Spokane Army Veteran Nick Richardson, Founder & President of Greater Veterans of Spokane, recently referred me to the amazing Sgt. Athena Ives.
Her autobiography, Thank You for Raping Me, is her story of her painful journey to join the Marines and serve #TeamUSA because of, not in spite of, her profound and extreme journey with sexual assault.
I am encouraged by her convictions and courage.
Here are her podcast & bio on All Marine Radio:
Sgt. Athena Ives left the Marine Corps as a decorated Sergeant in 2010. She made her living as a Combat Engineer and deployed to the city of Fallujah, Iraq in 2008 where she volunteered to work in the Marine Corps “Lioness” Program, supporting infantry operations in the city. In her newly released book entitled “Thank You for Raping Me: A Marine’s Story of Perseverance & Hope”, Athena outlines her life which includes being raped multiple times, her combat experiences, and her struggle once outside the Marine Corps to make sense of it.
The interview is raw and Athena, who is currently working towards her PhD in Forensic Psychology Research, doesn’t shy away from the traumatic events that shaped her life or her opinions about those events. Her honest voice is meant to give hope and encouragement to others who are affected by trauma — YOU CAN GET TO A BETTER PLACE, YOU DO HAVE THE STRENGTH INSIDE YOU. A quote from the jacket of Athena’s book might say it best: “Sgt. Ives’ stories illuminate how to take the worst moments in life and use them to light a fire in your soul.”
Her testimony is one I plan to read soon, but listening to her has already offered me healing & hope. POWs do not get to call 911 when heinous acts are done, nor will they ever talk about it because of their allegiance to honor, duty, and pride. Men, women, & LGBTQ-Plus all deserve to be listened to, believed, healed, and loved.
One disconnect I have as a Right Wing Maniac is what seems to me a huge delta many Americans refuse to cross between popular culture’s #MeToo and Military life’s allegiance to the Uniform Code of Military Justice.
I am not the only American to find it difficult to relate to Hollywood on many issues, but that is my own prejudice to overcome. Hollywood has an opportunity to help eliminate Veteran suicide by showing that sexual assault knows no gender.
Thank you Sgt. Athena Ives for your service. Buy her book on Amazon here:
#VetSafe #supercozy #MeToo #TeamUSA #globalstandards