“The Woman’s War”

Posted: March 18, 2007 in All, Blogroll, Controversy, Life, War

www.surfaceEarth.wordpress.com told me about a story in the N.Y. Times Magazine called “The Woman’s War”.  It is rather long at 16 pages, but it is a must read if you’re interested in the truth about this war.  I will post an excerpt below, but here is the link to the full article.

 http://www.nytimes.com/2007/03/18/magazine/18cover.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1&ref=magazine

The Women’s War: Behind the Story

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Resource List (March 18, 2007)

Published: March 18, 2007

On the morning of Monday, Jan. 9, 2006, a 21-year-old Army specialist named Suzanne Swift went AWOL. Her unit, the 54th Military Police Company, out of Fort Lewis, Wash., was two days away from leaving for Iraq. Swift and her platoon had been home less than a year, having completed one 12-month tour of duty in February 2005, and now the rumor was that they were headed to Baghdad to run a detention center. The footlockers were packed. The company’s 130 soldiers had been granted a weekend leave in order to go where they needed to go, to say whatever goodbyes needed saying. When they reassembled at 7 a.m. that Monday, uniformed and standing in immaculate rows, Specialist Swift, who during the first deployment drove a Humvee on combat patrols near Karbala, was not among them.

Katy Grannan for The New York Times

Amorita Randall
“Saying something was looked down upon,” says the naval construction worker who served in Iraq in 2004 and says she was raped.

Swift would later say that she had every intention of going back to Iraq. But in the weeks leading up to the departure date, she started to feel increasingly anxious. She was irritable, had trouble sleeping at night, picked fights with friends, drank heavily. ”I was having a lot of little freakouts,” she told me when I went to visit her in Washington State last summer. ”But I was also ready to go. I was like, ‘O.K., I can do this.”’

The weekend before the deployment was to start, however, Swift drove south to her hometown, Eugene, Ore., to visit with her mother and three younger siblings. The decision to flee, she says, happened in a split second on Sunday night. ”All my stuff was in the car,” she recalls. ”My keys were in my hand, and then I looked at my mom and said: ‘I can’t do this. I can’t go back there.’ It wasn’t some rational decision. It was a huge, crazy, heart-pounding thing.”

For two days after she failed to report, Swift watched her cellphone light up with calls from her commanders. They left concerned messages and a few angry ones too. She listened to the messages but did not return the calls. Then rather abruptly, the phone stopped ringing. The 54th MP Company had left for Iraq. Swift says she understood then the enormity of what she’d just done.

For the remainder of that winter, Swift hid out in the Oregon seaside town of Brookings, staying in a friend’s home, uncertain whether the Army was looking for her. ”I got all my money out of the bank,” she told me. ”I never used my credit card, in case they were trying to trace me. It was always hanging over my head.” At her mother’s urging, she drove back to Eugene every week to see a therapist. In April of last year, she finally moved back into her family’s home. Then, on the night of June 11, a pair of local police officers knocked on the door and found Swift inside, painting her toenails with her 19-year-old sister. She was handcuffed, driven away and held in the county jail for two nights before being taken back to Fort Lewis, where military officials threatened to charge her with being absent without leave. As Army officials pondered her fate, Swift was assigned a room in the barracks and an undemanding desk job at Fort Lewis.

Despite the fact that military procedure for dealing with AWOL soldiers is well established – most are promptly court-martialed and, if convicted, reduced in rank and jailed in a military prison – Suzanne Swift’s situation raised a seemingly unusual set of issues. She told Army investigators that the reason she did not report for deployment was that she had been sexually harassed repeatedly by three of her supervisors throughout her military service: beginning in Kuwait; through much of her time in Iraq; and following her return to Fort Lewis. She claimed too to be suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, a highly debilitating condition brought on by an abnormal amount of stress. According to the most recent edition of The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, used by mental-health professionals to establish diagnostic criteria, PTSD symptoms can include, among other things, depression, insomnia or ”feeling constantly threatened.” It is common for those afflicted to ”re-experience” traumatic moments through intrusive, graphic memories and nightmares.

please read more…here again is the link:

 http://www.nytimes.com/2007/03/18/magazine/18cover.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1&ref=magazine

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Comments
  1. SurfaceEarth says:

    Dear Coffegrounds:

    I knew you should be the one to post the piece. Wanted to do it myself today, but based on your earlier reads of supporting the troops while not having to support the war, I felt it was for you.

    Here’s the question after reading the 16 page article: what can we do to help? are there other support groups/resources not yet offered to those women? are there groups that are yet to be started?

  2. Manymeez says:

    Thank you surfaceEarth. I started my response to you here, but as I was typing, I could feel the passion rising within me. I couldn’t stop. I decided to post my response as a real post. Thank you for asking questions. That’s the only way we can all come together, and begin the healing of our wonderful Country!

  3. SurfaceEarth says:

    Ditto.

    I truly enjoy your blog. Please keep sharing your thoughts, it does benefit the rest of us.

    Cheers.

  4. j dumas says:

    Amorita Randall made the story up!!!

  5. Manymeez says:

    really, How do you know?

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