Leading Our Children, Like Lambs, to the Wolves
We Watch and Adore Our Children
We all get married, settle down and then decide to bear children. Yes, bring a piece of us into this wondrous world, to experience the most wonderful of things, which will ever be graced upon us. We hold them when times are difficult, soothe away their pain, teach them lessons of life, and the journey goes forward, until they can walk, talk and later on go on to go to school.
So, we push our precious off-spring towards educational institutions, and believe that they will learn things about our great land, our heritage(s), our plan to bring the great attributes of our land to others. As they grow we instill the values upon which we all grew up with and thrived with.
In some cases, some of our children will take up the ideals of our raising and go into College, and embark upon a plan to reach out and change our world; as a whole. Others will embark on still another journey, in life, which will reach across the oceans and lands and take our ideals by way of the United States Military; as many of our "fore-fathers" did, as their "fore-fathers" did and so on.
Where Do You Stand?
With the current events, regarding "Sexual Assault" in the military, how likely are you to send your children off to serve the military?See results without voting
I Have Been Asked
With all of the issues that have been discussed over the last few years about Military Sexual Trauma, and Sexual Charges swirling around the military; many parents are coming to the realization that; all of the sudden their children are possibly becoming exposed to things that they were not prepared for.
Wars, of course the predominant thing that comes to mind; is my child going to be able to handle the impact of war, with what they have been "Armed with" here at home? Honestly, the answer to that is mostly a resounding "NO!"
Is my child going to be in Harm's way? Most generally, "YES!"
These questions are normally questions which parents will ask of themselves, prior to and up to, and even after actually sending their precious child down the road, to head to basic training.
Let's look at the facts of the matter. Our children are going to learn how to serve our nation, regardless of the threats, which may befall our great country, our child is going to learn a trade and learn how to protect your family and other families from being attacked and losing liberties we are guaranteed through the Constitution of the United States, and the ideals upon which our lives have been built.
So, I have been asked by those around, in my life, if knowing what I do know of the military and the experiences of the military, would I send my child off to serve our country?. If you had asked me 32 or 33 years ago, prior to June 26th of 1982, I would have said "Yes!" it is every child's duty to "Give Back" and to serve the very country that gave them and their family, what the United States has given them.
Now, after the date mentioned above, I would have to qualify that answer, where before I had never had to think about it.
Who Are The Victims?
In the Military, there is some added pressures to make awareness of Sexual Trauma, more actionable and to bring perpetrators to justice. But the acts are still very prevalent.
1. In 2013 there were 26,000 cases of Sexual Trauma reported in the military
2. According to polls and questionnaires, Male victims are 1 1/2 to 1 to their female counter-parts, in becoming victimized, and have been reported.
3. The numbers of Rape and Sexual Trauma, in the military, are not accurate and are greatly under-reported, when reporting of male victims are concerned due to added pressures, applied to them by societal stigmas and pressures associated with a male being raped..
The Long Discussions Ahead
So, before you send your "pride and joy" off to serve our country, you try to prepare them for what ever you can think of, talking for hours and hours of what you and your father experienced; or so you thought!
Whether your child is male or female, one thing would almost never be discussed. Who knows why, but the discussion of teaching your child about "Sex" is a very vague or very "ran through" process, while the child is growing up (if at all). In most cases, the child is sent off, without the knowledge or belief that they could very well become the next "Sexual Assault' victim, because they are now a "Young Adult" and they can take care of themselves; or can they?
I am one of those Assault Victims, I have met other Assault Victims; and each of us have had or had been subjected to some pretty nasty fighting training, to protect others. But we are now trying to fight to find ourselves! Why? because even with all of the training and experiences we have encountered; it never prepared us to have to fight for our innocence and our fellow service members, whom we were supposed to protect and trust.
We all had to fight ignorance and being ignored and being called a "Liar" and told that our own attacks never occurred, by others whom were put into place, to protect us and to do what was "The Right Thing," by protecting us (Our Commanders, First Sergeants, Our Leaders). Yes, They turn their backs on soldiers too, even when they are right and have been victimized by fellow soldiers, whom we also swore to fight, defend, and protect and who was supposed to ensure they were there to protect us and the weak as well.
The Last Thing I Want To Do
It is the last thing I wish to do, as to push anyone from serving our great nation. There are always "one bad apple" in every bushel, or barrel. The sad fact that there are so many people, from so many cultures, entering our military. There are so many backgrounds, meshed into a pot to boil down and re-build, to what is to become our nation's defending forces.
I want to say, at this point, that I am very grateful for our military forces and commanders; well, for the most part anyways. They do what they can, with what they have to ensure the spirit of their vows and promises, are maintained and kept with honor. For those folks, who sacrifice so much; I am forever thankful for their service.
However, back on the previous note, Military Sexual Trauma, PTSD related to Military Sexual Trauma; even though it may not be directly from the front lines of war zones, it is and has been a "Silent War" which has been being fought for decades and even documented back to the Medieval Times and as well, has been documented in our Nation's History, as far back as the Civil and Revolutionary Wars.
The Victim's of such attacks, upon our forces (both men and women today) are not acceptable. Awareness and pro-active stances need to be taken. However, from within the observational seats of the military, it is my belief that "blinders" are still being worn, and even heads turned when it comes to current accounts and claims of Sexual Trauma being suffered by male victims.
Our Children Are Our Future
We spend all of our resources, to raise our children the best we can. We want to instill trust and faith in them. We all want what is best for them; even better than for ourselves. We don't want to set them up to fail, or to fall short of their dreams and goals. And, it very well is best served that our children go off to serve our great country, in our great military. (Yes, I still believe our Military is great, both internationally and domestically; in both peace time and war time.)
Our Military is a great institution, for our kids whom come from every walk of life and culture. I will not waiver from that, in the least. I only believe that due diligence and safe awareness, on everyone's part, will go along way, in preventing our children from becoming victimized, while serving our country; then to feel that they have no where to turn; not even us, as their parents.
If you know anyone whom is a victim, male or female, of Sexual Assault; please be sure to get them the assistance they need. Do not let them feel like they are isolated or alone, don't judge them, but listen to them with out interruption and let them know they are being heard. Don't give them sympathy, but give them the grace to allow them to start letting the pain out.
Save a life, at home; if you know of anyone who is threatening to, or you believe they are going to harm themselves, call for help. There are so many resources to get them the assistance they need, to work through it. I know.. I am a Military Sexual Survivor, and am still in treatment towards recovery. You and your Loved one, can be one too.
For more stories, to allow for who ever feels they have been victimized, can be found on my blog at: http://attentiontoptsdandmst.blogspot.com/
Come on over and join me, I will be here and I will walk with you.
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