"In 1993, when President Bill Clinton signed the policy known as 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' into law, it represented a compromise between those who wanted to end the longstanding ban on gays serving in the U.S. military and those who felt having openly gay troops would hurt morale and cause problems within military ranks." Scott Lamky served 20 years prior to "Don't Ask. Don't Tell" and he details how the Army's culture at that time prohibited him from seeking help when he was raped by another soldier. For the first time, Scott has decided it is time to break his silence.
Military Sexual Trauma Before the, "Don't Ask. Don't Tell Era"
My name is Scott Lamky. I was in the Army from 1980 to 1983. I was a basic field medic (MOS 91B). I received my medical training down in Texas. I did pretty good in class and we spent most weekends drinking at the small bar on base. We enjoyed having a drink after a long week. This week was very different.
It was about four weeks or so into my six-week program we went to a club for enlisted men. Things were going fine as we met some new people. We starting talking about doing some bar hopping, and I was game. I was excited to try something, and be able to get off base. This was the first time I had been away from Michigan and was excited to experience new things and meet new people from a variety of backgrounds. This week was very different. This week I was : Identified, Observed, Targeted, Isolated, Manipulated, Drugged, Kidnapped,
Tied Up, then Brutally Tortured and Violently Raped.
We made it to the first bar, and it appeared not to have too many G.I. Joes (you can tell by the hair cut). I hated drinking beer, and one of the guys who rode down with us recommended I try a Long Island Ice Tea. I’ve never tried it, and not knowing what was in it I downed my first one in about 2 minutes. I drank my second Long Island Ice Tes just as quickly as the first. By my third one, I was starting to feel it, but I was having a great time; cracking jokes and living it up on the dance floor. We went to another bar, and I ordered another Long Island, but I was barely with it at this point. That’s when we started doing shots. At that point, I don’t even remember leaving the bar.
When I finally came (in) to (consciousness), I was completely naked with G.I Joe’s mouth around my dick. It took me a few seconds to realize what was happening, and I immediately reacted. Pushing and fighting past him. I found my clothes in a pile all while he was trying to tell me to calm down. I remember him saying, “It seemed like you were having fun; you can’t tell anyone or they’ll kick you out of the army; you’re just a brand new private, do you think they’ll believe you?” Nothing of what he said mattered to me, I just knew I needed to get out of there. I
thought he was going to kill me when he tried to stop me from getting out that door.
Once I got outside it was still dark, and I was just walking around completely freaked out. That’s when the pain started in my rectum. My legs were cramping and sore. I was scared, embarrassed, and hurt. Then I saw G.I. Joe’s car driving slowly as if he was out searching for me. I immediately hid under a tree and waited for him to drive by. Worrying that he would come back; I grabbed a weapon that I found. It could have been a steal pipe, but I honestly don’t remember. I just knew there was no way in hell I would get inside that vehicle with him.
At some point a couple of locals noticed me wandering aimlessly, and asked if I needed help. Part of me wishes I told them what actually happened to me, maybe it would have turned out differently, but I just told them I was lost and needed to get back to base. They dropped me off at the guards' shack and when I finally got back to my barracks room it was only just starting to get light out.
The first thing I did was head to take a shower, I don’t know how long I stayed in the shower; just standing under that water and crying. If I was at home I would have got through two ranks of hot water. That’s when the flashbacks started and I was finally understanding why I was in so much pain; why my legs were so sore. I was tied up, had foreign objects inserted into my body, all while being bent over a chair not able to move. The bleeding and pain from chronic fissures are a dailly painful reminder each time I sit on the toilet. That has plagued me since. The horrific recurring nightmares that keep me up and afraid to go back to sleep are so violent my wife became afraid to sleep in the same room with me.
In 1980, the Army policy was different. When I enlisted, you had to sign a statement, and swear that you were not a homosexual during your physical. There was a zero tolerance towards participating in any homosexual act and they didn’t care if that act was consensual or not. You would be kicked out of the Army, you would be shown the door. The help would have been outside the army facility. I knew at that point I only had three options. One: report it, and get kicked out. Two: kill myself because of the shame and embarrassment or three: never mention it. For 38 years I suffered alone. The things that happened to me when I was just 8 months out of high school. Set me on a course that led me to withdraw from most everything. I rarely trusted anyone during my lifetime. The shame I kept bottled up has harmed my entire life. I am finally giving voice to it and I won't be silent any longer.
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