Monday, November 2, 2009

Still Speechless

Actually, Quid was wrong. There is quite a bit online about the military rape statistics. It has been covered on the national news. Google 'rape statistics in the US military' and you'll be reading all day. The statistics are Army wide, but the actual statistic is 1 in 3 women will be sexually assaulted. Not all sexual assaults are actual rapes. This makes me feel some better, but not much. What does not make me feel better at all is this fact: In order to make quotas, the military is issuing 'moral waivers' in some cases. This allows a person who has been convicted of a sexual assault on the outside to enlist in the army.

When I was in the Army nearly twenty five years ago, there were soldiers who were given the choice: join the Army or go to jail. I met one of those fellows close up and personal in Korea. I was not raped, but it was terrifying. (I was asleep in my bed. My roommate gave the key to our room to the guy so that he could 'come in and get something'.) It was scary. I know that I talked about it openly. I reported it to the CQ. No action was taken, not against my roommate. Not against the man. Somewhere in a CQ log, the incident was reported. I don't remember being particularly outraged about this fact at the time. It was an acceptance to how things were. It had already happened twice before at AIT. In one case, an instructor at Ft. Sam Houston followed me into a women's room. In another case, assigned to the motor pool for detail, I was given the job of polishing an officer's military vehicle. There I met the officer's driver. In those days, the best thing that you could do for yourself was to literally become 'one of the guys'. I was a very tough cookie who chose her friends carefully. While I was still in the military, the 'jail or Uncle Sam' program was discontinued. I guess that I am shocked that these sorts of unsavory characters are again being allowed into the military, because the military has quotas to fill.

The other thing, sadly, is that out of the twenty two hundred rape cases the Army prosecuted, only 181 of the cases resulted in a guilty verdict. Reading on some of these cases was horrifying. It seemed as if, sometimes, the 'not guilty' verdict was incomprehensible. I'm not all that confident that the military will 'fix' this problem. It would first have to be acknowledged.


quid said...

OMG, Deb. When I'm wrong, I'm wrong. I don't have the facts or the links at hand, but, for the last couple of years of the Bush administration, before the recession set in, we were scraping categories for enlistments we had refused to go after before. A larger percentage of troops in 2006 scored the lowest acceptable entrance exam score. Some criminal activity waivers were increased, etc.

I'm told, anectdotally, that now the military can be selective, with as many unemployed people looking for jobs as there are.

I can see how this current political information weighs heavily, with your own brushes with this in your lifetime. Very interesting and takes-the-wind-out-of-your-sails writing.


PaintedPromise said...

wow. makes me really glad none of my girls went into the military! what a sad, sad state of affairs...

Lori said...

I knew a guy when I was in high school who went into the military to escape going to jail. I'd forgotten about that.