Taking a Stand

By Sue Kaszynski

I have always been an outspoken mouthy individual. Even as a kid I didn’t hesitate to argue with authority figures if I felt I was right. For some reason I never got into trouble for it. I’m not sure if it was because I only did it when I knew I was right, or because of the confidence I had, or if it was just my general personality. I was always considered someone not to mess with. I would beat up bullies. It didn’t matter if the bully was a kid or an adult .i fought for the underdog.

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When I joined the Corps ( I was a little older than normal, I was 21).
Even when I was in the Corps I tend to really stand up against anyone trying to bully me or harass me. I had an officer call me in his office and offered to help me get promoted which I politely declined and left. He tried this a couple times and finally came into the office where I was at and ordered the Sgt out of the room and ordered me up to his BOQ That night to “watch television” or he would write me up an every conceivable charge he could think of. I informed him he left me no choice I would come up but it couldn’t be that night it would have to be the next night. He wanted to know what was so important that I couldn’t come up and a very sweet voice I told him, it’s easy sir I need to write your wife a letter and tell her what you’re doing”. He
left the office and never bothered me again. As he rotated out he came up to me to apologize for his behavior and I ripped him a new one I actually had the man in tears. I informed him that had I given in it would’ve been tantamount to rape and how would he feel if somebody done that to his wife or his daughter. That he was abusing his power and that was conduct unbecoming an officer and that he should be beyond ashamed of himself. I like to think he never harassed anyone else again.

I had a Gunny at another base who was a piece of work to everyone, male or female. Him and I definitely locked horns on more than one occasion. Thankfully the Master Sgt heard one of the worse exchanges and when Gunny threatened me ( granted I had him by the throat up against a wall) the Master Sgt came out and called the Gunny out and said if I hadn’t just nailed him the Master Sgt would have. Later the Gunny informed me that he was going to do everything in his power to make me miscarry ( I was already a high risk pregnancy). I requested MAST which he tried to refuse ( again the guy was a piece of crap). I went into my LT office and told him we had a problem. Informed him what was occurring with the Gunny and stated that if he succeeded that I would end up in the brig because I would kill the SOB. Not a threat but a solemn promise. Just then Gunny burst into the office and threatened to write me up for jumping chain of
command and that my ass was his. LT looked at him, then me, then back at him. Informed him that he had called me into his office, that the gunny was in a world of hurt for bursting into his office and that he would deal with him later. He also ordered him to go to his office and not to leave it until he was called for. LT then called the commanding general, told him we had a situation and that there was a Marine whose life was in danger and they had to get me off base.
The CG called my husband’s command (120 miles away) and instructed them to send him to get me immediately. The LT called in another MP and instructed him to take me around to do an
emergency mustering out with instructions that if the gunny approached me that he was to get one warning to stop and back off and if he didn’t the MP was to shoot to kill. I was ordered never
to have contact with anyone from base as they were afraid he would find me.

While I regret and I miss some wonderful friends I was very fortunate in that I had a superior officer who believed me. Personally I also think he was afraid that if I did miscarry I would without hesitation have killed the man.

So through everything that I have gone through for whatever reason I have just kept coming out stronger. That isn’t to say I hadn’t developed some less than desirable coping skills ( creating
and maintaining chaos was one along with being a major control freak). Once I got older, was in a safe relationship ( God I love my husband) and was able to really stop and look and reflect I
realized what I needed to do in my life.

So in the next blog how Sue managed to live in a screwed up life ( we all live in screw ups, chaos, and ongoing growing pains)

Sue is a licensed therapist. Marine Veteran and Freelance writer for this blog. She has Dysautonomia, Ehlers and a number of other autoimmune disorders. She writes about her life, her struggles and most of all her fight to stay positive and never give up. She gives of her time freely despite various health issues to help veterans and anyone in need.