I joined the Marine Corps at the age of 17. I graduated high school a semester early and, with the permission of my parents, left for Parris Island on January 23rd, 2006.
I graduated from boot camp three months later on April 21, 2006 with Papa Company, Platoon 4013. I had never experienced a pride like becoming a Marine. All my hard work. All my blood and guts and sweat. It was all worth it for that title.
After I completed combat training in May, I was sent to Little Creek Naval Amphibious Base in Norfolk, VA for training in my military occupational specialty (MOS). I had joined as a tuba player for the Marine Corps band and would be attending the School of Music for 6 months of practicing, schooling, performing, and auditions.
While at the school, I found myself a victim of sexual assault by another Marine and fellow classmate. I was so ashamed of what had happened to me that I refused to tell anyone else. Everyone viewed me as a strong, independent woman, and to think that this might change their minds... I wouldn't allow it to happen.
For several days I said nothing and did nothing until another Marine noticed that I wasn't acting myself. He approached me and I told him everything that had happened. When I finished my story, he told me that a female sailor had experienced the same situation with the same Marine a few weeks earlier. I spoke with the sailor and we both decided to come forward and reveal what had happened to us. An investigation was launched. I was given an advocate to speak with and an NCIS investigator was assigned to my case.
In November 2006 I graduated from the School of Music and was stationed at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego (MCRD) in San Diego, CA. I had not heard news on my pending investigation for several weeks by the time I arrived in San Diego. I brought it to the attention of my chain at my new unit and they began to make some phone calls.
A couple days later I was called into the office of my Gunny where he gave me the news. The investigator who had been assigned to my case had messed up. The Marine who had assaulted me and the sailor had been let back into the school and had been attending classes after I left. He would be released to his duty station within the month. The system had failed me.
A couple days later however, news reached my unit that the Marine who had assaulted me had been pinned by three other female Marines with accusations of crude texts and pictures being sent to them. He was administratively separated from the Marines. Though I was glad he was no longer in the Corps, the fact that he was not given a Dishonorable Discharge really irritated me. And it does to this day.
This is the short version of my story, without getting into detail. What happened over those months of "investigating" is what fuels the trauma that makes up MST. I was ridiculed by my peers and some of my chain of command. I received no support. What happened to me was swept under the rug like it had never happened. And to top it all off, he received a slap on the wrist and told he couldn't be a Marine (though he still tells others he is).
This is not a 1 in a million story. My story is just one of 500,000 since WWII. Please donate to my cause and help support our military. If you can't support, please spread the word of what I am doing to your friends and family.
CR Impact Points
Click the VOTE button to give Maureen 100 CrowdRise Impact Points (CIPs). Vote for the Volunteers and Fundraisers that are answering the call to service, raising money for charity, and making an impact for their causes. Come back and Vote every months. CIPs can earn you the highly coveted, highly respected CrowdRise Royalty Status.
CR Impact Points
If you're seeing the grey VOTE button, you should feel great about yourself. It means you already voted for Maureen this month. Come back next month and vote again if you still love Maureen. Thanks to your vote, Maureen earned 100 CrowdRise Impact Points (CIPs). CIPs can earn you the highly coveted, highly respected CrowdRise Royalty Status.