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  • I am a retired licensed alcohol and drug counselor (LADC) in Connecticut currently volunteering at the Newington, CT Veteran's Administration Medical Center. While my duties at the VA are non-clinical, and it is my policy to direct what I deem "clinical concerns" to VA staff, I was recently floored when a retired female US sailor matter of factly told me of "status quo" ubiquity, pervasiveness, and upper-level acceptance of female-directed sexual harassment in the USN.

    "That's just how it is," she said.

    I found this difficult to believe, and asked a friend's wife--also a USN retiree--her opinion. Without hesitation she said, "I know there's more publicity about it lately, but believe me, it's way, way worse...way more common than anything you've heard!"

    Can this be true? And what can be done? I feel the attitude espoused in the saying: "nothing's too good for our service-people," falls far short and would be better replaced with "nothing is good enough...!" Our service-people deserve our finest. What can be done?

    I am frustrated and disillusioned.

    Respectfully yours--Ronald Biderman, LADC

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