I left for Orlando, Florida on January 3, 1987 excited about the next chapter in my life. I had chosen after taking the ASVAB to go to air traffic control school and become an air traffic controller. I had to wait a couple days for my company to fill up. My birthday was the 4th spent with strangers I was already getting to know. Once bootcamp started we didn’t have much time to socialize. I enjoyed bootcamp although I had my ups and downs. I was great at sit-ups but not so good at push-ups. Several events happened while I was in bootcamp. Many had a reaction to one of the inoculations, and another is after going through the gas chamber the next company was in and we were lined up out front of a building that was between us and the chamber exploded. No more memorable moments about bootcamp except graduation.
Then my parents were there, I was super happy to see them. They took me to Disney World we had a great time! I got a Figment in Epcot. We had lunch in France and dinner in Mexico. They left and went home. I followed shortly after it was the beginning of March I didn’t have to be to my next station in Millington TN for a couple weeks. I went home excited to see everyone kept running around so I could see everybody. Tried to get in as much as I could went mudding, played some football, went to everyone’s house, some weren’t home, and were on vacation. Then my family and I took a trip to east TN to visit relatives. I took the bus from Knoxville to Millington and got a ride to the base.
I arrived at the new base March 15, again had to wait for a class to be full. I made many friends most female. The following Saturday a girl is stabbed to death behind our barracks. She had been raped the previous weekend and reported it. She was killed just to quiet her. Case never solved I’m sure! I continued going to school, PT, and having fun with my new friends. We’d go to a church in Memphis that sent a bus and spent our entire Sunday there. I loved this and looked forward to it and socializing with friends. They always had a pitch in to feed us. Plus would go spend time at the USO Club off base usually on Wednesday for Bible study. I met a girl on the base and we became friends or so I thought! She took me to a few bars one in the Memphis mall and the one on base. Once the stereo was down at the bar on the base so having fun we skipped drinking and sang “Grandma got run over by a reindeer” then we sang other songs just had a blast.
My friend and I were supposed to go to an Indy 500 party at the Best Western in Millington in room 222. I was waiting for my friend and just got impatient since I am from Indiana. I was just too excited and ready to go had on my dress whites after all I hadn’t been there long enough to wear civilian clothes. Back where I live the 500 is huge, celebrated the whole month of May. She had been taking her time picking out her outfit, accessories and putting on her makeup so I finally left and told her I’d meet her there. It was Friday afternoon I was sure I’d know someone else there since it was a party for people from the base.
Once there I walked to the stairs headed upstairs then down the right side walkway to the last room. I’ve arrived room 222…what’s going on? Who are these men pushing up against me and pushing me into the room? Once inside there were several men coming towards me. Something’s wrong, this isn’t right, this is supposed to be a 500 party. What’s happening? I am told to strip in shock I stated, “No, not going to happen!” This is the first time I was struck and it was with enough force I saw stars and fell back to the ground. Again they told me to strip again I said no. Again I was struck down this time I was struck several times and passed out. Woke up on the bed naked tied down spread eagle no where to hide. I’ve always been a private person when it came to this being raised catholic. Now they take turns using me for their pleasure: they go in order of rank the officers and MP’s went first then the enlisted men. I was so humiliated! Taking pictures of their conquest; I
was no longer a person but just an object to be beaten and used and that they did well. First the lieutenant he went and cleaned himself up in the bathroom while Captain was a biter, this hurt. The Captain I will never forget he comes back into the story later when he makes appointments with me. Once he goes to wash up the MP’s have their turn sometimes doing me two at a time.
They did things to me I didn’t know anything about. One guy stuck his penis in my anus that hurt so bad I passed out. Another stuck his filthy cock in my mouth. I had never! Then the enlisted men all took their turns.
I looked around the room across from the bed I was on. There was a dresser with a tv boom box playing loud music above. It was a picture of a barn. There was a hay barn and I would concentrate on that picture to escape reality and go there to the farm. On the back wall a mirror with lights above it a door to the right inside a toilet and tub. In front of the mirror a countertop sink in the middle with a tray four cups and an ice bucket in the right corner. While I was looking around the room one of the guys had to use the restroom instead he used me! Under the sink a trash can in front a large table with an overhead light. On this wall there was another country picture. The bed had two bedside tables and two wall lights. In front of the window on the other side of the bed was a smaller table with an overhead light on the table ashtrays. Officers sat over here. The bigger table on the other side mainly MP’s sat there beer cans everywhere ashtrays on that table and sink. Also they played a lot of cards on the big table. If I’m thirsty I’m given urine to drink. Later when I’m hungry it’s even worse. I have a choice: their feces or mine. Didn’t even know that was a thing all I have to say is gross. I’m not even human anymore! While they go out and get fast food and order pizza and eat right in front of me.
At this point not only is my spirit broke and there is no fight left in me. I’ve all but disappeared now I just lie there emotionless. One of the MP’s didn’t get off and that made him very irate. They left me naked uncovered and continued the party around me. This is when the threats started and continued through the rest of the weekend they constantly reminded me you better not tell anyone…remember it’s your word against ours and we outrank you and their MP’s you’re just a recruit who do you think they are going to believe?
People came and went no one said anything or even attempted to save me or change the events taking place. Around midnight the irate MP came back to have his way with me again; this time he couldn’t achieve an erection. So he took his sidearm and shoved it into my most personal spaces as hard as he could. Oh, awe oh my God what will they come up with next the pain. I am bleeding profusely. In a lot of pain, I pray for death “Oh God why can’t you bring me home I’m done it’s over” sobbing as unconsciousness envelops me. I lay there like a party favor for all to see. Others join in my torture taking pictures and doing whatever they can think of to me.
The following morning two more officers arrived and they did a change of command like this was totally normal. The torture continued as people came in and out of the room. I would think someone would say something tell someone why am I not getting rescued? I’m not job; I’ve sinned. Please send someone anyone to come save me. I was confused for a while. It was the first time I’ve ever heard of or seen of women doing women had no idea how it works. After this I’ll know, not the way anyone should find out about homosexuality. This is a great way to develop prejudices learning through force and fear. Next a kind-hearted gentleman came in he seen what was going on. I guess he felt sorry for me he immediately covered me then went to the bathroom took the ice bucket filled it with hot water brought out soap and wash clothes and towel came and started cleaning me up. He went from head to toe. This is the first kindness I’ve been shown; he melted my heart. I was starting to feel again. He was renewing my faith in humanity; I until I hear, rape her! Rape her! One of the MP’s holding his gun on the nice guy said rape her or… He did as he was told. They took pictures to ensure he kept his mouth shut. The rest of the day went as before people came and went and whoever wanted to could have me. Around 5pm the alcohol ran out so the guys came up with a way to make money so they could buy more alcohol. They sold me for $2.00 a lay. At this point the officers wanted no part of that and left. Leaving only the MP’s and enlisted, the party got rougher! I’m gone; I no longer exist. To find out you are worth so little my heart was broken, not just my will to live. The next day is Sunday we don’t check onto base until Tuesday so Sunday was another day of torture. Monday afternoon the last customer was so large, I felt as if I ripped. After him a couple of the guys picked me up and threw me over the railing… I barely made it into the pool below. My breasts thighs and the tops of my feet were scraped. The pool both hurt and felt good. The cool water was soothing to my overused parts yet the open injuries hurt. The police were called don’t know by whom. I thought it was almost over and breathing a sigh of relief; however, I was pulled from the pool and shuffled from room to room hiding me from the police. Finally landing in one of the girls I knew from my barracks room, Airman’s, with her boyfriend thinking for sure she’ll believe me, and it’s over now. No luck! She started berating me immediately. I wanted to take a shower and put on clothes or something just cover up. She refused to let me take a shower like I would contaminate it or something.
The room I was previously in they were kicked out for rowdy behavior. One of the guys on his way by the room dropped off all there was left of my uniform. The skirt and shirt. I was finally able to put on at least a skirt and shirt first time my body has been covered since Friday. The gal from my barracks continued to berate me telling me how I set women back in the Navy by my actions. She wouldn’t listen, no one would. What’s the use? It’s just your word against officers, MP’s…then who do you tell or even if you report it who do you report it to? You go above everyone’s head that was there they will not see you. You will be told to go through the chain of command. Later there’s a knock on the door it’s a gentleman asking if he can have me. She says yes take her she’s trash anyway. They walked me around to a Volkswagen Beetle barefoot as I no longer have any under garments, shoes, purse, or cover. There were four of them; they put me in the back seat and pushed me to the floor. All I can think is here we go again! Will I live through this? Is it really ever going to end? I pretended to have a seizure to see if I could get them to stop. The guys in the back seat freaked out and didn’t want any part of me anymore. It’s working! He is turning onto the recreation side of the base. When pulling in you see the movie theater to the right of it a baseball field behind it is the golf course and beyond it is stables and horse trails. They pulled up behind the baseball field then got me out of the car and started to march me to the dugout; I pretended to collapse and have another seizure still had no affect on the MP’s in the front seat they just barked out orders to the other two to hold me downThey did as told again they have their way with me and I am naked. After the two finish they decided I needed more and fucked me with their sidearm not as hard as the first guy but it hurt just the same and again I bled and passed out. When I woke up it was dark, I didn’t see my clothes right away. I found them on home base. Again I got dressed, I seen the footbridge leading to the barracks side of the base. Walking across barefoot with only a skirt and shirt on I knew I would be reprimanded. My friend never showed! Was I set up? Needless to say never spoke to her again.
Afterwards hecking into the base I was never stopped or reprimanded and I had no identification!; however, they did verify my identification. They just shrugged their shoulders and signed me in. Didn’t ask one question. I thought that strange, does no one care anymore? I cried all the way back to the barracks. Once back to the barracks, I was checked in again no one asked what happened or are you okay? I went to my room grabbed soap, shampoo, conditioner, and any other cleaner I could find in my locker. I went into the shower where I cried and scrubbed, screamed and yelled collapsed yet no one came. I continued to scrub. Finally I left the shower ; My grades dropped. I jump at every noise or shadow…I start drinking at night to cope.
The intimidation shown the complete lack of respect and further humiliation by singling me out for everything. Having me do extra push ups in front of the troops or in the rain no one else unless they were going through something similar would be subjected to this treatment.
My barracks commanders get ahold of some of the pictures. Instead of asking for an explanation they just automatically assume and further degrade me telling me how awful I am and how single handedly I took women in the Navy back at least 40 years. Then they came up with the idea I would go to the male barracks next door and apologize to their commander.
I did as I was told. To my surprise and shock the commander next door was the Captain from the weekend from Hell. He accepted the apology but made a schedule with my commanders for me to get some classes on how to act with males…however it was rape by appointment. This is when the threats really started in daily, “if you tell anyone you won’t be believed and you’ll end up in Leavenworth or worse also whomever you tell!” I was told this over and over again for the next four months. I believed them hence my 34 year silence. I was also threatened during the weekend but I knew better than to tell around there I already seen the results of that in the parking lot my first weekend at the base. After a week, some of the guys from the male commanders barracks raped me whether told to or not I will never know. I’ve always suspected the commander got nervous and ordered it. They did this time on the golf course in a sand trap. Again I take the walk of shame over the footbridge only this time I’m looking for it way to end it. Damn the fence goes all the way up to the cap. I was sure going to jump into the traffic below. They had put that up a couple years ago due to recruit committing suicide. Well go back and repeat the previous process. Now I’m drinking all the time. I’ve flunked out of school. I have stopped going to church. I just plain old don’t care anymore; I’m broken! I communicate with no one and no longer call or write home. I’ve cut off all communications with the human race! At this point if I’m asked for sex I just say yes it’s far easier to give it away than to go through all that. Just lay there and turn your head away. I hate to say this but I both loved and hated when I wasn’t being abused by them for I knew someone else was. Whenever I hated it and I knew someone else was most likely going through a similar torture, I would feel guilty. I had already been through it. They couldn’t take anymore from me except my life and that would be a blessing. So sometimes I wish I was the only one and everyone else was safe! They had the perfect set up going on. New young recruits officers and MP’s wanting to do same thing formed a pack. Like wolves, they fed on the young unprepared kids 18, 19, and 20 both male and female, more female than male. Only did one at a time so no one could tell about anyone else. It was always the recruit against the commanders/officers and MP’s if it was reported at all… if you report it life really gets tough if you don’t get killed. Some committed suicide two males and three females I believe are the ones that happened while I was there 9 months. That’s really high for a base that small. This is probably one of the reasons the Base closed three years later. Sometimes the male to female ratio was way off and it was dangerous or scary to even leave the barracks.
I’m admitted to the military hospital for evaluation for sex addiction and alcoholism. One of the MP’s comes in the hospital and rapes me there to prove they can get to me anywhere. He takes me to the construction side of my wing where it’s already set up with beds and does me there and once again I feel the cold black metal of his gun sink into my nether regions. God why won’t you stop this I know you’re with me walking beside me but stop this please… I plea!
Then he stands outside the window where I’m being interviewed by the psychiatrist for sex addiction they ask questions I not ready for or comfortable answering so I totally made up answers especially just being raped with a rapist watching!. Then they put me in a circle of people and had all of them reaching for me. I freaked out and ran and hid. I would curl up with my radio, headphones, pillow, water, and a blanket. This was my safe place, a
place I could breathe and not be scared like I am everywhere else. I would return for medication and change of shift. One day I overslept and they eventually found my hideout under the nurses desk on the construction side of my floor. I have never felt safe again!
Back at the Base
Eventually I go to detox. I’m being discharged to a rehab facility in Indianapolis, Indiana. Once back from detox it was another week before I was discharged and left for rehab. Oh and get this, the officer doing my discharge was no other than the ring leader! Well let’s just say he got one more before I left.
I am so scared I can’t even sign my name right misspelling it seven different ways. That’s hard to do. My name is too easy Barbara. He told me no matter what I better not tell anything because if I do… He left that up to my imagination. I still talk to no one and stay to myself jump at every sound and shadow. When going over the discharge honorable personality other physical and
mental conditions—personality disorder is what my discharge stated. I was told I would never be able to get any help or assistance through the military of any kind.
Being pregnant and going through rehab without letting anyone know then hiding the fact I’m not taking any medication for it would hurt the baby. Being catholic, abortion wasn’t an option. I arrived at rehab they were going to put me through detox again but I told them already been through it and on ani abuse so they took me to the rehab. I was given the only private room as I was the only female. That didn’t go over well with everyone. I spoke to no one; stayed in sight of the nurses at all times.
The first night I curled up and tried sleeping in the bottom of the wardrobe. I was soon told I can’t sleep there so I moved and slept underneath the bed with my bum in the corner so no one could get to my private area’s. Once they found me they told me I have to sleep on top of the bed. So I did in fetal position on a pillow butt in the corner. The other patients there constantly picked at me for being so young and female. Others just flirted with me. I tried staying to myself and not associating with anyone as much as possible in a rehab. Finally, I am discharged from the rehab too embarrassed and not yet ready to face my family I go to a friends, Alicia’s. This is a medical facility with nurses and other medical staff supposed to be watching you; how could they miss so many cries for help? At least, done an investigation, sleeping in the bottom of the wardrobe, then under the bed… that would certainly raise red flags for me! Physically Home!
I stay at A’s house for the next couple months. I know I’m pregnant but have told no one. Once at her house I stayed to myself barely spoke to anyone including A, I sat and slept on a chair in the corner. I only ate crackers every so often would get a slice of cheese other than that I didn’t eat. They were scared and made me go home to my family. I did as I was told.
Upon arrival, I go to my room and locked myself in. Unpacking I moved into my new prison, too scared to come out afraid someone will see my shame also it’s just not safe outside that door. My mother would insist I came out for meals. She also insisted I eat. After a week, she would make me come to the living room to watch TV with the family. She figured out I was pregnant and asked me what I was going to do because I couldn’t bring my baby there. I told her I was going to give the child up for adoption. After a couple weeks she insisted I come out get off my ass and get a job. There is no laying around doing nothing you will work or go back to school. My mother tries to force me to see my old friends, I can’t face them but go along for her. I stayed in the background never spoke and when I did it was faint. I was no fun no one liked hanging around the new me dead and void of life.The pregnancy went smooth. My mother was an obstetrics nurse. So yes prenatal care wasn’t an option. My being depressed and crying much of the pregnancy; I made a suicide pact with myself.
After the baby is born, I will end this needless torture. I even went as far as to start making the concoction adding to it a little more each day. I got a job at Rallies a new hamburger place in town. I start throwing myself into work. Another coping skill anything to avoid the nightmare of what really happened. I would work 60 or more hours a week it was all I did walk to and from work. The morning I was in labor I called in she said you can’t too many have already called off. Okay, you said I couldn’t have the baby there either; you need to make up your mind! Have a wonderful day and safe delivery.
Once the MD got to the hospital and did his exam. He decided the best course of action was to pop the water. Now that really got things going. I had everyone in the room laughing. They came in all gowned up, I looked at them said no it’s not Halloween don’t scare my baby take that shit off. Told the doctor I don’t want to do this anymore I want my money back. Then I read the chart on the door adding my words. Oh, oh, oh shit this, this, this hurts! Towards the end he told me I could give a little push and I did but I guess I pushed too hard. She’s out! The doctor called me a butter butt since I tore. Two hours later I went home. The following day I went back to the hospital to sign the adoption paperwork and hold my daughter for the first and last time. My heart was broke and I cried a lot but I did it. My mind was in no place for raising a child. My mother was there with me through it all and we took a lot of pictures before we left. This was the hardest thing I’ve ever done! I left my heart that day with my baby girl on her way to her new home.
My parents thought I needed to get away and we went camping at Myrtle Beach with Auntie Edna, Uncle John, and Cindy. Cricket who was my age didn’t come she just had a baby girl out of wedlock and kept hers. Mom and dad weren’t happy but they didn’t drop her either. This was the hardest vacation I’ve ever been on. I mainly stayed inside to myself. Whenever I would be forced to eat with everyone the main topic of discussion was child birth. Of course I couldn’t join in for the other family had no idea. Then the conversation would switch to Cricket and the baby.
The Between Year’s
I tried to be “normal” went out with someone I’d known for years. It was someone; I actually had a crush on in high school. At this time, I worked for Village Pantry. He picked me up from work and we went next door to the Pumpkin Vine Room a local bar with a dance floor. This is the first time I’ve smiled since Memorial Day 1987! Although that would not last long. He kept asking me to dance and I refused. He got frustrated and shouted, “It’s not like I asked you to sleep with me! All I asked for is a dance!” It was at this moment I knew how fucked up I truly was. I had switched sex and dancing because I’ve always been able to say who I dance with but not who I slept with; the frown is back. I run home embarrassed.
I tried to commit suicide, no luck. Damn, I woke up! I finally decided I couldn’t let them win they had already stolen so much. So again I throw myself into work and college never settling on one career or degree. I pushed the memories out of my head but I was never good to myself and any chance to abuse me I took it. Got married to My first husband who was a co-worker very abusive. I didn’t mind I deserved it. We went once to visit my Grandma to my surprise my brother and cousin were there. My husband pulled my hair because he didn’t like something I said, in front of everyone. I was embarrassed! My grandmother stopped my brother and cousin from killing him. I guess they both looked at each other in disbelief; what they are seeing, for this was not the person they remembered. We finally get divorced didn’t even make it a year. The first couple months after the divorce he kept trying to win me back. Bought me flowers I gave to my mother. He would also take me out to eat. The next thing I remember is playing cards with my brother and his friends when the phone rings it’s hooked to the wall in the kitchen and we are sitting around the kitchen table. I went to the phone and took the call. It was my ex-husband. He wanted to know what my middle name is Elaine why? Oh I’ve decided to get a sex change. My response was: “What can’t have me, so you gotta be me!” And hung up the phone. Everyone was looking at me puzzled. I looked at them what you’ve never heard that before? Then let them in on why I was laughing!
I spent many years just running on auto pilot. Going to work home to bed and that’s it. I did go through the paces got married, divorced, had children even got degrees in college but I did it without even being 100% present. I just went through the motions of life unconsciously. My mother even accused me of it, “if the world disappeared as long as your stretch to work and home aren’t touched you’ll never know until you have to go to the store. You don’t talk to anyone unless forced to you don’t socialize unless forced to.” That lead to walking through life unconscious to make it appear to my mother I was okay. She and my brother knew something had happened by my behavior. This was not me at all and out of fear and I kept their secrets for 34 years.
Met and have been with my current significant other in 1994. I had to pick my brother up from work since his car was at the garage. I met him that night. He stated, “I’m going to make you my wife someday!” He already had a girlfriend with two kids according to my brother. Once that broke up our childhood friend moved out and he moved in. I’m still not giving him the time of day. About a month later, we have a card game. My brother put the heat on Hell so I opened it window it was entirely too hot in there and I was wearing as little as I could and still be descent. My brother got irate at myself and then my brothers friend now my ex-husband broke up the fight. Next thing you know he and I are still talking when I noticed the sun is coming up. I was impressed he is intelligent can speak on many topics. He’s been a maintenance man, fixed cars, and been a chef. It took him about another month when I used black cherry candles in the tub. I stopped by his room. We inquired about each other’s birthdays. This is when we discovered we had the same birthday, but different years. We continued talking and one thing led to another and we ended up in my room having sex; at this point I didn’t think I could get pregnant, after all the trauma that went untreated. I had cervical cancer and was going through treatment which started with a cone biopsy. I was using morphine between treatments to control the pain. Plus from the cone the base of the cervix was less than 1mm and stagnant. Well one time is all it took!
Six months later I was in a metro bus accident, it was standing room only, but I felt fine and had a MD appointment the next day. At the doctor’s appointment I was passing by her in the hallway she backed up and said “no no turn around and you go directly to ultrasound and don’t pass go!” Well once the ultrasound is done I go back to the office to wait on the doctor. Come 4-O’Clock I still haven’t been seen yet. After talking to the nurses,
they let me go home just told me I might get a call to come back. I got that call. As I didn’t have a phone they called the manager of the building several times. After the whole building tells me to call my doctor. Before I can reach my apartment, the doctor called again. They pulled me into the security office to take the phone call. I was told there was something wrong and I needed to come right back in and deliver the baby. I said this is early I’m not prepared can you give me one evening and I promise I’ll be there in the morning. A reluctant alright. I quickly get on the phone call HIP, Homeless Initiative Program. I rushed down there and a volunteer that works there drove me around and we got even more stuff than, I hoped. She has a crib, changing table, swing, play pen, clothes, diapers and a car seat. I made sure I had a ride to the hospital she stayed with me a little while. It was a long while before they started the IV and started the medication to induce labor. That night pain still not bad following night pain getting worse…I never dilate. Since we started I’ve been telling them I was never going to dilate it’s stagnant scar tissue and will not dilate. They tried for a third day I demanded pain medication and I was starving they won’t let you eat or drink; I can have ice chips though, because they don’t want anything on or in the stomach when you deliver or in case of emergency c-section. It was 4am still no change they decide to do a c-section. I called the baby’s father and he didn’t come until the next day. A baby girl is born by c-section 11/17/1996.
First I called the baby’s father, then my mother… She almost got me admitted to the psych ward with her comments and belittling. My mother being an old catholic just kept your not married, how are you going to care for her…I heard along with that: I you are a worthless piece of shit! I wish you were dead! No better yet I wish you were never born! I called my brother several times since she was in NICU, neonatal intensive care unit, he lived in the same town. No contact from him called his job several times finally one of the workers tells me he has received the messages he just doesn’t
give a damn. That was hard, heartbreaking! What did she ever do to him. I guess my mother forgave me and came to visit her granddaughter. He went as far as my mother came and visited of course she stayed with him but did visit her granddaughter; when My brother picked her up. He refused to come in the room and had a nurse come and tell us he was there. The nurse was highly upset. He had no contact for five years out of nowhere I got a call, “do you know who this is?”
That’s about the way it went. I earned the money, found daycare and he spent the money. Financial abuse, and emotional abuse we are off and on for the next 25 years. I feel bad for my daughter she only had half a mom I loved her and would die for her but I stayed at work. When she would introduce me she would say, “This is my mom consider yourself lucky you met her. She’s a workaholic!
At my last job in 2019 an alarm went off and it made me feel as if I needed to get under my work table with a gun and start shooting for I was in eminent danger. Now I can’t sleep, I’m exhausted. I’m having nightmares. My anxiety is at an all time high. I’m having panic attacks.
The supervisor here kept getting on me for nothing.
The supervisor would get onto me for staying and finishing a box, cleaning, just anything that would help us she hated. Finally I’d had it and called Human Resources. After she had her boyfriend, a second shift supervisor followed me out of the building and watched me leave the parking lot. The next morning I get called down to Human Resources I thought nothing of it. But was in shock when they said I was fired…someone told Human Resources I was going to bring a gun to work and shoot the place up.
I tried to look for another job, had many interviews, even did orientation for some. To be honest, I don’t go anywhere by myself I’m afraid to since that supervisor had her boyfriend follow me out. It just brought back to many unpleasant memories of men following but in the Navy they caught and raped. Even though that didn’t happen my brain was there since for four months that is what the Navy showed me. My husband and I decided to move closer to Indianapolis where two of our grandkids live. We moved to SH campground at first we liked it we had friends there from our previous campground. I was on unemployment from September 2019 that was just about ready to stop when COVID-19 hit and they extended my unemployment just got shut off 10/2021 so I can’t complain I’ve been trying to get on disability. Now I live on prayer, charity, and the kindness of my ex-husband. When he didn’t have anything to do with the mess. He’s on SSI and only gets 700 a month because they said they over paid him so they take 200 a month. At one of my appointments with the doctor I finally broke and for the first time in my life told part of my story. She quickly called a therapist and got me in to see her. I had been diagnosed PTSD and depression. She and I continued to work together. She gave me a number to call if I needed someone and she’s not available.
One weekend I called that number they patched me through to military councilors. This made me irate here I’ve stayed quiet for 33 years having nightmares where I see MP’s coming from every direction to get me, even down from the sky lights if I said anything. You have to remember I was only an airman and they were officers and MP’s and not low grade officers also I had been told no benefits, and no help! The military started doing my therapy at first we did prolonged exposure therapy by week three I was a sight and a drunk. I couldn’t handle it and picked up the bottle to cope and was attempting suicide. One good thing that came out of it I actually let my husband listen to the story. Before that no one but myself and the others that were there. I had never told him. We changed to cognitive therapy this went much better.
About a month in we are sitting around a campfire and one of the guys drinks the Budweiser in the metal bottles. He would throw them into the fire to explode setting off shrapnel. My nerves are on end. I can no longer function. I go to management and tell them I need to move somewhere quiet. They did find me a spot near the old graveyard but it cost 550 more for the 5 months. I don’t care; it’s worth my piece of mind.
I just got an attorney to help with the military case and they wanted me to have at least a couple people who knew me before and after to write letters about any changes they observed. After 34 years, I finally told my brother and what does he say. We knew! We’ve been waiting for you to tell us. I asked him to write a letter then did the same with my mother. Her response was how could we not know something happened you went from a vibrant young lady to someone who lives at work and in isolation unless I forced you to come out.
My mother’s letter came first; I was in shock. I thought I hid it pretty good.
To Whom it may concern,
I was asked to write a letter regarding Barbara return from the Navy many years ago discussing any changes in behavior.
Going to her enlistment Barbara was a friendly, shy, active kid.
On her return, shut herself in her room, communicated with none of her previous friends or with family. The only time she came out was when ordered. I encouraged her to look for a job and finally drove her to interviews. She was hired, she goes to work when scheduled, then back in her room and isolation. I finally figured out she was pregnant and we went from there-no
I sent you a normal well-adjusted girl, You sent me a shadow of
Next I got my brothers letter also an eye opener.
To: Whom it may concern
I was asked by my sister to write a letter about the changes that happened between her leaving home the join the Navy and returning home from a shortened stay in the Navy.
As with most siblings we fought prior to her joining the Navy. We are older so these include fist fights to include cheating blows from her. We fought on a regular basis as most kids do. We also hung out, played sports like football, basketball and baseball with all our neighborhood friends. We had a pool in the backyard so we swam and competed in swimming and all sorts of things. She was energetic, fun and annoying sister. I would lay odds she would say I was annoying, but I am not, lol.
She went into the Navy when I was still in high school. When she suddenly was thrust out, details of which have not been clearly shared, she was a totally different person. She was beat down, had no inner strength (which in my family is abundant). She was no longer energetic. She no longer competed in anything. She seldom hung out with the neighborhood friends. She hung loosely around a crowd that wasn’t the best. She also took up lying to me. The lying thing was always a kid thing, but on serious topics and all she never did that with me. These lies eventually forced me break off all contact with her. Her choices had destroyed our relationship. She never did these things to me. To this day our relationship is strained at best. She has torn our family apart. We all knew something had happened to her in the Navy, but until a couple months ago, she never told us. Her beaten down submissive actions were not the sister we gave the Navy. The Navy did something horrible to her. The VA, Department of Veterans Affairs, is now doing what they do best and failing yet another veteran.
Here is one instance that is burned in my brain. While she and her husband (or something like it) was visiting my paternal grandmother, And cousin, (both are deceased), and myself. Her husband did not like something she said and he pulled her hair. To the shock of all of us, she took it. Well, my cousin and I were not going to take it and stand up for her if she wasn’t going to stand up for herself, but my grandmother stepped in before her husband would have gotten his do’s. All of my family will not tolerate what she had just endured. So I can only imagine what you all put her through to break her so much! She never would have taken it before the Navy. When she essentially told us she was “Tailhooked”. It all made sense, but the damage is done. I am a Marine veteran and use the VA as needed. I am in more chat groups on Facebook than you would think. I served during “Tailhook”. I can recall the training and lack of responsibility of the “leadership”. I hear and have talked to survivors of this type of conduct. The VA and the rest of the country is failing our female veteran and all veterans that have been subjected to this type of torture. As a veteran that served after her, I can attest that almost nothing makes it into the service medical records or records. So it is time for the VA to step up and deal with the mess the Navy created all so long ago.
As always, upset and ready to work towards a goal,
After reading them I did apologize to both for not saying anything sooner but did explain why I didn’t. I was terrified that if I said anything not only would I be in trouble but anyone I told. They seamed to understand. We talk a little more but still not ready. I feel bad for my husband I don’t want to be touched never mind have sex. One night I went to bed before him and he crawled in I started swinging…He called me Holyfield. Now I sit up until he’s sleeping then go to bed wake up about 3 hours later because I have to get dressed I can’t be seen.
I still feel filthy I have never been able to wash all of it away. I hardly eat at all. My husband would tell you if you put it all together it’s still not a meal. I don’t want to leave the house and if I do almost always my husband or daughter are with me. All I want is the old me back from before Memorial Day Weekend 1987.
To Whom it may concern:
January 1, 2022
I was asked to write a letter about my ex-wife. We met in 1994 when she picked up her brother at Pizza Hut where I worked. I fell in love and told her I was going to make her my wife. She shot me down. Everyone kept telling me to forget her but I couldn’t any excuse I could find to go to brother’s house I used just in hopes I could see his sister. I knocked on her window once she was still asleep. We finally started dating and it went from there. The first time we had sex she got pregnant. I love her but she’s not there when we have sex refuses anal or oral. I didn’t want to say this part but Barbara told me to include it. I’m really not comfortable sharing that type of information! Frankly it’s nobody’s business!
We are on and off again. It’s hard to keep in a relationship with someone who is not there she’s always at work! Her mood swings she wants me to love be with only her and no-one else but just stays at work all the time.
Now she’s not working but doesn’t want touched and the night I tried to cuddle she came at me like Holyfield. We haven’t slept together or had any sexual contact since I don’t remember when. We say I love you every now and then. A kiss or hug a dream of mine at this point. I have definitely seen the changes since she’s started remembering she’s jumpy nervous screaming much more then normal. She couldn’t tell me but let me listen to her story that was a hard story to listen too to think someone lived through that but I did instruct her to change a few things. At first she had it was over 100 men Memorial weekend I told her it seemed that way but couldn’t have been more than 25 I would bet. We fought about this for awhile. She has a defeated spirit instead of really fighting she just gives in and says you’re right you’re always right. We were married June 24, 2009 and divorced March 2020. We got divorced due to the issues her past was bringing into the relationship…I believe if it had never happened we’d still be together doing fine with our ups and downs like everyone else. I had a stroke August 3, 2021 her unemployment lasted until October 2021 so she’s had no income since then good thing I need help doing everything because of my stroke otherwise she’d be homeless.
I know that’s impossible but I’ve been in prison for 34 years and I did nothing wrong. I have to find a new normal but I need a lot more help than I’m receiving. I want to not be scared all the time, jump at every sound or shadow, feel like my head is on a swivel, I turn it so much. My arthritis in my shoulders and hips is bad to the point it’s now hurting to walk and I now have a walker at age 54. To feel safe to go somewhere by myself, I don’t think I’m asking for a lot. Like my brother said it’s time the Navy cleans up their mess!
Although physically I’ve been home for over 34 years, my mind never left that hotel or base! I’m a broken veteran that deserves to be made whole again.