Ariana Klay’s assignment to Marine Barracks Washington should have been the cherry on top of an already illustrious military and academic career. A National Merit scholar and superstar athlete, Klay was recruited by the Naval Academy, becoming the first member of her family to attend college. After a stint at Camp Pendleton, she served an eight-month tour in Iraq before being tapped for the prestigious base.
But shortly after her arrival, she tells The Daily Beast, the base chaplain took her aside and warned her to be careful. Within days, she says, junior Marines were calling her “slut” and “whore.” In December 2009, four months after her arrival, Klay formally requested deployment to Afghanistan. The request was denied—as were three subsequent ones. Seven months later, she says, a senior Marine officer and his friend came into her home, a block from the base, and gang-raped her. But that was just the beginning of Klay’s ordeal: because of the retaliation she says she was subjected to after reporting the rape, she fell into a deep depression, and last March she attempted suicide.
Among the documents filed on Tuesday morning is a page titled “Hurt Feelings Report.” It has a list of “reasons for filling out this report” that include: “I am a pussy;” “I have woman like hormones;” “I am a queer;” and “I am a little bitch.” At the bottom, it asks you to name the “Real Man who hurt your sensitive little feelings.” According to Burke, the document was posted to Facebook under the caption, “My Marines Crack Me Up,” last November by the base’s director of protocol. “That document is openly mocking someone who is coming forward being harassed,” Burke tells The Daily Beast. “It just shows what a mockery they make of this.”
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