There are millions of military brats — Senator John McCain is probably the most famous. But there are many of us just ordinary folk who were born in military hospitals and spent our entire childhood on military bases all over the world. This is a story about two years when I was a kid in Hawaii. Living on a military base one would think that this would be one of the safest places in the world. Military bases are just little worlds, with different rules and the evil ones manage to manipulate the rules just like they would if there lived in the Civilian world.
Way back 45 years ago the military was fighting the cold war. Everything was black and white and we knew who the enemies were — the bad communists. There was the USSR — Red Russia, Red China and North Korea. So the men were deployed for 6 months keeping America safe and the wives and family stayed at home on military bases, living in military housing. That’s when the rapes started. The men were gone and one man knew exactly which houses he could invade and violate the house wife.
At first the military police announced that the local civilians who worked on base were being questioned.
I was about 10 or 11 and I have no idea what rape was — except that it was something violent that done to a woman by a man. There was no way to identify who the rapist was way back then. We kids knew which woman had been the latest victim of this bad man — because the victim was often hysterical and she needed a lot of emotional support from the other women. It was obvious that this evil man knew which houses had the missing husbands. I also remember that a few women refused to report the rapes — and I always heard the reason for not reporting the rapes was — rape and re-raped. Meaning that the way the military police and the officers handled the victims was exactly like a re-rape.
Next we heard that all enlisted men on base were being questioned. Then we waited and waited and the rapes continued.
One of our neighbors was a target — but she managed to scare the rapist off by putting every pot and pan and dish she had in front of the screen and door of the place the rapist was using to enter the homes. When he pushed open the screen the pots and pans made a huge racket and the rapist ran. I remember her description of the man who ran away — he was dressed all in black and he ran toward the center of the base. (He was running toward officer territory.) Base housing is a small community — we knew each other — wives meet over coffee and talk, kids play together and go to school together. Each rape was horrible for the woman, her children and for her friends who did their best to help her and support her. And each women knew that she could be next — and often she was. The true number of this man’s crimes were probably huge — because he knew he could get away with it. We know today that most rapists are serial rapists — that is a few men are doing most of the rapes. Kids pick up on the emotions of adults — we didn’t understand the details and no one told us exactly what happened. But we knew that the women weren’t lying or making it up. We knew the victims and often her kids were classmates or friends. One man was responsible but the US Navy and the whole command structure of the military was also responsible.
The rapist never tried to break into our house — because we had a dog who barked. Important life lesson — always have a dog who will bark. All you need is a warning and a brave dog. Any house with a dog was skipped.
If you are following this mystery story — it is obvious that the rapist has inside knowledge and he knows the rules of the base and exactly how to break the rules. What is now obvious to me is that this guy also had access to the keys to the houses — probably he had a copy of the master keys to the base housing. He also had access to a list of houses with missing men and perhaps a list of houses with dogs.
Suddenly the rapes stopped — the men returned and some of the idiot males beat their wives. Real manly men — idiot jerks. I witnessed some of the beatings myself and always felt guilty that I did nothing to help the women being beaten by their bastard husbands. But I know that a small child could never go up against an enraged animal.
What I learned later is that the rapist was an officer and that he had a history of raping. When he was caught he was shipped out to another base — throwing out the trash to an unsuspecting Navy base. Someone was at a base where he had been busy — anyway that is the story. If there was any legal action taken against this guy — it was done in secret and none of his victims were called to testify. He just up and disappeared — leaving behind a vast path of damage.
That was decades ago when I was a kid living on a military base. But not a whole hell of a lot has changed.
Democracy NOW has an interview posted with the director and two subjects of this movie about rape in the military. Officers raping, other officers covering for the rapists. And the women are punished for reporting the crime of rape. Not a whole hell of a lot has changed. All of the officers who help cover up the rapes are guilty of accessory to rape — they help and assist and hold the coats of the rapist — it is like a vicarious rape for the ones who aid and assist rapist to get away with their crimes. Abuse of power — abuse of rank — why are these bastards still in the military?
Kori Cioca, formerly served in the U.S. Coast Guard, where she was beaten and raped by her supervisor and then charged with adultery because he was married. Cioca is one of the main subjects of the new documentary, The Invisible War.
Trina McDonald,was drugged and raped repeatedly by the military police on her remote Naval station in Adak, Alaska. McDonald is one of the subjects of the new documentary, The Invisible War.
Kirby Dick, Academy Award-nominated filmmaker and director of The Invisible War, which just won the Audience Award at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah.