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Elected officials and Pentagon leaders have tended to focus on the thousands of women who have been preyed upon while in uniform. But over the years, more of the victims have been men. On average, about 10, men are sexually assaulted in the American military each year, according to Pentagon statistics.
Overwhelmingly, the victims are young and low-ranking. Many struggle afterward, are kicked out of the military and have trouble finding their footing in civilian life. For decades, the fallout from the vast majority of male sexual assaults in uniform was silence: Silence of victims too humiliated to report the crime, silence of authorities unequipped to pursue it, silence of commands that believed no problem existed, and silence of families too ashamed to protest. Women face a much higher rate of sexual assault in the military — about seven times that of men. But there are so many more men than women in the ranks that the total s of male and female victims in recent years have been roughly similar, according to Pentagon statistics — about 10, a year.
And before women were fully integrated into the armed services, the bulk of the victims were men. Only in , after the office began surveying service members, he said, did the military learn that at least as many men as women were being assaulted. Galbreath said. A report published in May indicates that while the share of male victims who come forward has been rising recently, an estimated four out of five still do not report the attack.
For tens of thousands of veterans who were assaulted in the past, the progress made in recent years offers little comfort. The damage has already been done. Many have seen their lives buckle under the weight of loathing and bitterness, and have seen decades pass before what happened to them was acknowledged by anyone — including themselves.
Here are the stories of six of those men. The military branches in which each man served were asked to comment for this article, but declined to discuss specific cases. It was 2 a. Williams recalled. The sergeant had just choked Mr. Williams, who was 18, until he passed out, he said, and then had raped him over a desk while dozens of other recruits slept in the next room. It was The military had no response and prevention program, as it does today, and there were no protections for troops who reported assaults.
Homosexuality was not just forbidden in the ranks, it was seen as a national security threat. Williams, who now lives in Everett, Wash. After the attack, Mr. Williams said, he did all that he felt he could do.
He took a shower and went back to bed. The sergeant raped him twice more during basic training, he said. Each time, Mr. Williams stayed quiet, determined to make it through boot camp. But as soon as Mr. Williams graduated, he reported what had happened to Air Force authorities, expecting them to jail his attacker and start an investigation. Instead, his chain of command began to complain about his performance, he said, because the rapes had left him with damaged kidneys and a torn rectum, and because he was missing too much training in order to get treatment.
He was soon forced out of the Air Force for being medically unfit, his service record shows. Today, veterans like Mr. Williams are coming forward in growing s to demand that the Department of Veterans Affairs provide treatment and compensation for the harm done to them. Some 61, veterans, including Mr. Williams, are now formally recognized by the department as having been sexually traumatized during their service, and the of claims filed each year has surged by 70 percent since Williams said.
Paul Lloyd was pushing a cart through the supermarket near his home in Salt Lake City, looking for light bulbs, when he stopped to sniff a variety of scented candles on a nearby shelf. Suddenly his hands were over his face, and he sank to the floor, sobbing. One candle smelled just like the shampoo he had been using in the shower at Army basic training in , when he was beaten and raped by another recruit.
Lloyd ed the Army National Guard at When he was assaulted in the shower one night after everyone else had gone to bed, he said, he told no one. Even when he ended up in the hospital the next day with internal bleeding and a torn rectum, and doctors asked him what had happened, Mr. During the years when Mr. Lloyd was in the Army, only 3 percent of male victims reported sexual assaults, according to Defense Department estimates.
The percentage has increased nearly sixfold since then, but the vast majority of men who are sexually assaulted still never report it. Lloyd earned top scores in marksmanship and physical fitness, and wanted a career in the military, but he said a sense of betrayal and disgust at being raped started to gnaw at him. When he was given leave for Christmas, he decided not to return.
He was taken back to boot camp and eventually discharged for misconduct. He was later able to upgrade his discharge to honorable. At home, he told no one about the attack. He stopped going to church, he said, fell into drinking and struggled to hold a job. He questioned his own sexuality. Bill Minnix was too ashamed to tell his family why he was kicked out of the Air Force in , and they were too ashamed to ask. What would people at church say? What would the neighbors think?
He had enlisted at 17, and was a few weeks into radar technician school when a group of older enlisted men and officers took some new recruits to an off-base resort. In a private bungalow, after a round of drinking, Mr.
Minnix said, the older men told the recruits it was time for their initiation. Minnix said. And we got forced into sex acts none of us wanted. Minnix struggled to make sense of what had happened in the bungalow. He found he was unable to concentrate on his work, and started to do poorly in radar school. He was desperate to get out of the Air Force. Minnix, who lives in Bend, Ore. The best thing to do was run.
Minnix deserted, was caught a week later, and then deserted again. He took the discharge. He burned through jobs and two marriages, drinking to numb his own loathing. In recent years, through counseling provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs, Mr.
Minnix has been able to come to terms with what happened. He drove his Jeep in the local Veterans Day parade in For years, when I heard the anthem or saw the parades, I would cry. I can feel like a veteran now. The few years Billy Joe Capshaw spent in the Army were the worst years of his life, he said, but to this day he wears an Army veteran baseball cap. He said it deflects unwanted questions from strangers about the marks on his face.
In , Jeffrey Dahmer was arrested and confessed to raping and killing 17 young men and boys, some of whom he then dismembered and ate. The news media soon learned that Mr. Capshaw had been Mr. Capshaw lives. At a news conference before a bank of reporters, Mr. Capshaw described the heavy-metal posters Mr. Dahmer decorated their room with, and the W. Fields jokes Mr. Dahmer liked to tell. But he did not mention the vials of lorazepam and ketamine that he said Mr. Dahmer often used to sedate him. Or the metal bar he said Mr.
Dahmer used to beat him, or the motor-pool rope to tie him down, or the scars, still visible on Mr. Dahmer trying to muffle his screams with a clenched hand. Capshaw recalled, shaking his head, in an interview this spring.Military erotic stories
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