The Army Stands Ready to Investigate Any Reports & Allegations of Sexual Assault Going Back to 2000 or Earlier

Claim: Sexual assault victims punished and lose health care benefits as a result.

HRW claims in their report that many service members lose their military career after being sexually assaulted & they have discharge papers that prevent them from getting health benefits.

DoD rejected the conclusions of the HRW report.

DoD states “they have many victims of sexual assault who receive honorable discharges from the military. There is a policy in place that offers assistance for anyone that reports a sexual assault. It is critical every survivor is treated with sensitivity that they deserve.”

Media states that victim was raped multiple times while serving her country and that they contacted the DoD and Army about her case, a case from 15 years ago.

She states that she was military intelligence, had lots of prescreening prior to enlistment. Promising path, requested by Chain of Command to apply to West Point. After first rape in military, her promising path turned to being retaliated against, and there were two more rapes for reporting the rape. It ended career with an illegal, bogus, discharge. Decade and a half later, still fighting to correct it.

What happened when you went to report the sexual assaults?

When I went to report, I worked interservices, I worked with Marines, Army, Air Force. I actually went to a Marine Corps Ball with another peer in the USMC. I went with an Army battle buddy to the Marine Corps Ball. Battle buddy went to Chain of Command and let them know that the rape had happened after the Marine Corps Ball. I was taken in by military police and civilian authorities. I was taken to the hospital so there were hospital reports, there were police reports. It was extremely documented but nothing was done to the perpetrator. He was questioned, they let it go. It wasn’t even presented to the district attorney in the area where the rape occurred.

Were you pressured to keep quiet?

Absolutely, not only did I lose my career as a result of it but leading up to that was a bunch of hazing going on, they tried to bring different charges against me, things as ridiculous as failing to soldierize because I wore non military underwear under my PTs. So really ridiculous stuff, just tried to make me want to be shamed and silenced. When I was discharged, typically a person is given 6-7 months of a process where they are notified they are going to be discharged from the military, mine happened in one afternoon. There was only the drill sergeant involved, so there wasn’t anyone who had given me a medical evaluation. I was given an honorable discharge but what happened is the chain of command, without being seen by any licensed professional, put on my paperwork that I had a personality disorder. Which basically meant not only was my military career ending in that one afternoon, not given 6 months notice, not given any attorneys, no due process, but also meant I lost all of my GI Bill, lost access to VA, so all benefits, and it was unsubstantiated so even the Army stated policy of how they are supposed to handle rape cases was not followed. So instead of handling the rape cases and dealing with it, I lost my career and subsequently lost all opportunities to be able to get back in the military. Which also meant that follows me as a civilian, and although I’m probably one of the very few people that have gone back and brought the case up to the VA (Veterans Affairs), I’ve actually gone thru six cases with the VA proving that I do not have a personality disorder, and yet nothing is done as far as the Department of Defense to correct my paperwork. So whenever I go to apply for Sheriff’s Department job, any kind of State government job, if they look at my military record, it says I was honorably discharged before my enlistment was up, but it says I had a personality disorder, which obviously has been proved that I don’t have that, and actually I have just went through rape and they just discard you.

You said this personality diagnosis haunts you to this day, we contacted the Army and they said changes have been made and they would be willing to investigate if you make a formal complaint. I want your take on statement:

Your response?

That’s the first I’ve heard it. I think there’s been a lot of changes with regards to the personality disorders in the last few years. There has not been enough to correct the thousands of service members who have discharges like mine. If the military is willing to look at my case that would be great. I’ve been working with, and trying to get people, I’ve spoke out to Congress on numerous occasions the last decade and a half trying to get somebody to look at it. I know on June 16th of this year, the Secretary of Navy signed policy that was going to look at all discharges and go back and correct those for anyone who was a military sexual trauma (MST) survivor or anyone that had a TBI and was given these kinds of discharges. That just happened this month but I have not seen the Army take action because right now, they say you can go to Board of Corrections. But with Board of Corrections, less then 1% actually get cases heard, very little chance for that.

With this statement, do you plan to contact the Army & follow up? This statement says they are ready to investigate.

It’s actually as of 2 weeks ago sitting in the House Committee so I am waiting for them to contact me. And I even emailed them yesterday about it. It would be wonderful if they would take a look at my case, mine is one of the most documented cases. It would be a breath of fresh air and certainly justice that has been denied for a long time, if that is the case.


Link to HRW request for military sexual assault survivor’s testimony.
Link to Human Rights Watch Retaliation Report.
Link to video interview with HRW Report participant.
Link to Symptoms of Personality Disorders.
Link to Reactions of Victim after Sexual Assault.
Link to Unrestricted Reporting Policy in the Army.
Link to DoD Sexual Assault Prevention & Response Office (Reporting).
Link to Correcting Military Service Records.
Link to Army Review Boards Agency (Discharge Upgrades & PTSD).
Link to How to Apply for Veterans Affairs Benefits.
Link to Disability Compensation for Conditions Related to MST
Why the Navy is making a major change in its approach to PTSD

Misconduct or PTSD? The Impacts of Not Treating Soldiers After War

Source: Department of Veteran Affairs

Source: Department of Veteran Affairs

Iraq war vet who murdered park ranger before freezing to death in snow was stationed at U.S. Army’s most troubled base (Jan 2012)

Soldier wrote Facebook suicide note before Springs crash (Jan 2012)

Experts: Vets’ PTSD, violence a growing problem (Jan 2012)

US Military Suicides Continue to Climb, Reaching Record in 2012 (Jan 2013)

Suicidal Man Shot by Police was Veteran with PTSD (Jan 2013)

Charts: Suicide, PTSD and the Psychological Toll on America’s Vets (Jan 2013)

PTSD is an epidemic for military vets and their families (Jan 2013)

PTSD-Related Suicide Hits Close to Home (Jan 2013)

Afghan massacre: Sgt Bales case echoes loudly for ex-soldiers on hotline for vets (Jan 2013)

PTSD suicide more deadly to American Soldiers than combat! (Jan 2013)

To be continued…

Senator Collins speaks in support of efforts to address military sexual assault

Video

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Susan Collins spoke on the Senate floor today in strong support of legislation coming before the Senate that would address the crisis of sexual assault in the military.

“Since 2004, I have been sounding the alarm over the military’s ineffective response to the growing crisis of sexual assault in the military, including the need to ensure appropriate punishment for the perpetrators, to provide adequate care for the survivors of such reprehensible crimes, and to change the culture across the military so that sexual assault is unthinkable,” said Senator Collins, who first raised this issue during an Armed Services Committee hearing ten years ago.

In her remarks on the Senate floor, she singled out for praise the courage of two Mainers who have come forward to tell their stories.

“I also want to acknowledge the courage and conviction of Jennifer Norris and Ruth Moore – two Mainers who were sexually assaulted while serving and have made it their mission to change the broken system that does not put victims first. Through their advocacy, they have helped to shine a light on this crisis and deserve our gratitude.”

What is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)?

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What is Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)?

When in danger, it’s natural to feel afraid. This fear triggers many split-second changes in the body to prepare to defend against the danger or to avoid it. This “fight-or-flight” response is a healthy reaction meant to protect a person from harm. But in post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), this reaction is changed or damaged. People who have PTSD may feel stressed or frightened even when they’re no longer in danger.

PTSD develops after a terrifying ordeal that involved physical harm or the threat of physical harm. The person who develops PTSD may have been the one who was harmed, the harm may have happened to a loved one, or the person may have witnessed a harmful event that happened to loved ones or strangers.

PTSD was first brought to public attention in relation to war veterans, but it can result from a variety of traumatic incidents, such as mugging, rape, torture, being kidnapped or held captive, child abuse, car accidents, train wrecks, plane crashes, bombings, or natural disasters such as floods or earthquakes.

FMI, please click here.

Workplace Bullies: The Attention Seeker

The Attention Seeker is emotionally immature and seeks above all else to be the center of attention. They will keep managers on-side by flattery and sycophantic prostrations. With new employees they will likely come across as extra nice and especially helpful. However, this is a ruse to get you into their web. If you do not prove yourself to be one of their adoring fans they will quickly turn vicious.

Their lives are a drama and they will relate every event to something (often bad) that has happened to them or they are going through to gain sympathy in order to manipulate and control. They are easily offended and will claim that they are the “real” victims if they are called on any of their behavior.

They are generally miserable, easily provoked and expecting of deferential treatment while being demanding of others. If you are just starting a new job you will want to identify this workplace bully and be sure to not share any personal information with them (when they are being sweet and friendly) that they will use against you later.

www.stopworkplacebullies.com

Workplace Bullies: The Guru

Unlike the Wannabe, the Guru does actually exhibit real competence and may even be considered an expert in their field. The main problems stem from their inablility to deal with others emotionally. They compensate for their emotional immaturity with their intellect. Many of them are very intelligent but emotionally distant.

They may feel that they are superior to others and don’t consider how their decisions will affect other people. They are know-it-alls who don’t recognize the possibilty that they are wrong. Related to this is that they don’t accept responsibility for the consequences of their actions.

Their cold, analytical approach extends into their environment and they may be unusually neat and orderly. They will generally hold to conservative views but not feel constrained by laws, mores or regulations (those are for others, not them).

This workplace bully lives in their own emotionally barren world where they view themselves as intellectually superior. That is why they are genuinely shocked if ever accused of workplace bullying.

www.stopworkplacebullies.com

Link

US Army SealRecords agency to ignore Madigan Army Medical Center diagnoses

An Army agency that sets final medical records for disabled soldiers has been ordered to disregard reports from Madigan Army Medical Center doctors under scrutiny last year for their handling of patients with post-traumatic stress disorder.

The new order by an assistant secretary of the Army is meant to clear the way for up to 21 former Madigan patients to receive benefits for mental health conditions. It comes nearly two years after the Army suspended the hospital’s forensic psychiatry team over concerns that its doctors were reversing PTSD diagnoses.

Those former soldiers were among some 400 Madigan patients who were called back to the hospital last year and re-evaluated by Army psychologists. Of that group, 158 left the process with PTSD diagnoses that should have entitled them to better disability benefits.

Some, however, could not persuade the Army to correct their official records. They were blocked by the Army Board for Correction of Military Records, which in some cases upheld the original diagnoses from Madigan’s forensic psychiatrists denying patients benefits for PTSD.

Link

USMCWarrior without a war faces challenges at home

CAMP LEJEUNE N.C. — Mike Compton is one of America’s elite warriors, except he no longer has a war.  “It feels great,” he says, “almost like a drug you don’t want to give up.”

“Home for me was Afghanistan in the middle of a firefight,” says the 29-year-old married father of two, echoing sentiments of other special “operators” who achieved a hard-earned place at the tip of America’s fighting spear.

With American combat over in Iraq and U.S. troops leaving Afghanistan next year, surveys show a war-weary public eager for 12 years of fighting to go away.

Read more here

Link

Vietnam Veterans of AmericaWe Bleed Too: Tony Bush, PTSD and the Discharge Status of Vietnam Veterans

The Oglala Lakota of the Pine Ridge Reservation, one of six recognized Lakota reservations, has, as a nation, been one of the more historically powerful avatars of the Native American experience in the United States, both in terms of the long-term struggle for cultural survival, and because of a warrior tradition that remains deeply ingrained in the tribe’s culture.

Despite the U.S. government having traditionally subjugated, marginalized, and even committed genocide against the Lakota, members of the Oglala nation have served in every branch of the service both before and since the Snyder Act (1924) and the Nationality Act of 1940 made Native Americans legal U.S. Citizens.

However, members of the Lakota who have served in the U.S. armed forces have been veterans of not just one kind of conflict, but two.

Read more here

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Vietnam VeteranVietnam vet wins discharge upgrade in PTSD lawsuit

NEW HAVEN, CONN. — A Vietnam veteran who received the Bronze Star and later was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder will have his discharge status upgraded under a settlement with the U.S. Army, his representatives announced Monday.

John Shepherd Jr., a 66-year-old New Haven resident, said the Army agreed to resolve his lawsuit by upgrading his original other-than-honorable discharge to an honorable discharge. The change will allow Shepherd to receive disability benefits he had been denied, according to Yale Law School students who represented him.

Shepherd has said he battled alcoholism and struggled to stay employed for 40 years, but was not diagnosed with PTSD until 2004.

Read more here.