The Recruiter Story

militarySince one of my obsessed-with-me internet trolls likes to claim that I like to claim, falsely, that I was raped by a military recruiter, this is the story. I know that my very existence bugs him – because he has no life and is a bitter, disillusioned midwestern yahoo who thinks that fancy pants New York City liberal lawyers should just STFU – so I continue to exist and tell my stories and if he doesn’t like it – TOO BAD, SO SAD.

The Story Trolls Don’t Want You To Hear

When I was 17 and my father, for reasons unbeknownst to me, refused to sign my residence papers to go to CUNY for low/no tuition, I was somewhat SOL. I remember standing on 8th Avenue asking him if he’d lost his mind. There was “some crap” (per usual) going on with my mother, and my college career was about to go up in flames. He asked me what I was going to school for and I said, “English.” He said to go to the NYPL and read and write there. Awesome, dad, simply awesome.

Over the years I’ve reconciled my relationship with my father who was basically a good man and who was normally fairly good to me, but this episode was my life blowing up around me.

I talked to a few friends and at the time, the US military had a “buddy system” program where you could go in the service with a buddy and serve in the same places. My best friend’s boyfriend said he wanted to go too.

We took the tests and he did not do so well. The buddy thing was dropped but I forged on. I forget exactly what I needed to do but some of my papers were not in order. I think I needed a birth certificate or something.

When everything was set, I was ONE WEEK AWAY from leaving for bootcamp. I was excited and had the blessing of the ENTIRE family – something that almost never happened. My father and all of my uncles (both my father’s and my mother’s brothers) had served in World War II and Korea (the youngest brothers). We had several career servicemen in our family. My brother and all of my cousins served in Vietnam. Though there was no war on, military service was a big deal in my family and I was the first female to go.

It was a shining moment in my life. I actually had the APPROVAL of my entire family. It was something I had never experienced. Whether it was a straight A report card or some kind of trophy or accolade, the response from my family of any kind of accomplishments was typically lukewarm or even critical (when I brought home the straight As they said, “You’re smart but you have no common sense.” They were technically right because if I HAD any common sense, I wouldn’t be expecting approval from these dysfunctional idjits.)

I kept missing the opportunity to get a ride to the recruitment office during the week and I HAD to get my paperwork in. So on the Saturday which was to be a week before bootcamp, I went over.

On the other days I had been there, the office was bustling with lots of people, both recruiting officers and recruit wanna bes. This Saturday there was no one there except one officer.

The recruiting officer seemed nice enough. He was in his late 40s, balding and a bit pudgy. Not a terribly attractive man, but that wasn’t important. I don’t know if I had spoken to him on any prior occasion but here I was – wrapping things up so I could suit up and show up and serve my country.

I was so eager for this adventure and he was asking me questions about where I wanted to go and what I wanted to train as…so it was a very relaxed conversation and we were chatting aimlessly. I was very excited about the journey I was about to embark on.

He asked me if I was leaving a boyfriend behind and I said my high school boyfriend was on again, off again and he actually had wanted to go in the Navy. When we met he had Navy stickers all over the tape box we used to share. But he was a year behind me in high school, so maybe he would enlist later, maybe not. I didn’t know. He said something like he thought I would break a lot of hearts and I was just nodding…not thinking much of it. There was more conversation but I had to get home and get ready for my military adventure.

Just as stood up to leave he made some comment about how I seemed “taller” in the chair. He said, “You’re just a little thing.” And he said, “Turn around.” So I did. NO idea why he wanted me to do that…when I turned back he said something like he liked what he saw…and then the advances were ON.

In what seemed to be a New York minute, he was making advances toward me. His comments turned completely sexual with very explicit language. I was dumbstruck.

I’d had no sexual experience and had not even gone to 3rd base with my high school boyfriends. I was waiting to “be in love” which most of my friends were not waiting for or convincing themselves that they were in love when we knew they weren’t. I was teased, a lot, by my friends as being a prude as they had experiences, which I won’t go into here, that I didn’t have and didn’t want to have. Lots of things that people do without “going all the way.” Although – by that time – most of my friends had gone all the way. I wasn’t even halfway round the bases, nor did I want to be. The boyfriend, who would be my first husband, and I had talked about it. We were waiting until we were serious and ready to be in a committed relationship. Years later he told me that he knew we could have been “doing it” at 16 or 17 but he was scared. So was I, to be honest.

So when these advances started, I was flabbergasted and didn’t know what to do. A friend’s dad had hit on me when I was 15 but I was able to move out of harm’s way and he never tried anything after that one horrible night when I stayed over their house. I don’t know what his deal was, but I had blocked it out of my head until this new thing came along.

The officer said, “No one is down in the Marines office. We can go in there.” I just looked at him. Go in there and do what? He was at least 20 years older than me. What did he think he/we were going to do? I was a very nervous child – I WAS A CHILD – an inexperienced, confused and anxious CHILD – I stood there like a deer in the headlights – and he continued coming on to me like it was the most normal thing ever.

I grew up in the South Bronx. I considered myself, always, street wise and book smart. Yet, I was there – in that situation – without a clue as to what to do next. I was stunned. Shocked. Upset.

I started to back away and I respectfully declined. He said, “Oh come on, everyone knows that girls who go in the service are whores.” Excuse me, what? WHAT?

I left and never went back. I did not go in the service. I tried to re-group and never told anyone what happened. I tried with another branch of the service a few months later but his words kept ringing in my ears. I couldn’t do it. My family – of course – said it was par for the course. I was a flake and I was this and that. I tried to go to college and was harangued by my boyfriend to come home and stop being stupid…and I did. I was so lost and so confused after the service opportunity disappeared.

Like most victims, I wracked my brain to try to figure out what I had done to cause this. I had done it with my friend’s father at 15, and I did it after the recruitment disaster. Had I been too enthusiastic? Seemed too excited? What had I done to trigger him? As someone who was a DV victim out of the gate (abused by my 8th grade boyfriend and then every other relationship until I was 30), I believed I caused other people’s bad behavior. “If you weren’t…” “If you didn’t….” they wouldn’t … (hit, yell, call me names, cheat, act like a complete idiot). That is what I was told from jump and I believed it. I would be 30 – yes THREE ZERO – before I was told that other people are responsible for their own behaviors. But, for many years, I tried to figure out what behavior of mine had caused this traumatic episode.

Over the years I’ve heard much about women in the service. I had a friend who served TWO TERMS in Vietnam as a nurse. She left the Army as a colonel and had been raped in the service by a fellow officer. There was Tailhook and so many other horrifying tales of things that happened to women in the service.

Going into the United States military felt like a special calling to me. It had feelings of honor and bravery and I was excited and looking forward to it – until I felt as if it would be a dangerous and really awful place for me. But it threw a monkey wrench into my life and my family retracted their short-lived approval of me. It was true – I could do nothing right. I obviously went into the military recruiter’s office on the exact wrong day. It changed the course of my life and not in a good way. (Though I have no idea what else might of have happened if I did go into the service.)

So one of my internet stalkers likes to inform people – my bosses and other lawyers in NYC, that I made up a story about being raped by a military officer. I have no idea why this bothers him so. First of all, he exaggerates what I said and this is my truth and my story. Too often a woman will go back underground when some goon calls her a liar about something he has no knowledge of. I feel as if I betrayed other victims when I decided to shut up about all this. I’m not shutting up any longer.

The internet deviant is devoid of empathy or compassion for people different than him. He is a conservative sociopath who thinks he has the God-given right to insert his twisted opinions into the lives of other people he does not even know, but with whom he disagrees. He wants to wrap himself in the flag while ignoring others’ freedom of speech. He wants to stand up for religious leaders while committing heinous acts of harassment – trying to wreck the lives of people he does not know for reasons that are strange and weird. He thinks he can control others and scare them into silence and complicity. He thinks that the hatred he spews toward others who have done NOTHING to him are okay – so twisted. So sick. SICK SICK SICK. The hypocrisy of his views is lost on him. DO NOT defend the flag while attacking someone for exercising their freedom of speech. DO NOT defend religious leaders while you practice hatred and contempt. You sick little POS sociopathic hypocritical troll.

You don’t get that my life now and my life then is none of your business. You have nothing better to do than sit behind your idiot computer in your crusties, scratching your hairy, unwashed chest while tobacco-laced spittle spews forth onto the screen because someone somewhere said something that doesn’t sit right with your twisted troll ass. The fact that you see nothing wrong with your behavior is more evidence of how stupid and ignorant you truly are. You have done nothing with your life. You have done nothing. You are nothing. Criticizing and trying to wreck the lives of others is not a worthy calling and you are a simpleton who can’t even spell words like “plagiarism” – nor do you understand the legal construct. You’re too stupid to get it.

No more will I STFU and you, bizarro internet no-life troll, better get used to it. Your obsession with me is truly bizarre. It’s not as if I’m the only woman on the planet who was ever sexually harassed by a military man or has opinions you don’t like. So spare me your judgment, you moron. If you are a patriot, as you claim, read up on the 1st Amendment, idiot. So…go crawl back under the mossy rock you slithered out from.

That’s the story and I’m sticking to it.