A clean, well-lit place to vent
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Every Thursday, I circle up with a group of female veterans. Some of them are breaking their silence after twenty or thirty years. The grief, the shame and the outrage weighs our hearts. And yet, always, their resilience shines through, especially to each other, a community of survivors. I appreciate Melissa standing up and speaking her truth. "No one left behind" includes the sister warriors who have served under extraordinary conditions. Thank you, GBT, for giving this hidden suffering, this hidden atrocity, a voice.
Thank you for bringing the real discussion about the military that every kid — and all of us — must face to get our country on the right track. Melissa and you, GBT, are two of the very few who give me hope for America. And no, Melissa does not need a dress or to let her hair down to be gorgeous or healed. She might want that look, or wear it in unpublished Doonesbury frames, but that's up to her. It's her clear voice and steady presence that makes her extra stunning at the podium this week! Thank you once again for your support of women in the military — which ripples out to the far too many in somewhat parallel circumstances everywhere, including me.
Won't it be novel when our leaders, in the military and out, and our institutions actually live up to the last line of the Pledge of Allegiance, "with liberty and justice for all?"...
Thank you, Mr. Trudeau. On behalf of the other survivors on the MST board I frequent, we thank you for bringing our situations to the forefront. Sadly, even other military females are unaware of the rates of MST and violence. Today, especially, I am grateful for the support of your column. I am planning on committing career suicide this afternoon at a Town Hall Meeting with a distinquished guest in attendance. Strangely, they don't like answering questions about MST...
I trust this will be one of a flood of thanks and praise for the strong address of the MST atrocity. All persons deserve the right to their personal safety, respect and integrity, especially in the military. If not there, then where? My God! What does it take to be civilized?
Thank you for the work on MST. DoD must be reeling from the reality of it all. What you say is so true. My favorite comment of the week remains, "Also, what''s the food like?" Drive on!
Mel's dad: "I had no idea..." No, he's not an idiot. I was molested for eight years, beginning when I was eight. I never told my parents, and while, over the years, they may have heard a whisper, it was decades after the fact and sure as hell didn't come from me.
While serving as a combat medic in Afghanistan I was called in to give medical attention to a guy who was a known rapist. It was very difficult to force myself to let him "make it"... Thanks for the mini expose; it's an issue in the British military also.
I thank you for your work, and especially for your exposure of the issues facing female soldiers in the ranks of military all over the world. Know you are making a difference, chipping away at the culture. It ain't no easy task.
Real statistics on sexual harassment and rape in the military -- until today's strip I wasn't sure Trudeau was gonna go there but I'm really glad he did. Thanks, GBT, for standing up for women yet again.
Every time you do a B.D. strip, I am touched. Because he's the one character who has radically (and continuously) grown over time, I want to follow his progress day to day (though wisely, you parcel him out). He exemplifies the hope that we can all learn and become better people, and he's really become the heart of your strip. Dickens couldn't have done it better. Many, many thanks.
For someone who is very far removed from the war, you miraculously bring it home. I'm very touched. Hats off.
As a vet and female soldier something just tweaks me about FULL RECOVERY and the concept that "Melissa ...wearing a dress that flatters the beautiful figure visible even in her fatigue uniform" is the image of her recovery from MST. Mel is about so much more than conforming to that cliche of feminity. Guess I'll have to trust that Trudeau is about more than that, as well. He hasn't let me down so far!
Like Toggle, I feel lucky to be alive. War is very surreal. It is in another dimension, not this one. If you are in it long enough, like Ray, it is this dimension that becomes surreal, and it is hard to get back into.
I am looking forward to the day when we see Melissa in civilian clothing, with her gorgeous red hair hanging loose, wearing a dress that flatters the beautiful figure visible even in her fatigue uniform. She deserves to make a full recovery from MST.
Well done, B.D. and Ray. Classic combat humor in that last panel.
Toggle! My sparkling, shining, ever-refilling Glass Half Full! I love you so. Perfect: my man T can see so clearly with his single-vision wise eye -- more broad and bright than his compassionate compatriots with two slightly-blindered eyes.
They improvise, adapt and overcome. Well done and humble thanks to our vets.
I have been following the journeys of the vets (Mel, Ray, Toggle, B.D.) with the sort of distant warmth I might feel towards nieces and nephews I don't see very often. "You GO kids." And then I looked at the Flashbacks today -- 5 years ago -- and it hit like a stomach blow. That list will be a bit longer now. Yes, Toggle: "lucky" indeed.
Toggle's "All three of us lucky" brings tears to the eyes.