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Rape in the Military is an “Occupational Hazard”

Earlier today I went to see the film The Invisible War which is a groundbreaking investigative documentary about one of our country’s most shameful and best kept secrets: the epidemic of rape within our US military. The Invisible War won the 2012 Audience Award at the Sundance Film Festival. It is a difficult film to watch, but a very important one. It is the sort of documentary made not only to portray the world, but to change the world. In this case, change can’t come soon enough.

The numbers of rape and the military procedure post-rape are astounding and numbingly shocking. The actual statistics of the occurrence of rape, both to women and men, are not entirely available as those who report being raped are typically discharged as well as often charged with another offense, such as adultery – even when it was the rapist that was married, not the victim. Therefore many victims remain quiet and harbor the damage deep within their mind and soul, forever growing like a cancerous tumor. An estimated number of 19,000 women and men are raped every year with 147 being convicted of a sex crime in 2009-2010 (see chart below, numbers from the Dept of Defense). That is an estimated 0.8% (or 0.008) conviction rate. Imagine what that would be like in the civilian world….

I know, it sounds insane, but this is what is going on in our nation’s military forces.

What shocked me most was the closing line at the end of the movie…. On December 9, 2011, Judge O’Grady dismissed a lawsuit against Donald Rumsfeld and Robert Gates which was filed by 28 military members and veterans who said they were victims of sexual assault. When Judge O’Grady dismissed the lawsuit saying that rape and sexual assault in the military are simply ‘incident to service,” he put his finger on the heart of the problem. According to the military’s argument, which Judge O’Grady accepted, rape and sexual assault is just an occupational hazard for service members.

An “occupational hazard.” Rape. One of the most violent physical assaults which forever haunts and permanently scars the victim, and our military condones it by simply stating that it is just part of being in the military. As if it is a wolf-whistle from a group of off-duty men at a local bar eying an attractive woman. The definition of an occupational hazard is a risk accepted as a consequence of a particular occupation. Occupational hazards of serving in the military are incidences such as pulled muscles, broken bones, IED’s, gunshot, no sleep, sleeping in a trench, being taken hostage, poor rations, rationing water, no showers, no toilets, and the list goes on and on. All of these items are out of control of your fellow man or woman which is serving right next to you. All except for rape.

Just look the other way.

Until the military decides to punish ALL those who commit rape, it will continue and never let up. There is a saying which goes, “There’s the right way, the wrong way, and the military way.” It appears as though rape is the military way.

In wrapping this up, I would like to note that I have met and personally know several military personnel and veterans alike who would just as soon put out their own eyes with a red-hot poker than they would violate and rape another human being. There are a significant number of honorable men and women serving… many more non-rapists than there are rapists. However, even one rape should never be tolerated under any circumstances. Is this an acceptable “trade-off” for many of those serving to protect our country? It appears so. There is no honor in rape. Now every time I see or talk to an enlisted man or woman who I do not know, I will always wonder if they have either been a victim of rape, or have been the rapist. I hope neither.

Bravo to those women and men who have come forth to help fight with enemy within.


References and related articles:

The Invisible War website
Motley News:  The Invisible War | Rape in the Military
Protect Our Defenders:  PROTECT OUR DEFENDERS ANNOUNCES APPEAL IN CIOCA V. RUMSFELD
Reuters:  PRESS RELEASE – Makers of Groundbreaking New Documentary, The Invisible War, Exposing Epidemic of Rape in the Military, Applaud
Boston: Abuse lawsuit against Rumsfeld, Gates tossed out
IMDB list of news articles about the film

73 Comments »

  1. Good for people who are talking about it, including you Michelle. It is sad how much shame is often associated with rape. I’m glad that this subject is getting brought to the frontlines.

  2. This article is great! You need to look at two sites that show how even congressional members are helping the military get away with rape. Mark Critz serves on the armed forces committee and helped the Marines coverup a rape, http://www.citizensagainstmarkcritz.com
    The victims sheriff has the evidence but no jurisdiction and can’t get any help or calls back, even from the state it happened it, he and several state politicians are trying to help the victim.
    http://www.theusmarinesrape.com
    The victim wasn’t in the military but was in a relationship, these women are often forgotten as well, and the rapist faked PTSD!

    • Thanks for the links!

      I was utterly shocked at how much was discarded and/or covered up. Then to turn around and charge the woman (that was in the film) with adultery? She was not married, but her rapist was – so she is charged with a crime. I didn’t realize that adultery was a crime – only a reason for divorce.

      I have to wonder if the military encourages this type of behavior because they want their servicemen to be overly aggressive and violent control freaks when out in combat. It takes a certain mental attitude and ability to serve where actual combat is occurring. I, myself, would never be able to shoot anyone, regardless of the circumstances. So the military would most definitely not want me out there carrying a gun pointed towards the enemy.

      The movie also indicated that when entering the military, the number of men who had already raped someone was twice the number of equal proportion of those not entering the military. How they gathered these figures I’m not sure.

      It is as if any job of control is now being sought out by those we would consider dangerous to the general public. Police officers for example. By wearing a badge and carrying a gun, they feel power and control and that they are then able to get away with actions that would not be condoned if they were not an officer. It appears as though the military attracts this same type of person. Of course not everyone is like that. I’m sure the majority is not. But that is insignificant… one rape is one rape too many.

      • What we have seen is that at least in the marines it’s all about thinking they are better than anyone, but most of them were guys, like the guy in the site, who had criminal records. The scariest part is that they then get out and get jobs as police officers, and have already gotten away with rape. These guys also WANT to kill. They play their video games and think it’s like that. The marines in this rapist unit came back upset that they didn’t really see action or if they killed anyone because they were firing rockets. The rapist facebook page says his political view is “killing bodies.” As the waivers have gone up so have the rapes.

        What’s most disturbing is that under Obama it’s worse, and he has yet to come out and make a statement. The state senator in the site tried to contact Obama regarding this matter, and remember a sheriff has the evidence in hand, and Obama’s office said that the Marines investigated themselves. That’s like asking the mafia to see if one of their own committed a crime. The fact that not one person in the federal government will look at this evidence is the most disturbing thing. NCIS has refused to look at it. And Critz helped hide it. Senator Casey won’t look into anything, but wanted the FBI to look into a 60 year old cold case where the suspected murder is dead and served time for killing another women, but won’t look into a rape and how it was covered up.

        Old School Marines are not happy when they hear a criminal was let in, then raped a women and nothing was done at all. When they see the evidence and what this marine is like they don’t even know what to say. And when you talk to old school marines they say the last thing you ever really want to do is kill someone.

        What happened is this. After Nam no one wanted to join the military if they didn’t have to, and the people that have to do it because they can’t get jobs in society, need the money, or want to go in to kill.(im not saying that’s everyone but a large portion at that time). Joining the military used to be a right of passage for a lot of men, nam changed that. So after years of these guys running the show with no real oversight, they have been able to foster this sick mindset. They truly think they are better then other people and are hero’s. Most of them don’t even know what the constitution they are defending is about. And raping women is part of what they deserve for being marines. (and that’s from an email a marine sent regarding the site!)

        With so much light on this issue over the last few years you would think someone would take this on. Which means one thing, the Marines and rest of the military aren’t scared and the government will do nothing to help women who have been raped by the military.

        There has not been one story that says anyone has been gone after regarding past cases or even present. According to military law they could reopen and recall anyone at anytime for these crimes. There should be a list of all the commanders that ignored these rapes and destroyed the lives of the victims. Lets take their va benefits away and strip them of their honor like they did the victims. We go after other countries regarding human rights but do nothing when they are being violated in our own.

        • It appears as though the military all have their own set of rules and laws. I cannot remember if this was said in the movie, or by the host (who was a woman raped in the military) who brought the film to my city… but no serviceman/woman can sue the military. For example, if a doctor is supposed to amputate your left leg, but does your right instead, that’s a major lawsuit. Well, not in the military. You’d be up shit creek without a right leg, and probably both after they take of the one that was supposed to be taken off to begin with. So with this in mind, it is easier for those of rank and decision making positions to disregard and dismiss the rape cases.

    • This whole process you describe about the military (in my daughter’s case, the Navy) is a reality for my daughter right now. How did you get any of the witnesses statements etc. We are having NO LUCK with FOIA or anything. My daughter was raped in July 2011—-but because she was not considered active duty military (her husband is Navy and he was deployed at the time of her rape)—SAPR wouldn’t provide a Victim Advocate until January 2012. I am doing all the leg work for my daughter because like your friend, she is exhausted, and no one part of DoD really knows who to go to, who does what, what the law really says, etc etc. I am about ready to give up. Her perpetrator (an acquaintance of her neighbor) got non-judicial punishment (meaning the Commander of his boat decided what should happen to him). The answer—-basically nothing! It feels like I am going crazy—-and everyone seems to wonder why I am pursuing anything at this point. Why? because most rapists rape again! To help my daughter, the victim have some clarity in closure to help her move forward, to help her husband who no longer believes God hears prayer…. etc.

  3. That’s because of the feres doctrine. But in the case of this victim she was civilian who was mislead by a congressional office and the marines. The sites don’t show all the evidence, but it’s very telling, and like you stated early it’s the embarrassment of the situation, and the marines play on that.

    And the military has their own laws yes, but they still fall under all federal law. The truth is the FBI could go into the military, look at all documents and hold people accountable. Congress has jurisdiciton over the military. But for some reason no one will touch the military. They have created their own bubble and no one will pop it. Congresswoman Jackie Speier is the only one trying to do this but doesn’t have the support she should from others who claim to be advocates.

    Women are being used by the democrat’s right now, trying to get us upset over abortion and contraception, like the republicans did with gun control in the 2000 election. Democrats know women vote more than men. So what women need to do is make this, military rape, the issue. The problem is there are no women’s groups, most are fronts to get grant money. We need a female NAACP group to fix this.

    Critz would be a perfect target, the info is out there, he helped coverup a marine rape. Women go after him and use him as an example maybe these congressional members will do their job and go after the military. It has to start somewhere. And best of all he is also against planned parenthood and abortion, so all around he is anti woman!

    The men are using us and have actually given us the power, now lets use it. Even Obama is ignoring this issue and this particular rape, you should see the documents. If women have the power of the vote like they think we do this is our chance to finally stop military rape!

    • Democrats have started this whole war on women issue, much like the republicans used the gun issue in the 2000 election. If they are giving us the power why not use it?

      Critz not only covered up a rape he is also against planned parethood and abortion. So all around he has women issues. If women came out against him and made this a big deal that would send a message. He is in a tight race.

      The problem is that women don’t have a strong group. Most of them are fronts for grant money. But an NAACP version for women would change a lot. Democrats know we are the majority vote, that’s why they are making this “war” on us a big deal. But instead of letting them tell us what we want, lets tell them what we want!

      There are 4 congressional members in PA on the armed forces committee (where the victim is from), 3 in Ohio (where the rapist is from and where many victims are from that have come out in the media), 5 in California (Camp Pendleton) and 3 in North Carolina (Camp Lejune).
      Imagine if women took out candidates due to this issue?!

      There is only one congressional member doing anything, Jackie Speier. She has an email for victims, has conference calls, tells stories on the floor, and is the only one pushing her bill. The other members are lip service and photo ops.

      They are giving us the power lets take it. Women need to call out Mark Critz and show they are tired of being ignored.

      • Well, I will disagree with you when you say the Democrats started it. The GOP has been passing these insane bills for over a year now, but it has just recently been brought to a lot of people’s attention and hit the main stream news. I went to the War on Women march in Santa Fe and the most important item we are encouraging is to vote. There are more women than men and we have the numbers, the power and the ability to vote these people out – which include Critz.

    • The military seems to have a lot more control and power than most people realize. I think even over the POTUS, regardless of who is in office.

      In regards to the abortion and birth control you mentioned, there is a major issue and problem going on with this. If you surf my site, you will see that I am very outspoken against the Republican party and their War on Women they are waging. It is not imagined, it is going on. More bills have been created, and too many passed, that violate a woman’s reproductive rights. Many of the bills that have passed serve absolutely no purpose, either, other than to cause more emotional anguish on the woman. And for Arizona to determine that a woman is pregnant legally just how doctors do with the calendar and last menstrual cycle. That doctors must to a sonogram of the fetus prior to abortion – and tell the woman all about the fetus. That is horrible. There is no benefit to that rape by medical equipment. Then there’s Lesko’s bill which passed in AZ where an employer has the right to deny birth control coverage in their insurance plan based upon their own religious beliefs. That makes me hopping mad!

      • whats scary is if the military has this much power, which they are not supposed to, what does that say about our safety in this country? We are pretty much like the countries we invade claiming to be their to stop exactly what is going on in our military.
        It would just be nice if there were a women’s group that organized in a way to cover all these issues and show that we have the power of the vote.

        • The military has a lot more power than most people know. My friend who hosted this screening is a victim of military rape. She won’t go into detail and knows she’s fighting a brick wall a mile thick. But she refuses to sit around and let it happen quietly.

  4. I’m not sure why our society continually tries to deny the fact that rapes occurr in all walks of life. This degree of contrived ignorace leads to the artificial construct of respectability that those within organisations, such as the armed forces, cling too. It’s a simply disgusting example of yet another attempt to veil the continued oppression and mistreatement of women. Thank your for this post.

  5. I saw this movie at Sundance and it got a standing ovation. Even though it is hard to watch, it’s an important movie that everyone should see. I hope this film gains traction because it’s going to take a sea change in our culture to make any change in the military. Just llike with “don’t ask, don’t tell” change in the military initiates from the outside.

    • Yes. Sadly rape in the military will be very difficult, probably nearly impossible, to change. But I do know one thing… if we (meaning anyone fighting against condoning the rape) allow it to happen quietly, then nothing will change.

  6. The failure to adapt discharge should all be revoked, explain to me how someone adapts to a sexual assault or a rape, explain to me what happened to Ms. Lauderbach (RIP) and her baby (RIP) could ever be an occupational hazard. WTF America open your eyes!

  7. I had no idea the numbers were so high… There is NO adaption to Rape!! Thank you for opening my eyes again… You are a powerful voice for the unheard. I am so glad I found you. Keep up the great work. you go where not many dare to tread……

  8. Michelle, thank you so very much for coming out to view the film and even more thanks for this terrific post! I’ll be reblogging this later when I have a bit more time. You are awesome!

  9. I have not seen that movie, but I will say from my experience that rape is not a military problem, rape is a societal problem. I am not sure if the commentators on this post have ever been in the military. In my personal, anecdotal experience, rape is taken very seriously by the military. Soldiers may make a “restricted report,” wherein they can receive physical and psychological treatment without their names being revealed. DoD is actively trying to stop rapists within its ranks. Let’s focus on the the root cause of the problem: rapists who commit this violent felony and who should be punished to the full extent of the law.

    • Hi, Corey. Thanks for your input. The woman who hosted the movie is a friend of mine. She was violently raped several times while in the military. She tells a much different story as to how it was handled, especially her own.

      • @Corey Schultz, I am the woman who hosted the screenings of The Invisible War which Michelle watched. I am a survivor of MST; a veteran of the US Air Force. My guest speakers were both former Marine officers, one of whom was profiled in the film and was also violently raped, as was I. I personally know several women and men, and have spoken with many others, all veterans, who have a FAR different take on what you claim regarding how “serious” the military and DOD take claims of sexual assault and rape. The opposite is, in fact, true.

        The military has covered up rape and sexual assault cases for decades. Those who have reported have been horribly re-victimized, and in the majority of cases, have been discharged from the military after being charged with crimes such as lying, adultery, etc, while the one who raped them remains in the military, no charges are brought against them, and gets to have a full, terrific career.

        My life was destroyed, as have the lives of hundreds of thousands of other women and men.

        With all due respect, you have no clue what you’re talking about, especially since you haven’t even viewed the film.

  10. Golly. it’s just so simple, change the oath-“I, your name, do solemenly swear to protect and defend the USA against all enemies foriegn and domestic, and I will allow my fellow “officers/gentlemen” to use me, rape me, harrass me, or abuse me in any way they feel is necessary to maintain proper order and discipline within the military family”
    A survivor of MST/PTSD. I want to see the film, but do worry about all the triggers even with the support I treasure after all these years. Jill, served from ’74-’79, USA

  11. I am seeing the movie this coming week end. I was raped by my recruiter the night before I went to boot camp. I truly believe he drugged me. This was 37 years ago, I was 18 years old and very naive. The person who commented that rape happens out of the military just the same doesn’t understand that when you are in the military you can’t just say I quit and get a different job or move or whatever to get away. You are stuck and you are considered Government Property! I was severely sunburned while serving and was threatened to be written up for destruction of government property because I was so burned I could not wear clothes for 3 days and work. You are taught in boot camp to jump when they say jump and keep your mouth shut when they say. Back then NO ONE would have given me the time of day if I had told anyone. PTSD, anxiety, depression and Panic Disorder are the result of this that I have lived with for all these years. It destroyed my life. I have been unable to keep a job, have normal relationships, and many other aspects of my life have been affected by this trauma. Also 5 years of sexual harrasment after the rape! I am 55 years old now and I just sought help 7 months ago. My physician said it was my only hope to get the help I need is to seek counselling and tell about it to someone. I went to the VA kicking and screaming, it was financially my only way to get counselling. They really don’t have very good programs in place. I was shocked that now it has a name Military Sexual Trauma, was not even heard of when I was in.

  12. Reblogged this on Weaving Among The Stars and commented:
    This is an exceptional post by Michelle Line about her thoughts after viewing a local screening of “The Invisible War”.

    I thank her for viewing the film and most of all, for this incredibly thoughtful and well written article.

  13. I’m in a really good mood today, so I’m trying my best to not go into an apoplectic rage as I respond to this. I already knew this problem exists, but having just read your post, I’m dangerously primed for a furious rant.

    The military is the ultimate macho good ole boys club, and they never wanted women in the military to begin with. So now with lots of women in the military, the good ole boys club is getting revenge by making women fair game for rape.

    The is only one reason that this despicable and criminal situation of frequent and almost never punished rape of women (and men) in the military exists. It exists, because those in the highest ranks don’t care that it’s happening, so they look the other way, and allow it to continue.

    If the top military brass wanted it to stop, it would stop as soon as they ordered the next few rapists to be court martialed and then receive severely harsh sentences. The guaranteed threat of severe punishment and a dishonorable discharge would all but stop the rape of women in the military.

    But the assholes at the top don’t want to do that, so they don’t, and the raping continues.

    The only way this military culture of permissible rape will actually be stopped, is when enough political power is mobilized to seriously threaten any commanding officer who allows it to continue on his watch, from the Sergeants, Captains, Lieutenants, and Majors, and then right on up to 4 star Generals and Admirals.

    • Keep in mind a LOT of men are raped, too. So I don’t think it’s as much as a power trip over women, but more of a low self-esteem combined with control, anger and hate. Usually they rape and pick on anyone weaker. Women are always seen as weaker – and we typically are. And weaker men appear “faggish” to many, even if they’re not. I’m sure there are many reasons. But it’s wrong no matter what reason you choose.

      • WP stopped sending me any notifications of comments and replies about 5 hours ago, so although I’ve been around, I’m only seeing your reply now.

        Yeah, I know that weaker men are also getting raped in the military, just as they do in prisons – rape often isn’t about sexual gratification, but about the pathological need to violently humiliate and dominate another person, to prove the rapist’s dominant status over the person raped.

        But you said it all in your last sentence – yes, it is wrong, no matter what the reason for it is, and it’s horribly wrong, and even worse that the US military tolerates it. Apparently, a soldier will get into far worse trouble for going AWOL for a week, than he will for committing the crime of rape.

    • It will stop when women stop going into the military. The military has lowered their strength standards to let women in, why????

      Because they don’t have enough men going in, and they are attracting men from all parts of the country who go in for less then noble reasons. So don’t expect fairness in the courts because the higher ups don’t want to lose their new male recruits or threaten their own high paying jobs/careers from other higher ups. The political climate is vehemently against the draft and so they have offered bonuses and citizenships to be better able to fill their vacancy slots. They have lowered their moral standards as well. They are filled with people who have their own tremendous pressures themselves/at home that erupts in increasing disasters as more of such recruits flood into the military.

      The very people who are now flooding into the military or who are raped don’t want to cut the military budget or kick out the congressmen who vote for wars all over the planet. Why do they condone Obama starting wars in the Middle east and Africa???????????????????????????

      The higher ups in the military know that one person standing up against rape will not change anything and that’s why they keep letting these people in the military. It’s much easier to VOTE OUT a congressman than stand against the biases of a military tribunal.

      The radio and TV and magazines have deliberately kept out of the public’s eye the vast differences between strength requirements for men and women. This is not by accident,.
      Instead we seen the smiling faces of women doing jujitsu and being treated as “equals” as they vanquish their enemies.

      HaHa Take the clouds from your eyes, do you treat someone as equal if you are in the 12th grade and the other person is in the 6th grade? Someone who is shorter and weighs less then you (even if the person is a genius)? If you do treat as your equal, are you 1 in a million?

      Stop blaming one person, the judge, look at the big picture. It is easier to accept that a military career is not for women than to accept the pain of rape.

      • I wish to ask you a few questions. Exactly when did you enlist? Where did you serve? What branch of the military? What rank did you attain? What was your job? Did you receive any honors and/or awards?

        And, most importantly, do you understand how those in support positions, both men and women, helped save your life so you could be here now?

        I normally don’t list my military resume, but I will now. NCO of the Quarter, NCO of the Year, Distinguished Graduate from NCO Leadership Training, the Dudley C. Sharp Award from the Air Intelligence Agency for work I accomplished which changed the Core Automated Maintenance System and assisted Aircraft Maintenance and Communications Maintenance Air Force Wide/World Wide… and that is the short list.

        My final three years of service, I was the NCOIC of Maintenance Control; I ran the Maintenance effort of my unit’s Logistics Branch… as an E5. I then ran the Equipment Management section of my supply unit; issuing weapons and body armor to troops on my base going over to support and fight the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan… to save their asses from harms way.

        And last question… are you aware that more MEN are raped in the military than women? I’m guessing not due to your complete ignorance of these issues… to include the fact that the military REDUCED IT’S REQUIREMENTS FOR ENLISTMENT TO ALLOW FEDERAL CONVICTS, INCLUDING RAPISTS, IN ORDER TO FULFILL IT’S DECLINING ENLISTMENT GOALS.

        You are an ignorant man. I’m glad and so grateful you no longer serve.

      • By the way, Headwinds, I have a very strong feeling that I know who you are. It’s time to back off of your hate speech. You’re losing.

  14. I was the Marine my wife was not. She was raped by a marine I knew from my unit we reported it the day it happen, Ncis was less then one mile from where I lived but yet some how 4 fucking days past before they talk to us! I win’t to afgan 4 months later and still not a damn thing was done. if you have sex in any way wit ha marines wife rape or not you get adultery he did not get that, The rape kite showed his DNA in my wife but noting happened to this man. Funny when a marine in our unit got the shit kick out of him he was not let to have a rifle for over a mouth but yet a marine in my unit rape’s!!! my wife and I have a gun then next day of work( Yes I know the marine!)

  15. Rape under any circumstance is WRONG; however, it is absurd to think that rape in any instance would be an acceptable occupational hazard. Please understand I am no advocating sexual misconduct in any form, but let us ask ourselves this question, “does it sound rational that a district court judge would conclude that rape is an occupational hazard for female service-members, and an incident to service? Here is a link to the ruling on the case.

    Click to access Cioca-v.-Rumsfeld.pdf

  16. Reblogged this on The ObamaCrat.Com™ and commented:
    I don’t know how I missed this, but it’s timely even now, unfortunately. Great informative post that lifts the lid off of a quiet danger to our female soldiers.

  17. It’s the sad state of our world isn’t it. We just have to keep posting to raise people’s awareness, and praying for change.Thanks for posting this.

  18. Here in a few months I will be in front of a board telling people how Ncis and jag treated my wife’s case as a joke. Apparently it’s very uncommon for people to be willing to go Forward and speak about this. However when they posted what happened in a company logbook lack of privacy became something I was used to

  19. Pingback: RAPED! | FORESTALL
  20. Rape an occupational hazard? ok maybe if a woman was captured by a foreign military i could see it being an occupational hazard, but by her own unit or members on her base. HELL NO. Just because a woman has sexual organs different from a male, doesnt mean she should have any less rights in the military then she would if she was walking down the streets of America. The judge who ruled it an occupational hazard should be disbarred and sent to jail to see if he feels the same about rape being ok since its just jail after all…

  21. Women who enter the military know rape (by them or the enemy) is a possible hazard and they ignore it. This is one of the reasons women don’t enter the military who thought about it. Get a career where you won’t be raped

    The judge issued the “occupational hazard” as a standing warning. One woman is not going to change the will of a platoon of men. Yet women who join the military think they will despite the warning.

    While everyone is against rape, what do most people think about a person who sees a sign at the edge of a lake that says ,”THIN ICE” and they they go skating on it anyway ??

    The Armed Forces are not going to pave a cushy path for women.

    Women do not belong in the military, much less on the fighling front.

    • This comment is so insane that my first reaction is that you’re a troll. Just wanting to stir up problems. But most trolls don’t articulate very well – you did. So even though I am completely dumbfounded and amazed that any human can accept and feel that rape is to be expected – and accepted – in certain circumstances. I cannot imagine you would feel it is okay for your daughter, your wife, girlfriend, mother, niece, etc. to be raped if they decide to join the service.

      This is the type of attitude that tears apart our society. Condoning rape. In all actuality, there is no sign saying, “Thin Ice.” Until recently, most women who have joined the service were completely unaware of these rapes because the military has completely swept these little details under the rug. I can guarantee no woman willingly wants to be raped for any reason. These rapes have only recently started to come out in the open. They’ve been going on for decades. But you know what, I’m going to let my friend, Rose, have a say here. She has been violently raped many times while in service. When she signed up, there was no notice she had to sign that rape is an occupational hazard. Injuries are. Death is. But no where does the military say, “oh, by the way, you may be raped, so please acknowledge you have been informed of this occupational hazard.”

    • I once had a supervisor like you… back in 1985. He insisted women shouldn’t be in the military, and further, that women couldn’t, and shouldn’t, be maintaining “delicate” communications equipment because we just didn’t have the “capacity to understand the complexities” of such things. There was a piece of equipment all the men in my shop, 30 of them, had been working to repair for three months before I was stationed in that shop… and for about three months after I got there. Prior to being stationed there, the Air Force had me take a class on that equipment and I graduated at the top of my class, so I insisted I be allowed to work on that equipment. He, and my chain of command, finally relented.

      I was the ONLY one who was able to repair it… and was able to keep that equipment up and running. I traced the problem back to an associated piece of crypto maintained by a different shop. They repaired it and we never had a problem with it again. However, until that was repaired, anytime something went wrong with that Mode V, the organization in question specifically requested that I come out and work on it. No one else… me.

      I joined because I knew I was good at what I did. I scored in the high 90’s on every section of the ASVAB.

      What were your scores? Hmm? There are strengths women have that rival the strengths of men. Our strengths can break yours. Our strengths in the military support YOU on the front lines, my friend. Without us, you might not be here now, spewing your hateful words. Feel blessed your still here.

  22. *your = you’re … and you’re losing this, Headwinds… you were losing on my wall and you’re losing now.

  23. I read awhile back: 1. The U.S. is #14 in the world now, when evaluating all aspects on quality of life. 2. 72% of employees in the U.S. no longer like their employment (sources – Forbes Magazine, NY Times, and former U.S. Senator J. Ben Nelson staff member in Omaha office). Any questions ? !

      • Sorry, am using a slow dial-up computer, and the comment was meant as a summary reflection on general tone of all other interesting ones herein. The tidbits I cited are ones indicating a sad decline in U.S. values. I was in the military during 1973, when a sudden change in negative direction was observed. In recent years, various historians pin 1973 as our turning point downward, with no recovery seen since. I concur. Just saw a Gallup Poll item last Tuesday, showing 77% of Americans unhappy with the U.S. In Jan 2013, the figure was hardly any better at 75%. The point trying to be made is when our national behaviour deteriorates, matters such as rising MST in the armed forces usually occur. The key for persons today is to achieve personal happiness, via friends/hobbies/other interests, and not let the numerous destructive (unhappy) persons do us in. I hope the PSB program will yield productive results in the long term.

  24. On January 2, 2012, a dear soul left this world. Her name was Lydia, and she served in Desert Storm.

    For her, the war was in her own camp as well as outside of it, because she was the unwilling recipient of extra attention from her own Sergeant. Formerly having achieved (rank), she requested to be moved to a different base after having been raped repeatedly by this Sergeant. At each request, she was demoted until she was stuck in a hot tin shed, painting signs with shaking hands, easily accessible for abuse. The military ruled her mental breakdown was a pre-existing condition, although she had of course been deemed fit to serve. In fact, she found that she had received an astonishingly excessive number of physical evaluations during her training. Something like 17 to each male’s 1, with special emphasis on OB-GYN exams. She did secure disability.

    For all of the years that we were friends, her biannual trips to the VA hospital for evaluation and medications were a living hell. Men would loiter and joke, trading stories, and she had to struggle not to jump out of her skin. Because she was extremely beautiful, men would attempt to chat her up. “Where’d you serve?” (She considered her good looks to be a curse.) I’d go with her to dissuade this; hold her hand and tell her quiet stories, or sing something. If ever she seemed insane, it was then.

    Lydia spent the holidays with her sister, then quietly traveled alone to Tampa, Florida and, in the dawn light, letters of goodbye written, hung herself from a tree. One of her quotes I will share here; “One day, women will stop clawing each other’s eyes out trying to get to the top of the sh*t heap The Man has designed for us.”

    What most people don’t understand is that women go into service willingly because they want to do something for their country. You know, all the same noble reasons that men do. They don’t expect special treatment, nor do they actually get warned that over 80% of them will be assaulted or raped while in the military, and those are just the ones that report. So when we leave, we don’t get the memories of camaraderie. We fight two wars. Remember that. Remember Lydia.

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