Updated: Jul 9, 2020
I'm a 71 year old woman living in a VA nursing home. I am still in therapy once a week I see a Clinical Psychologist for my PTSD MST symptoms.
1976 seems a long time in the past yet I am still haunted. I was assigned to Berlin in the Cold War behind the wall the first thing I did for people signing into the company just take you upstairs in the belfry show you the throats of the mortars that would love shells at you if the balloon went up. My life expectancy was 14 seconds not very long but I had signed on the dotted line and gave my life to my country.
I was a newly minted to E6 my stripes were still wet and I was only a few weeks into having been promoted I made rank so fast it was practically miraculous I was promoted ahead of my peers, having made E6 was only two days time in service more than the minimum time of service. My enlisted evaluation reports had me leaping tall buildings, catching bullets in my teeth I'm flying with a silver cape. It was an unaccompanied tour my husband was left behind in the states for the first time. I wasn't used to socializing or drinking on my own I tried hard to make friends what's a drinking culture was horrific. I decided to only go out with the people who were directly in charge of me and I figured had the most duty to be responsible people. I went out to the Senior NCO club with both men and women. One at a time trying to get connected to the network of mover's and shakers that really ran the Brigade.
Homesteading, re-enlisting to stay in Berlin was common. My direct NCOIC had been in Berlin for 9 years in a row. I figured he was a good safe person to socialize with, his wife and kids were with him.
We went to the Club and I clearly remember having only one drink and dancing with him and some other sargeant 's. While walking me back to the women's barracks he pushed me up against a wall and ripped off my underwear and assaulted me. I tried to report it to the ER to get a rape kit done and was referred to the Brigade Psychiatrist. He diagnosed me with Failure to adjust to adult life with fantasies from reality. I was medi-vaced out of Berlin and sent to the general hospital in Frankfurt. Frankfurt's Dr thought that I could be treated there on the in patient psychiatric unit. It didn't work out that way got the first 9 while playing pool one of the other residents attempted to brain me to death with a pool cue. Another soldier rescued me from the one trying to kill me and the decision was made that it wasn't safe to keep me in Frankfurt I medivac continued on to Walter Reed Medical Center. I was sent with a senior NCO as my attendant which was very unusual Walter Reed expected my attendant to spend the night in the room with me as my special nurse so their staff wouldn't have to babysit a new psychiatric patient
Since my attendant was male this was totally not acceptable. In the morning I was shipped to Letterman Army Medical Center and admitted to in patient .... psychiatry . It was a great relief to finally escape from close quarters what's the senior NCO who had accompanied me from Berlin. I quickly settled into the unit and got along just fine following orders and participating in the routine of the unit. The doctor who cared for me decided that it was the smartest thing I had ever done to leave Berlin and he was only sorry that he could not achieve any form of military Justice for me. He gave me a 30-day convalescent leave to spend with my husband and then I returned to Frankfurt and the replacement company. I was still on orders to go to Berlin and I simply refuse to take them when I got to the replacement company I had met an E6 on my trip from the airport to the replacement company and knew that he was going to be assigned to a different place in West Germany and I decided to go with him. We both went to Baumholder and I have never forgotten how much pain I was in in Berlin because of the way the Army treated me when I tried to report my assault.
Thank You for your support in reading this history of mine.
US ARMY VETERAN