start seeing one another as “Servicemembers.”

May God rest her soul and the souls of all of the others who gave in to the pain before seeing a change.  Even though she stopped the fight – her life can still resonate for change.

Peace,

Joan

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One Response to “A Moment of Clarity”

  1. Myst Says:

    Thank you for sharing and for your wonderful success! It is why we keep writing and posting and doing our best to educate. I too sorrow for a sister in arms that just couldn’t handle it any more. *shakes head sadly* But then, we must keep up the good fight! Best wishes to both of you,
    Hugs,
    Myst

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