Wednesday, September 11, 2019

ETHAN HANSON, 29: ENLISTED IN THE MARINE CORPS, ASSAULTED IN 2014

Harrowing piece about sexual assault of men in the military. Still, my friends and I are either too gay -- or too callous -- to understand exactly what constitutes "assault" in the case of Ethan.


Dave Philipps writes:
ETHAN HANSON HAS AVOIDED TAKING SHOWERS since he left the Marine Corps in 2014. Instead, he runs an inch and a half of warm water in a bathtub, then rinses quickly with a plastic cup, with each splash evoking a painful moan. 
“When I do come into contact with steam, hot water, anything that makes my skin slippery,” he said as he looked around the bathroom in his house in Austin, Minn., “honestly, it makes me want to vomit.”

Mr. Hanson was one of a group of Marine recruits who were sexually assaulted in the showers during boot camp at Camp Pendleton, Calif. Like many of the sexual assaults on servicemen, it was a hazing exercise, meant to humiliate and intimidate young troops.

According to a RAND Corporation study, one in three men who are sexually assaulted in the military describe the offense as hazing or bullying — twice the rate reported by women who are sexually assaulted.

It happened to Mr. Hanson after an exhausting morning running the obstacle course. The platoon was showering when a drill instructor marched into the steamy room, angry that he had heard talking. He ordered the 60 naked recruits to pack themselves into a tight line against the wall, genitals pressed up against backsides. After holding them in that position for several minutes, he ordered them to run to the other side of the room and line up again, then back to the first side.


“It was back and forth for more than an hour,” Mr. Hanson said.

In the following days, several of the recruits reported the episode to their chain of command, and the drill instructor was prosecuted. Mr. Hanson has a copy of the Marine Corps investigative report confirming that the episode took place.

Mr. Hanson graduated from basic training and tried to move on, but soon afterward he saw a Marine dressed like the drill instructor, and had a panic attack.

He told his superiors that he was suicidal, and was sent to a Navy hospital. But when his mental health did not improve after four weeks, the Marine Corps forced him out of the service, noting on his discharge papers that it was for “failure to adapt to military life.”

“It’s their way of saying, it’s my fault, not theirs,” Mr. Hanson said of the discharge. “If I was injured in training, they would have to treat me and compensate me. But they said this was a pre-existing condition.”

The Department of Veterans Affairs has since formally recognized his case as one of service-connected sexual trauma.
I get that what happened is not normal and could have been quite humiliating. But one friend thinks they must be leaving details out -- were the genitals pressed INSIDE butts? I, on the other hand, couldn't help but wonder if Hanson was traumatized because he liked it. I only say this because if I had to do that with 100 naked women I would not think of it as sexual at all -- just embarrassing and stupid, as is most hazing. But I still wouldn't think of it as sexual assault.

Please feel free to comment on the main page. Interested in others' thoughts.

Read the full piece HERE.


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