The stories of female vets don't always get traction. For example, awareness of concerns like Military Sexual Trauma have recently received recognition. Yet, the experiences that women go through in the military frequently remain under the radar.
It is a teaching moment that school officials covering up Steubenville rapes were indicted on the International Day to Eliminate Violence Against Women. It is infuriating that in the year 2013 we still have to teach the teachers that rape is rape. But it must be done.
We have the power this Veterans Day to use more than words but deeds to honor veterans. Our time of service begins with acknowledging that far too many service members past and present are fighting an invisible war from PTSD and military sexual assault.
At a meeting in chambers with the judge and defense counsel, we discussed scheduling for the afternoon. The judge then looked at me and said words I'll never forget: "If he really stalked her, why isn't she crying?"
On Memorial Day we honored those who died in war. We carry forth that honor by being honorable ourselves and by helping create and sustain a military culture as an honorable place to serve, a place where people honor each other's personhood and body.
The physical and emotional toll of these deployments is a cost of war we Americans have only begun to pay, yet all too often a war-weary public tends to look the other way. But this Memorial Day we cannot look away.
We're never going to get rid of all sexual assault in the military any more than we can get rid of it in civilian life. As long as it's out here, it's going to be in there. But the military is a controlled environment and your behavior is watched and dictated.
Remember 2012 when America was awash in "legitimate rape" stories? Seems some of the networks forgot that rape is rape and that all survivors deserve justice. So to our friends in the media right and left, here is a refresher course: Rape is rape.
Why did anyone think that on a night that is supposed to honor the best of Hollywood, a town that has broken so many barriers and moved us forward in so many ways, banal sexist, racist and anti-Semitic jokes would be funny and appropriate?
Here are some more digestible categories. We're calling them the Fauxscars, and we're hoping that the phrase "Fauxscar Bait" catches. We're looking forward to you explaining that expression to Helen Mirren.
To my Isabella, as with most three-year-olds, Valentine's Day is innocence and chocolate. But for far too many women and girls in our community and around the world, Valentine's Day innocence is broken.
I urge every American to watch The Invisible War and hear the stories therein. And to those few in the position to influence this year's Oscar considerations, I urge you to consider what your vote in the documentary category can mean for America
Like the checks and balances that are currently in place for civilians, all we are asking for is the same. While civilians have various routes of redress to get justice for the crime perpetrated against them, service members are too often dependent on one person's individual discretion.
The invisible war is fought each and every day by the brave men and women in uniform who say to their peers, "enough is enough." It is fought by the survivors of military sexual assault who say, "never again."