Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Having dealt with my past, still hurts when it's in the News.

Having spent just over 19 years in Army, of which I am proud and honored to serve as a soldier. Going in right after High school in 1980 until 1999, when I could no longer pass P.T. test, did not know the reason why until 2001 when I learned I have multiple sclerosis.

Most of my time in the Army was good. In basic training, my limits were tested every day, doing so many things I had never thought I could or would do. The confidence I gained in my abilities to face the challenges of being a soldier in U.S. Army. At the end I've put some of the fun parts of being in the Army.
All the news of past few weeks has brought up some old hurts that are now a part of my life history. Rape in the military has been a problem for women, because for the few men that feel it’s the woman fault or she was asking for it, she was drunk. God help you if you are foolish enough to report, one of the first things I learned if you want to continue in the military, say nothing even if asked, every woman I know who did had little choice and got out soon after. For me it wasn't the first time however it was the last. Having two older brothers I knew how to fight, then I needed to learn how to fight dirty and make sure to leave a mark. Pride is a flaw in most military men, so getting your ass-kicked by a woman isn't anything their willing to share. In my own way, I took my power back the last attempted rape two men tried ended badly for them and was a powerful moment for me. Took the car parked it at the post main gate, gave the MP my information, just in case the two needed it. A few weeks later that MP stopped me as I was leaving post, he asked me “how well I knew them and if I knew what happened to them?” my answer “not well and I haven't heard from them.” He told me they both ended up in the hospital and one will never stand up to pee and other will never be able to father children, I told him sorry to hear that (not sorry at all!!) asked him if I was free to go? He said, “Sure I just thought you might have wanted to know.” It may not be right to feel good about what I did, knowing that one can never do what he tried to do and the other may think twice about doing to anyone again feels good.

Learning how to use a weapon, the Army frowns on calling an M16A1 rifle a gun because, every weapon we trained on was training to defend our country and ourselves by killing the people trying to kill us. In basic training when a Drill Instructor heard anyone calling a weapon a gun, you could hear the person repeating. THIS IS MY WEAPON holding it out in front of them, THIS IS MY GUN holding over their head, THIS IS FOR FIGHTING out in front, THIS IS FOR FUN over the head, the longest I heard someone doing this was 25 minutes.
Once on the firing line using live ammo training we were in a foxhole, the woman in the next foxhole. Was turning to ask the instructor behind us a question, with her weapon and her finger on the trigger and it was pointed right at me, I ducked down heard the shot hit the sand bag just above my head. The next thing I remember was she was out of her foxhole and I was standing over her and shaking her hard, then heard yelling and something kept hitting my helmet, I let her go and looked up at my drill instructor his face was so red! Then I remembered and told him “she almost killed ME! Look at the hole in the sandbag” he said “yes Mary I see it went all the way through, good thing you ducked when you did.” Later that day I was told that I had jumped out of my foxhole so fast, pulled her out hers, and started shaking her before my drill instructor got there. Still don't remember getting out of my foxhole only remember what I had been told. My shot for record was 39 out of 40 targets
In the 101st at Fort Campbell, we took R.O.T.C. for rides in UH 60 Blackhawk helicopters. First they got a tour of the hanger by a pilot who told them, if they wanted some pop to go ahead and have one, since I gave the tour to women I told them not to drink anything and our last stop was the bathroom. Having flew more than a few of these flights I knew, the pilots wanted to shake them up by doing some ground level flying. The pilots for fun had me get into a flight suit and helmet (can't tell if it’s man or a woman) no matter what a few of these boy’s lost control, at landing I jumped out for the power down. Was told to take off my helmet and let my hair fly, let them know you're a woman poor boy’s trying to hide that they wet themselves. Now when the men (boys) had first came in all talking how easy it would be to be pilots, yes that flight did knock them down a peg or two. All the women came down dry and yes, the women gave the boys a hard time all the way home.


Mary Gerdt said...

Great story and real women soldier history-the untold now told.
Have a great day! Love the prank with the soda "pop" :-)mary

Mary K. Mennenga said...

Mary, Thanks funny part is it worked every time. Have a great weekend!