Wednesday, July 11, 2012


Hello All,

Earlier today I came across this article and decided to comment on it.. I got a charming response.

Nancy Parrish


Tailhook Whistleblower Demands Congress Investigate Lackland Sexual Assaults

Posted: 07/11/2012 10:30 am
More than 20 years ago, 87 servicewomen were sexually assaulted while serving in the U.S. Navy, in what became known as the "Tailhook scandal." Paula Coughlin-Puopolo was one of the 87.
The Navy Lieutenant reported the incident to senior officers, but they did nothing. So in June 1992 she went public.
President George H.W. Bush said he was appalled and invited Coughlin to the White House. The former president apparently started to cry as Paula shared her story, and he promised a full investigation.
Unfortunately, our military leadership has made no changes to stop this type of predatory criminal behavior. The epidemic of criminal sexual assault and rape within our armed services has only gotten worse. In the Navy's official report about the Tailhook scandal they recommended "intelligent measures to prevent a recurrence." This never happened.
The mission of our military is to protect the American way of life and our freedoms, yet this very mission is compromised by leadership that allows, perpetrates and condones sexual assault on the very members of our armed services.
The military has tried to cover up the epidemic of rape and sexual assault in the military for decades. The Department of Defense estimates that over 19,000 such incidents occurred in 2010 alone but that only 13.5% of sexual assaults are ever reported. Why? Because victims are often blamed, fear career ending retaliation, and are required to report their assault by fellow soldiers to a superior, not law enforcement or medical personnel. And according to the DoD, of those few who did report, over 75% would not make the same decision about reporting again.
Now, a new criminal scandal at Lackland Air Force Base has put one of America's most disgraceful secrets back in the headlines. At least 31 female trainees at Lackland say they were raped or sexually assaulted by their instructors. Many did not come forward for years out of fear of retaliation from their superiors.

Gen. Edward Rice, commander of the Air Education and Training Command at Lackland, says that the misconduct is not limited to just Lackland and has ordered an investigation into "systemic issues" in the Air Force.
The Department of Defense reports that 1 in 4 young women who join the service will be raped or sexually assaulted and 1% of men. The U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs estimates over half a million vets have experienced military sexual trauma.
The unfolding scandal at Lackland shows how little has changed since Paula dared to come forward and speak out about the predatory criminal behavior at Tailhook. Unfortunately, there are thousands of similar stories every year in our armed forces, but because of our broken system of military justice -- nothing changes. It is like Groundhog Day.
Paula has decided to speak up again -- starting a petition demanding that the Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, Rep. Buck McKeon hold a congressional hearing about Lackland immediately.

How much longer and how many more of our brave men and women in uniform need to be raped or sexually assaulted before our elected officials do something to end the crisis? The military has proven that it is unable or unwilling to Protect Our Defenders. Congress should open an investigation immediately and then put an end to the "systemic issues" of military rape and sexual assault by legislating fundamental reform.

Our government must do more.


Wisconsin Patriot:
6 hours ago ( 3:08 PM)
The "Tailhook" thing is completely different than what happened at Lackland. At "Tailhook" - it was a private association event. People chose to come there.

What happened in Lackland is much more of an issue, as it was on an active military base with people performing military duties, with clear policies on relationships with trainees.

Also, it takes two to tango and one must also realize lying about sexual assault in the military is not unheard of either - to save your rank and benefits.........when you are busted with misconduct......

My comment:
8 hours ago (12:15 PM)
It's been 35 years since my attacks while in the US Navy. I had hoped that things would have changed by now, but I see that they haven't. I was attacked and raped many times over my 4 years of service. I was told I would be set up for court martial if I ever told. And it was my supervisors on two bases so I had no one else I could report to. The last one also threatened to hurt my friends careers if I did not cooperate. Now I can see the destruction this has caused me all along my life. Time for things to change from the top down!

Reply to comment by: Wisconsin Patriot:

6 hours ago ( 3:13 PM)
You just found out a month ago that you can get VA disability money from the govt if you lie about something, and hoping no one will figure it out since it was 36 years ago.


 Really?  I mean REALLLY????

Geee... thanks...  

I understand that there are some real butt heads out there, and by speaking out and commenting I am taking risks of getting feedback like this.. but gosh.. after all the poo I've been through, to be accused of this???

*shakes head sadly and goes to have some medicine*
Over and out,

The Lotus Project for Women Veterans

Greetings all,

Dr. J sent us out an email yesterday with a new link for us.  So I have added it to our links list here, but I also wanted to be sure and bring it to everyone's attention. I like that they offer chaperones to the VA medical and benefits appointments.

Here is what their main page looks like.

The Lotus Project for Women Veterans

The Lotus flower is planted in mud and yet still grows upwards toward the light to break through the other side clean and beautiful. Female veterans are growing stronger physically through combat, yet are stuck in the mud of sexual trauma, separation anxiety from their children, PTSD, and Homelessness. The mission of The Lotus Project is to empower female veterans to rebuild their lives after military service.

Program Details…..
· Permanent and transitional housing placement for homeless female veterans
· Referrals to financial assistance programs for rent, utility payments, and moving expenses
· Career Coaching and Job Placement Services
· Assistance with filing VA disability claims
· Chaperone veterans to VA Hospital and/or VA Benefits appointments
· All female veteran support groups and counseling

State of Affairs of Female Veterans

  • Women make up 20% of today's military
  • 11% of the combat force in Iraq and Afghanistan are female (roughly 212,000 troops)
  • 30,000 Single Mothers have deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan as of March 2009
  • In 2008, 2,908 sexual assaults were reports involving service members (9% increase from 2007); Alarmingly, its estimated that more than half of the assaults go unreported
  • According to a 2008 study by the RAND Corporation, women develop Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and/or Depression as a result of traumatic experiences at more than twice the rate of men
  • As of September 2009, the Department of Veteran Affairs estimated 13,100 homeless female veterans; Women Veterans are up to 4 times more likely to be homeless than non-veteran women
  • 23% of female Veterans have children under 18 years old

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Today was The Day.. VA Psylogical Testing for PTSD

Well.. its over.  Finally.  At least this part of it.  Now... I guess.. comes the waiting?

Didn't sleep well at all last nite.  Kept waking up and worrying about how today would go.   I did know I had a female doc, I had called to make sure as soon as I had a number to call and ask.   

I was sooo grateful that K took the day off to take me down to the Houston VA.  We left at 7:30 for the 9:30 appointment.  We got there at 8:26.. and it took about 10 mins to find a parking spot.  Which is great by the standard there.  It only took a minute or too after we entered for me to have a major panic attack. I started crying, and couldn't seem to stop.  I wanted to dash into the bathroom and hide.  But K was very strong and encouraging and  I was totally lost.. something about taking the blue elevators in this huge, overwhelming maze.  But K smoothly found our way, and I was checked in and seated by 9.  While we were siting and waiting, I kept trying to calm myself, but felt things building up instead.  A part of me didn't want too be a mess... to hold it together.. but on the other hand, if there was someone to see this side, the mess.. the obvious trauma.. this was the person.

They called me just a bit after 9:30.  The lady doc was very nice and  she made me feel very comfortable.  She explained that this was a 'psychological test'.. and that she would be asking me lots and lots of questions.  She asked about my childhood... pre-service life.. and then.. the service.  I had to tell her.. and relive.. the whole ugly mess.. all f'in four years of it. And then.. the aftermath of it.  The mess my life has been. The puzzle pieces I can see now, that I never could when it was all hidden away.. even from myself. All the way up to my breakdown and the end of my working career.  And then, all the physical stuff that goes on.. and then all the mental stuff that goes on.  

I liked how she phrased the question "Do you ever think about ACTUALLY killing anyone?" I had to muse that over for a minute.  'actually'... well.. no...but I had made some revenge plans in the past in my rabid imagination... but they never got past the beginning stages plans.  She asked about suicide.. yes. I think about it.. it would make the pain stop. But I told her I was a chicken.  The doc said that wasn't a bad thing.  *sighs*.   I spent most of the time weeping and trying to answer clearly... and the rest of it twisting a series of tissues around and around in pretzels.

At the end of the appointment, she mentioned the MST facility that is in the Houston area that my first Vet Center doc had told me about, where she wanted me to go and that I have written about here before. She stressed that that is what they specialize in.  I took that as a good sign that she felt I needed that heavy duty help of in patient treatment.  I asked her if that was the place where they 'lock you up'.. and she said  'well, it's for your safety'.  She asked me to think about it, and I told her I would. Uh huh.

As I was walking away down the hall, she leaned out the door and called to me. I turned around and she looked at me and smiled in a kind way and said "And thank you for your service!".  My eyes filled with tears again and I nodded my thanks.. and then went to find K to take me home. 

I think I wept half of the way home again.... remembering all the terrible things in the clear details I'd had to tell the doc.. Was like ripping the scab off yet again.  But the miles flowed past, and K reminded me that now.. this part is over, I have to have faith that it will all work out.  

Now.. it's just to wait and see, and work on getting well, and time to be a hostess.  Summer is here, and the first of our guest's arrives next week.  They are sure to keep me busy for a while.  I do still have my blood tests and then my first appointment up at the other VA on July 31st.  Doc said today to be sure I talked to mental health about some drugs to help me sleep and with my depression and moods.  I will do that.  

Had a good group on Mon, and got a new assignment.  Doc J will be with us through the beginning of Aug. Yaay.  Although. I screwed up last week.. I was supposed to see her on Fri and I was sure the appt was at 11 as it's always been, but it was a 10, so I missed it.  Doc said at group on Mon she had used the time to do other things, but I felt like an idiot.  

Anyways.. so that where things are now.   I will relax some.. relived that at least this part is done!
Over and out,