Fort Polk Guardian 04-19-2019

Viewpoint 2/ The Guardian , a civilian enter- prise newspaper, is an authorized publication for members of the U.S. Army. Contents of the Guardian are not necessarily official views of, or en- dorsed by, the U.S. Government, De- partment of Defense, Department of the Army or Fort Polk. The Guardian is published weekly by the Public Affairs Office, Joint Readiness Training Center and Fort Polk. Printed circulation is 13,000. Everything advertised in this publication shall be made available for purchase, use or patronage with- out regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, marital status, physical handicap, political affiliation or any other nonmerit factor of the purchaser, user or patron. A confirmed violation of this policy of equal opportunity by an ad- vertiser will result in the refusal to print advertising from that source. All editorial content of the Guardian is prepared, edited, pro- vided and approved by the Public Af- fairs Office, Joint Readiness Training Center and Fort Polk. The Guardian is printed by the Natchitoches Times , a private firm in no way connected with the Depart- ment of the Army, under exclusive written contract with Fort Polk. The civilian printer is responsible for com- mercial advertising. The appearance of advertising in this publication, including inserts and supplements, does not constitute en- dorsement by the Department of the Army or the Natchitoches Times of the products or services advertised. Guardian Editorial Staff Brig. Gen. Patrick D. Frank Joint Readiness Training Center and Fort Polk commanding general Col. Jarrett Thomas II Garrison commander Kim Reischling Public affairs officer Chuck Cannon Editor Jean Dubiel Angie Thorne Staff writers Editorial Offices Building 4919, Magnolia Street Fort Polk, LA 71459-5060 Voice (337) 531-4033 Fax (337) 531-1401 Email: Trading post ads: Fort Polk Homepage Advertising For advertising contact (337) 404-7242 Email: Guardian April 19, 2019 FORT POLK, LA. — Today I'd like to tell my child molestation story to help raise awareness. I said I would take it to the grave but it could’ve put me in the grave. As a child, I went through a trau- matic event that I was silent about for more than 10 years. I questioned God, family, friends, everybody's sexuality and even my own life. I can remember not liking people hug- ging me or showing affection unless I felt safe. See, I was never taught to stay away from people I knew, I was taught to stay away from strangers. I was silent because at the time I did- n't know what was going on and once I learned about what the man on top of me was doing, I felt guilt, shame and fear. I thought I would be called a liar or ridiculed so I stayed silent. I went through a lot of battles and did a lot of things I'm not proud of. Depression and suicide had my mind and addictions took my time, but through it all, I was still able to smile and touch lives. But nobody knew how heavy this was; I only allowed people to see the good in my life. I took all of my pain and turned it around to motivate and in- spire others to be bet- ter and do better. Af- ter all I went through, I forgave the man who molested me. I can say I'm at peace and it's because of the grace of God that I'm still alive today. Everything you go through will have an impact on your life whether good or bad. Regardless if it was 19 years, 3 years or last year, it was wrong and you don't just get over it. But you don't let your story con- trol your life. Talk to your kids about good touch and bad touch. That con- versation went silent over the years but the crime is still being commit- ted and no one appears before a judge. I promise telling your story won't be easy, but it's half the battle and that goes for anything you've been through. I'm telling you this because it's a burden being lifted and a chapter be- ing closed. It gives me a genuine smile knowing I can help someone and bring awareness be- cause it happens to people you know. I have helped oth- er people get their attackers in court or finally to tell the sto- ry they've been hold- ing in. No longer should anyone be silent or ashamed. I am not a victim: I am a survivor. All of us are survivors; we all have survived something or else we wouldn't be here. So support and love each other. There is power in the words you speak. To the queens of my heart, thank you for supporting this decision to tell my story and always praying for me — most days never knowing why. My best days are right in front of me because now I'm free, and this chapter is closed. You’re looking at a miracle. Feel free to share or ask questions, you never know who is going through this. Commentary By Cpl. DEVON DOUGLAS Fort Polk BOSS president Silence no way to deal with sexual abuse In our view Guardian staff asked Fort Polk community members, “What is your favorite spring bloom?” Here are their responses: Sgt. Destiny Hoff- pauir: "I'm not a gardner, but I loved my Mom's hibiscus plant. It's tropical and really pretty." Pvt. Dusty Colley: "My mom grows a plant called Naked Ladies ( also known as the Belladonna Lily). I thought the name was cool and they are a simple and beautiful plant." Spc. Quentin Brown: "I like tulips. My mother grew them and I think they are pretty." Gelisa S. Howard: "My favorite plant is the wisteria. It has a whimsical bloom and reminds me of calm and peace." Douglas, age 6 For advertising contact Theresa Larue ( ) Email: sales