January 14, 2009
While innocent Iraqi girls are being held down and having their genitals mutilated and Afghan schoolgirls are being disfigured with acid for wanting to learn and while child marriages in the Arab world continue unabated, young American women are being killed in Iraq and Afghanistan.
But not all of them die.
Some come home broken, having had their bodies forcibly invaded and souls murdered.
Raped by their fellow soldiers, while other soldier watch or look the other way.
Raped by their fellow Americans while they are defending America.
Raped by their superiors, who are supposed to protect them from harm.
And on it goes, while the Pentagon looks the other way.
Rape cannot be blamed on war or explained away by conditions on the battlefield.
It is a heinous, voluntary act of betrayal that has no cure or retribution.
What gets stolen can never be replaced.
What was defiled can never be made clean.
What was ripped apart can never be made whole.
What remains is a gaping wound.
And no amount of gambling, shopping, drugs, alcohol, food or sex can fill that void.
Rape murders a woman’s soul just as surely as a bullet does her body.
Young American women are being raped in Arab countries – not by terrorists and not because of Sharia Law.
They are being raped by their fellow Americans – by greedy men who are not worthy of wearing the cloth of our nation.
And there is no end in sight.
Nothing is being done to stop them.
Nothing is being done to punish them.
Nothing is being done because the epidemic of military sexual trauma has not been acknowledged to exist.
How many more vibrant courageous lives need to be destroyed?
Right now – right this second – young women, who are away from home for the first time and without the protection of their blood brothers and sisters, are being raped and savaged by men hiding in plain sight, masquerading as courageous Americans and pretending to be their brothers in arms.
Night after night after night after night, in God forsaken lands of hate and oppression, young American women are being forcibly penetrated and forever ruined – not by the avowed enemy, who think women are possessions – but by their fellow American soldiers.
Young women, who volunteered to serve their country rather than join a sorority, are being systematically raped and sodomized by men wearing the same uniform as them, eating the same food as them and sleeping in the same area as them.
They are surrounded by the enemy, every minute, of every hour, of every day even – especially – in their sleep.
Imagine the terror.
The men who swore to never leave a wounded soldier behind are wounding and destroying their fellow soldiers as surgically as a sniper – one by one by one…
What would you do?
Imagine you are covering your buddy’s back during the day only to be raped by him at night.
Would you have the courage to speak up in a place where all you have are your fellow soldiers – many of whom know what is happening but have done nothing to stop it?
Who would you tell?
Would you think anyone would listen–let alone believe you?
And even if someone did – would you be able to trust them not to hurt you?
And where would you go to feel safe, when the sight, smell, touch, feel and taste of the rapist never gets a chance to leave you because he never does?
Imagine having to live in close quarters with the man who raped you – never not being able to see, hear or smell him.
Imagine having to rely on him for your survival – having to protect his life.
How long would you be able to remain sane?
And what is being done about it?
It seems, nothing.
And when the rapist goes home to a hero’s welcome, what does she go home to?
How does she explain her brokenness if she has no visible physical injuries?
How does she explain that it wasn’t the enemy who hurt her?
That the reason she can’t eat, sleep, concentrate or function is because her fellow soldier violated her in ways unimaginable to a non-soldier?
How does she reconcile her permanent, potentially fatal wounds when not a single enemy bullet touched her?
How does she tell her husband that she can’t tolerate his touch or his smell or his maleness?
Why should a woman return with such shame, when she did nothing but serve her country honorably?
And why should a man, who brought shame on all those who wear the uniform, return home unpunished?
How many of you are right now thinking: It’s their own fault…women shouldn’t be allowed in the military…they’re just faking it to get a free pass home…c’mon, what do you expect guys to do?
Look inward and answer to your own conscience. And if moved, do something. Anything. Show some support in whatever way you can – if only being kind to the women you know.
Go to the United Female Veterans of America website. They are a non-profit veterans organization founded in May 2006 “out of a necessity to bring women veterans together in a unified organization.”
[Their website is gone. Don't know what happened.]
I have no affiliation with them – I was touched by their words.
That no veteran ever spends another day without a friend, a home, a family, a meal, a job, a healthy mind and body and a heartfelt thanks for their sacrifices for our country.
Is that too much to ask?
And why should they need to?