Features Jun 6, 2018 at 4:00 am

When he told me about the assault, he asked me never to tell. But I was young and idealistic, and I could not be silent.

I will probably always regret speaking up. THOMAS JAMES



I'm so sorry this happened. I'm sorry for all the young men who were assaulted during their time in the military. I was married to a young sailor in the 1970s and I know some of the shit that happened. His way of dealing with it was to start beating the crap out of his young innocent wife (that was me). I kicked him out the first time he drew blood and I hope he got help for his rage. It's so goddam unfair. I could not finish reading this story. It was harrowing and all my buttons got pushed and now I'm crying. I'm so sorry.


@1: Oh randommonkey I wish I could give a real you a hug right now, but here is an awkward Internet one (((((hug)))))


My God, I had no idea that they used the policy to blatantly cover up and condone sexual abuse.


Oh, Lance, I, like randommonkey, am so sorry to learn about what happened to you, too! I was not only an active U.S. Navy enlistee (assaulted and molested), and also once dated and later married to an abusive fellow enlisted service member stationed across town where we served. He was very manipulative, controlling, aggressive, and effective at isolating people. Alcohol only further fueled his rage.
Lance and @1 randommonkey: I am sending both of you a big virtual hug, positrons, and VW beeps. I can certainly relate and feel your pain. I am currently in VA therapy for service-connected PTSD and could not read any more past the first few paragraphs. Memories of my own experience kept flooding back. Sending a virtual hug ((((hug)))).
@2 Lissa: I could use a virtual hug, too. Sending you and everyone one right back. (((((hug))))
@3 Vivic: Unfortunately, "don't ask, don't tell" has been flagrantly misused and covered up quite a lot, and it doesn't sound like the current situation is getting any better. The rampant abuses of power in the military need to be stopped.


Despite the efforts of several Congresswomen to change the policy, the military courts have complete jurisdiction over sexual assault cases in the military. Not allowing civil prosecution of rapists pretty much ensures the continuation of rape culture in the armed forces. A friend was raped by her commanding officer, and her Army career was obliterated when she tried to press charges. Who knows how many others that officer has raped?


I know Congresswoman Maria Cantwell and Senator Patty Murray, bless them have lobbied to change the "don't ask, don't tell" policy. We truly need a progressive Blue Wave to wash over the evil Red Tide currently abusing power.


God damn.

Heartfelt thanks to everyone who's thrown their careers and lives on the line, even if it didn't work worth shit under the system.


Thanks for this beautifully written story about such a horrible experience. There's no hell hot enough for the despicable monsters that perpetrated this.



Thank you for sharing this, Lance. You and Danny have my gratitude for your courage.


@4 correction: And I am truly sorry to have accidentally omitted Danny from my previous comments. So I will reinstate: Lance, I am truly sorry for what you and Danny have both experienced. Nobody should ever have to suffer through such horrors like that, and I agree with @8 Puty that there is truly no hell hot enough for the despicable monsters that perpetrated this--nor authority figures abusing their power who not only allow such shamefully inexcusable atrocity, but willfully encourage it. Thank you and bless you for your courage in coming forth, however ugly and sad the details of your ordeal.


I'm pretty sure your boyfriend regrets you bringing this up. Your ego was more important than his embarrassment, I guess.


@11 when I read just the title, I agreed with you. But Lance didn't seek out an ear to tell, they were directly asked in the course of a military investigation, so integrity demanded that he respond truthfully. While the ex-boyfriend may regret that it came up or not, it wasn't Lance who brought it up, only answered honestly.

@Lance What I don't understand is the first part of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" is "Don't Ask." That lawyer knew the relationship you two had, so asking your relationship was deliberately drawing out that answer. So THEY violated the law. You were then required to answer honestly, and to do otherwise would perjure yourself. How did the judge not stomp that out immediately?

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