Invisible Wounds: Life after military sexual assault and PTSD | Veterans Coming Home

If you were to ask somebody who lost their leg, “Are you ever back to the same person?” No. You can get a prosthetic leg, but it’s different and it’s always gonna be different. It’s the same with the invisible wounds. Mine is on the inside. Originally I wanted to join the army. A Marine Corps recruiter showed up when I was seventeen and he did the “What? You think you can’t join the Marine Corps?” And I was like, “Watch me.” It was probably the toughest thing that I’ve ever achieved. Nothing came close to that pride. I got to Okinawa in 1999 I went in a skirt and a pink tank top and I was very proud to know that I was a strong woman. I was a Marine and to still be feminine and, you know, feel comfortable in that. I was blindsided. I dealt with sexual harassment. You know, I was one woman to every sixty men. And I had gone out one night, and I normally didn’t. I kind of kept to myself a bit and I went out and I was that night I was drugged and I was raped by my sergeant, who was my chain of command. Meaning he was the person that if something happened to me I have to go to to report. And I reported it and the more that I pushed for things to be done and for them to investigate it, the more repercussions came to me. Professionally, personally. You know, I was kind of blacklisted. Can you open that love? We usually got all this plus like four foamies all stacked up in the back of the truck. It’s very interesting, we met each other when we were in Okinawa and he left and a week later I was raped. So we remember each other as we were before we got together. We hadn’t seen each other for years and in 2012 when my husband returned from his third combat tour his PTSD was extremely apparent and he was not the same person. I have your phone, ok Jess? Did you close the front door? -Yeah. -Did you lock it? -I locked it, yeah. -Ok. And we built our family, you know, from both of us trying to recover from trauma. “He drank away the pain and all of the sorrow and all of his dreams for a better tomorrow. With every passing sip the memories had faded leaving him broken and terribly jaded. Feeling like a failure too afraid to come forward wishing their expectations could somehow be lowered. I worry all the time that this will all be too much and in the end I’ll lose out on the man that I love because he fought in a war that I will never understand with the heart of a boy and the eyes of a man.” (clapping) There’s needs that veterans have and I know that there are civilians that want to meet those needs but how to translate them writing is the bridge. Well there is that huge gap and with our poetry it allows that civilian world to see what we actually see instead of relying on the media or the TV which is so false anyway. And even though we block these emotions out, we can allow them to come out in a safe way and they stay on the paper instead of staying inside of us. The invisible wound part is the most difficult thing to translate but poetry lets me do that. Very shortly after I was raped I was separated with an other than honorable discharge. You know, I didn’t come home to this big “Welcome home Marine.” It was, you know, you’re no longer a Marine. I lost all my veteran benefits I was not eligible to go to the VA and receive mental health care. I had such severe PTSD. Thirteen years went by and this, you know, this was eating me up. It took over my life and I made the decision to fight. I believe whole-heartedly that in my situation, if the process of reporting the rape had been handled completely outside of the chain of command it would have allowed me to see my rapist convicted and sentenced to justice. Attorneys worked for four years on my case and the department of defense this January upgraded my discharge to general under honorable conditions and that meant that I was now eligible for VA compensation. It’s no secret that the government does a great job of sending people to war and a horrible job of taking care of them And people suffer horrible atrocities in the military. Something like yours. Why do we exhibit so much pride for something that has caused us so much pain? I think that Stacey’s case is, from my experience, extremely rare. I think that the people you’re talking to that have that incredibly bad attitude, that is not representative. You know, I’m angry at the man who did it. I’ve learned that that wasn’t the government. I can’t blame one organization for few people’s bad choices. The pride has never been lost. From the day that I graduated as a Marine, I have been proud of that. You know, I credit “Thank you Marines Corps for building me this way.” I learned that you don’t give up. You don’t give up. You figure out how to adapt to the new situation and overcome it. [Praying] You know, he’s not going to wake up one morning, my husband, and not have traumatic brain injury. But there’s this whole other post-trauma part of who Stacey is and who Jesse is and I’ve learned to fall in love with that. That, you know, when when no one else understands he does. And this strong me that people see now I don’t know that I would be the same woman had I not gone through what I went through. And I don’t know that Jesse would have the love for the life we have together had he not been so close to losing his own all those times. And being a glass mosaic artist, it has made me recognize the beauty in being so broken. You take these shattered pieces and you build back something that is remarkable.

34 thoughts on “Invisible Wounds: Life after military sexual assault and PTSD | Veterans Coming Home

  1. Your video touches me every time Stacey. I have had the privilege of seeing your fight as well as your victory. You are my hero…

  2. we're extremely sorry you went through that, it takes so much courage to talk about what happened to you and, what your commending officer has done to you!!! not ever serving in the military because so many reasons why they wouldn't take me!!! this brings so many questions to my mind? like how many women has he raped? because, if a man rapes a woman! it's not just one. in my opinion!!! furthermore in closing with no disrespect to US Military! all the senseless Wars they have fought throughout history to all the raping of women not only in the US Military but also in the countries they were fighting in where rape did occur just blows my mind and, we pray for those victims and ask GOD to have mercy on those Men's Soul's!!! GOD bless you and peace and love to everyone!!!

  3. She is a strong woman… and they are awesome, the same goes for the men who are brave enough to grow through hell and high waters for our country in which we live, both these men and women give up so much and they're awesome for it. Thanks guys!

  4. Trust me hun, there's a lot of underhanded work they do which is why you had an other than honorable discharge in the first place. They tried to get me and I had to learn to back myself up with people who supported me in my Chain of Command. I would have been eaten alive had they not. It's extremely condemning to report a sexual assault. They tried to NJP me for it and stick me in a unit known for discriminating women and I promise you they would have kicked me out had I not pushed for an expedited transfer.

  5. Her discharge needs to be upgraded again to honorable. Not general under honorable conditions. That sob who raped her probably has an honorable discharge. God bless her. I understand.

  6. The military came into my home and they drugged me and raped me and used me in the most profane ways. They committed acts of sodomy against me and made me commit acts of sodomy against them and my spouse was right there in the room. He was told by a senior person at his command that he had to "Share the wealth." the wealth being me. He shared me with the members of his command not once. They then begin to abuse your mind, remember they drug you so most women will never even remember the acts committed against them they will only live with the harassment after the rapes. There is an entity attached to the military that lives off of fear, sorrow, tragedy, pain, and death. It eats it like food and these emotions are this things nourishments. That is the real reason for all of the wars, it needs the energy of these emotions to survive. We are a feeding ground for this entity. Rapes occur daily on the military installations. We are being sacrificed to something that the higher ups in the military worship. They worship these beings that they feed all of this sorrow and tragedy. It has been going on for decades. Perhaps since the beginning. It has to stop.

  7. It almost happened to me in my second year of service.i was able to fight off my attacker .it made the next eighteen years hell. Its sad that women have to be put up with this bullshit. Many times i was called a bitch and every time i would say yes i am touch me and i will kill you. I had to say this at least thirteen times over my career. Retirement day was a relief not a celebration.

  8. I am fighting this issue RIGHT NOW. It's time leaders see what's truly been swept under the rug for so long. Please join me in this fight against military sexual harassment, assault and rape. Sign the petition:

  9. Being a veteran is very hard. I have MST and deal with trama everyday i now have decided to take a stand with She's a Veteran. A organization dedicated to women of the armed forces. I am raising awareness for MST the disabled and for those with PTSD. Please donate to this cause it will be greatly appreciated. FB- she's a veteran/ cashapp-$sheaveteran

  10. Very poorly done. It's good that she blamed the man and not the marines. But there are enormous gaps in this story.
    After the rape why didn't she tell her parents or anyone else who could advise her? The procedure is to go to police and request a rape test? A rape test must be done after a rape. Then her physical bruises and hemorrhages would be photographed, the DNA of the sperm would be recorded, the DNA of the skin under her nails would be recorded, etc. This man would have gone to prison for life.

  11. BULLSHIT! She wanted it when she was over there some lucky guy plowed her and now she feels like she was taken advantage of now she's crying wolf.

  12. Youre a Beautiful Young Woman ! I was in the Army in the 80’s so many stories to tell myself because I’ve never told anyone else about the assaults ! I pray that women make decisions to make a difference in their life and others by staying in safe places in life ! Please take care of yourself, you are the most important person to you! ❤️

  13. I noticed she mentioned the outfit she had on was feminine but it doesn't matter what she had on those were adult men they should be able to control themselves disgusting

  14. she should have an honorable discharge and 100%. But the military uses you as they please and kick your ass out. Glad she’s alive. We all feel related with her

  15. Was fucking up the Corps. We don't need to walk easy around yall. It's a man's world… you join, shut the fuck up.

  16. Yup I won't hire any veteran for construction anymore really fucked up ur more likely to get raped by a veteran than a blood or a crip

  17. It is tragic, when I was younger I wanted the whole military experience. When I was 22 I was sexually assaulted by a Navy sailor. I am 27 now and even though it happened. I am not the loser, for a longtime I could not tell anyone because I did not want the label of being gay. I was embarrassed and hurt deeply, I felt as though a peace of me was taken away against my will. I did learn later on in fact that indeed my sexual assault was known about and so ultimately that it was allowed to happen. I was threatened by people I still do not really know who they are. They told me if I said anything to anyone, no one would believe me, that they would say I was a pedophile, a drug addict, and a drug dealer. They said that no one would believe me anyways, they accessed my cell phone also and taunted me by messing with my cell phone. To this day, it all seems like a horrible nightmare, and I do know that feeling of the no big “whoop” responce. I felt like something was wrong with me because to me, it was a huge deal, to me i had no idea what to do for myself and thought I was crazy and lost because it was no big “whoop”. Needless to say they rewrote my entire life, and I do not know why. It took a few years to come to terms and I had to do some real deep some searching to have peace. Well, it is not so much peace as it is acceptance. With time we all can accept anything. I do really like this video and I hope you the best. You look very happy and it looks like things will only get better! Best wishes

  18. Would love to do a special interview on u if ur interested 609 906 0218 howard i would really love to get the story out there about the military and the corruption using wars to profit off of tax payers money

  19. No surprise there.

    Americans have always been notorious for raping everywhere they go, it goes way back.

    Raping and shooting are what Americans love to do, it goes hand in hand. They rape someone with a gun in their hand.

    Right from WW2, Korea, Vietnam and any other war the US has been involved with,

    the American G.I's have raped enemy women (and men) as well as allied women they were supposedly there to save. During the Vietnam war, they went from village to village fucking every 12-year-old girl and her mother and grandmother. That's why they lost the war, more time fucking the enemy than fighting them.

    With the method of military tactics changed over the years, the US soldiers very seldom are on a reconnaissance mission for weeks on end like they did in Vietnam going from village to village on a big fucking session.

    They can't get away with raping local women like they used to.

    Afghanistan and Iraq, for example, the US soldiers go out for the day then return to their nice cosy beds and their BBQ's at the base or confinement so there's far less chance of raping in the villages. Come dinner time all the local Afghan women are safe.

    So when they can't rape their enemy or pretty much anything else that moves, they rape their own kind. It's going to happen no matter what because it's in an American's DNA to rape.

    It's the American way and all they know. If they can't fuck through consent, they just rape anyway. Land of the free, yeah whatever! It must be in their constitution they rave on about to just take what they want when they want.

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