A clean, well-lit place to vent
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When I was in Basic Training (in 1964), I noticed a trainee in another platoon who seemed utterly miserable; crossing the company area off duty he shuffled, head hanging, with a very sad expression. We trainee squad leaders hung together, and I asked one in his platoon what was with that kid. He told me that a certain sergeant sent for the kid almost every night after lights out, used him sexually, and then, to show that he, the sergeant, wasn't gay, roughed him up a little. Obviously it would have been futile for the trainee to say anything. Yes, it happened to men then, and I'm not surprised to hear that it does now.
I'm in a PTSD program right now, and I just wanna say "Thank you."
As a person who stutters I've had my fill of people "being helpful" and completing my sentences. It may take me a little longer, but I know what I want to say -- and as today's strip shows, no one else does. Thank you for helping to open up people's eyes!
Best wishes to Toggle and Alex. This week is as beautiful and heartwarming as any in recent memory. Kudos.
Todays panel with Rev. Sloan right next to Joanie threw me for a loop. Sloan has aged so little compared to Joanie and Mark.
I want to take a moment to thank you for your comic strips related to Military Sexual Trauma. I am a 16+ year military Veteran whose career came to an abrupt halt after filing charges of harrassment and physical abuse. I am also an MST survivor. Thank you for bringing this issue to light in your strip! Not many of us have the opportunity to have a voice because of the shame and degradation that comes from this sort of violence -- thank you for being that voice. And thank you for taking the time to do your research. Your facts are dead on.
I am sure that you can tell that my name is not my real name -- I write a blog (with another survivor) and we have chosen to use pen names to protect our identity. The blog is Enemy In The Wire: Military Sexual Trauma and the Afterlife, and you can click to it here. Our goal is to provide support through the internet in a way that doesn't compromise the survivor's identity. Not only are we trying to reach out to help others, but it has been a form of therapy for ourselves, to tell our stories so that people know they are not alone. Thank you, again. I appreciate what you are doing!
Today's Joanie/Scot interaction looks like a lead-in to an explanation of who Jeff's biological father really is...
I was disappointed to see that this comic left out discussion of men that also suffer from military sexual trauma (MST). The Department of the Navy estimates that more men than women are raped every year. There are very few support services for male survivors of MST. These men are often the forgotten victims of military rape. It is sad to see that they have been forgotten yet again. I am hurt by the lack of inclusion.
Thank you Mr. Trudeau for speaking about MST. It is an horrific side of service. As a Vietnam-era vet, I salute you. I hope your stand forces more inquiry and more punishment of commands that deny this happens, and of people doing the sexual assaulting/rapes.
Part of me wants to say today's strip is everything I could've asked for and more, but a somewhat smarter part of me realizes that if I reveal that, you might consider it all done and settled and abruptly change the topic to something less sweet and perfect. Congratulations, Alex and Leo!
What a priceless blast from the past with Scot and Joanie. Forty years is a long way to go for a punch line, but it was worth it! I LOL'd, as the kids say.
I would like to thank you for the upcoming wedding and all its expected glory and fun. It is lovely to see the Walden family together and to be able to share the celebration with them. Experiencing a rush of joy when I realized what this week's strips were going to cover might be foolish, but it is a comforting sort of silly. The community you have created, sir, is pretty darn real and important to many of us, so here is my toast to Family Doonesbury. May we be blessed with their company far into the future.
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.