A clean, well-lit place to vent
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This marriage is blessed! Today is my parents wedding anniversary. They were married in 1949. My father passed away at 93 just a few weeks ago, to join my mother who was snatched from us (and him) at 64 in her sleep in 1993. Dad was a WWII Vet, Bronze Star recipient, worked for the Veteran's Administration for 30 years, was a chaplain for the AM Vets and VFW for 35 years. His greatest accomplishment was marrying my mother, and with her as commander-in-chief, they raised five smart, open-minded, politically active all-American kids -- who keep the dream alive. Happy Wedding Day to Toggle and Alex. May you have what they had!
Speaking of MST and shocking statistics: "A female soldier in combat zones is more likely to be raped by a fellow soldier than killed by enemy fire. The Department of Defense estimates there were a staggering 19,000 violent sex crimes in the military in 2010." The Invisible War, a new documentary from Academy Award-nominated director Kirby Dick, exposes the epidemic, breaking open one of the most under-reported stories of our generation, to the nation and the world. You can see a trailer here.
Oh my gosh. A Doonesbury wedding and me not in my suit and tie. Time to rush home from work.
I love how whenever there is a wedding in the Doonesbury universe, GBT includes Scot mentioning something about the one date he and Joanie had an eternity ago. That's just classic.
Thanks for last week's series on active duty sex crimes. I fought for protection of women during the Desert Storm deployment and it wasn't until several rapes occured that VII Corps sent their Human Relations teams to the field -- like, commanders couldn't, you know, command. As the father of a daughter the attitudes disgusted me. Dinosaurs still stalk the Earth and until we stop raising males to be sexual predators we have to hunt them down. Good job.
Re CAREER SUICIDE: Deepest and most profound support for Lt. P. Searches online turned up a likely mil event that may be the town hall in question. I just felt compelled to register strong support for speaking up and speaking out. Although as a woman I've always lived with the knowledge and undercurrent of fear about ST in all countries and locations, reading the statistics on MST was shocking. How dare I be so naive as to assume professional conduct existed in all military individuals and that such abhorrent behaviour as MST would be as unthinkable to those perpetrators as it is to civilized humanity. Of course, bullies and sociopaths will often seek a formalized venue in which to enact their twisted reality. The school yard is just larger as they grow older, but the patterns remain the same.
Re CAREER SUICIDE: Would Lt. P. please let us know how the town hall meeting turned out? I hope there were Doonesbury readers in attendance.
Re today's strip: A modern job fair would not offer interviews or anything else; you would take some literature and be told that if you wanted to apply for a job or an internship, you should send your resume with all your identifying information that could be easily used for identity theft to an anonymous account on Monster.com.
I'm not a survivor of MST, just of the ST that happens to someone, tragically, every day, everywhere. I so appreciate both Mel and B.D. keeping it real, showing survivors of trauma that we're not alone and that it's possible to survive and, eventually, thrive. Thanks for your support.
I really wasn't going to write this week, because frankly the subject matter hits too close to home. But today's strip compelled me to. "So what's going on honey?" is a question many in my family would ask me in a sincere desire to help, until they stopped asking because they knew I wouldn't say much. I just want to let folks know to keep asking anyway. Even if we can't answer, it does help to know that some really do want to know.
How often does a comic strip ever teach you anything new? I had to google "IED" just so I could get the punchline in today's strip. Thanks again, Mr. Trudeau -- and of course for what other posters have already mentioned this week.
Every Thursday, I circle up with a group of female veterans. Some of them are breaking their silence after twenty or thirty years. The grief, the shame and the outrage weighs our hearts. And yet, always, their resilience shines through, especially to each other, a community of survivors. I appreciate Melissa standing up and speaking her truth. "No one left behind" includes the sister warriors who have served under extraordinary conditions. Thank you, GBT, for giving this hidden suffering, this hidden atrocity, a voice.
Thank you for bringing the real discussion about the military that every kid — and all of us — must face to get our country on the right track. Melissa and you, GBT, are two of the very few who give me hope for America. And no, Melissa does not need a dress or to let her hair down to be gorgeous or healed. She might want that look, or wear it in unpublished Doonesbury frames, but that's up to her. It's her clear voice and steady presence that makes her extra stunning at the podium this week! Thank you once again for your support of women in the military — which ripples out to the far too many in somewhat parallel circumstances everywhere, including me.
Won't it be novel when our leaders, in the military and out, and our institutions actually live up to the last line of the Pledge of Allegiance, "with liberty and justice for all?"...
Thank you, Mr. Trudeau. On behalf of the other survivors on the MST board I frequent, we thank you for bringing our situations to the forefront. Sadly, even other military females are unaware of the rates of MST and violence. Today, especially, I am grateful for the support of your column. I am planning on committing career suicide this afternoon at a Town Hall Meeting with a distinquished guest in attendance. Strangely, they don't like answering questions about MST...
I trust this will be one of a flood of thanks and praise for the strong address of the MST atrocity. All persons deserve the right to their personal safety, respect and integrity, especially in the military. If not there, then where? My God! What does it take to be civilized?
Thank you for the work on MST. DoD must be reeling from the reality of it all. What you say is so true. My favorite comment of the week remains, "Also, what''s the food like?" Drive on!
Mel's dad: "I had no idea..." No, he's not an idiot. I was molested for eight years, beginning when I was eight. I never told my parents, and while, over the years, they may have heard a whisper, it was decades after the fact and sure as hell didn't come from me.
While serving as a combat medic in Afghanistan I was called in to give medical attention to a guy who was a known rapist. It was very difficult to force myself to let him "make it"... Thanks for the mini expose; it's an issue in the British military also.
I thank you for your work, and especially for your exposure of the issues facing female soldiers in the ranks of military all over the world. Know you are making a difference, chipping away at the culture. It ain't no easy task.