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Order a SIGNED COPY of Lisa Carrington Firmin's first book STORIES FROM THE FRONT directly from her website by clicking HERE!!

Bronze Star-decorated combat commander Colonel Lisa Carrington Firmin outlines her own experiences with military sexual trauma (MST) and recounts the stories of 13 others: veterans as well as active duty women and men who are bravely sharing their stories of sexual assault and sexual harassment while serving in the United States military. Stories from the Front authentically captures experiences and carefully tells their stories of trauma and the resilience and empowerment they display in their lives.

By including the lived experiences of a diverse group representing all military branches, ranks, eras of service, wars, races and ethnicities, from Vietnam through Iraq and Afghanistan to the present day, Stories from the Front documents how men and women suffered at the hands of their fellow sailors, coasties, airmen, soldiers, and Marines. Eerily similar in the retelling, their experiences with MST range from hazing, bullying, misogyny, and sexual harassment to sexual assault and rape. They recount their most painful experiences and open their hearts and souls to the author and to the world. Many of the book’s participants have never previously shared the full details of their MST experiences or spoken publicly before.

POETRY

Her poetry is deeply personal, an intimate reflection into the invisible wounds of MST, PTSD, trauma, hardship, and combat.

The Abyss
 6 July 2022
 by
2023 Colonel Lisa Carrington Firmin, USAF Retired

It is not a safe haven

More like an open chest wound that is bleeding out

You feel your very existence draining away

 

Facing demons of PTSD and MST

Thrust me into The Abyss, the black hole of life

The fragile space between fully living and just existing

 

I cannot allow myself to stay here

In the dark recesses of my splintered mind

Where pain, fear, guilt, and shame lie

 

Intense memories of trauma drag me down even deeper

I cannot escape that seductive siren call from the pitch-black void

It whispers just how much easier it would be to succumb

 

Trying to reconcile the past, the present with my future

Without losing myself permanently in The Abyss

Must fight to break the hold it has on me

 

The war continues in my head, heart, and soul

Some battles I win, others The Abyss screams it is the victor

Time will tell the final outcome

 

I will never give up fighting for my sanity

To exist, to live fully in the light, to be whole. For I know I am worthy

The Abyss will not take me down, it cannot win

 

 

 

Carrington Firmin LLC/www.LisaCarringtonFirmin.com

Into the Light
 
2023 Colonel Lisa Carrington Firmin, USAF (Ret)
April 2021

While the world raged against a pandemic in 2020, the first in 100 years,

     I raged against a virulent strain of testosterone filled traumas. 


While the country masked up and used antibacterial sanitizer to keep the virus at bay, 

     I lifted the mask that hid years of sexual harassment while serving my country.


While the nation underwent lockdowns and faced months of darkness to protect its citizens from the virus, 

     I came into the light, face to face with the betrayals of my fellow brothers in arms.


While scientists researched innovative new vaccines, 

     I reflected on my past military time serving alongside both professionals and hidden predators, and researched ways to heal


While businesses tried to keep people six feet apart to be safe, 

     I began learning how to let people in, closer to a heart and body that is guarded


While most were wary and complained about isolation and quarantine, 

     I felt safe hunkered down alone


While I missed my family terribly, 

     I used the lockdown ad self-isolation to begin the long road of healing that had eluded me in the past


While some courageously speak openly about military sexual trauma, 

     I could not do that until one day in 2020 after a young Army Specialist was found brutally murdered on a military base


While Vanessa Guillen anguished over reporting her sexual harassment and the retaliation it might bring, 

     I understood all too well the trepidation and fear of what reporting my own could have brought


While Vanessa's death astounded the country, 

     I was affected deep into my Latina soul and her murder became a catalyst to acknowledge my own bitter truth


While Vanessa's family mourned and demanded answers from an inept military, 

     I found my voice from their tragic loss


While the investigation into her murder revealed serious gaps within the military, 

     I discovered my  own repressed memories


While sexually assaulted in initial training, 

     I froze, tolerating more than anyone should ever have to


While relentlessly harassed early in my career,

     I will not allow those early years to define me, I am a leader, a woman, a Latina, a combat warrior, my bronze star shines bright


While other voices cry out for change within the Armed Services, 

     I join them, my mask now lifted and walk into the light


Save the Civilians
 
18 May 2021
by
 2023 Colonel Lisa Carrington Firmin, USAF Retired

All it takes is a sight, sound or a smell

to take me right back there

to Commander mode in Iraq


Never know when it might come,

that thing that takes me there

to Commander mode in Iraq


Once it came while at the airport,

heard a sound that took me back

to Commander mode in Iraq


Heard rocket and mortar fire,

took me back, I was THERE

in Commander mode in Iraq


That combat fire was all too real,

back around my troops and the enemy

in Commander mode in Iraq


My heart raced, was hyper alert, 

super focused, sweating and running

in Commander mode in Iraq


Screaming "save the civilians" in my head

cause it's time to step up and lead again

in commander mode in Iraq


Ran towards the sounds of combat,

to find it was bird shot that took me back

to Commander mode in Iraq


Frightened. All it took was a sound

to transport me right back THERE

to Commander mode in Iraq




Carrington Firmin LLC

Invisible Veteran
 
4 OCT 2021
2023 Colonel Lisa Carrington Firmin, USAF Ret
 

Do you see me?

You look beyond me and speak as if I am not even here

But I am standing right in front of you


Do you see me?

You acknowledge the male veteran next to me with your gratitude and respect

But you ignore my service and sacrifice


Do you see me?

You assume I'm someone's wife, daughter, sister, mother or grandmother

But I served too


Do you see me?

You revert to your default setting that only men are warriors

But I am a combat veteran who is also a woman


Do you see me?

You downplay my contribution, unaware that women serve

But my sacrifice and valor were equal to or greater than some men


Do you see me?

You force me to work at gaining your respect

But haven't I already earned that?


Do you see me?

You still fail to identify or recognize me, I wonder if it is deliberate or ignorance

But my invisibility as a woman vet speaks volumes, are you listening? 



Carrington Firmin LLC/LCF



MST Warrior
 
1 DEC 2021
 by
2023 Colonel Lisa Carrington Firmin, USAF ret.

I am a Military Sexual Trauma warrior

Never a victim, much more than a survivor

Owning my past jettisons me into a present and future worthy of happiness


MST happened to me, without my permission or consent

It didn't matter what I wore, how much I might have drunk

The power differential was huge, I was young, vulnerable, a nobody


Overpowered and betrayed by someone I trusted and respected

A predator took advantage, exploited my weaknesses

with no regard for my humanity


I know now it was about power not sex

MST rests alongside my pain, guilt, and shame, haunting me

But resilience emerges the strongest of them all


Astounded at how many fellow MST Warriors are out there like me

Their strength, courage emboldens me on a journey of healing and advocacy

Can no longer sit idly by, I am compelled to act


MST Warriors everywhere cry out for justice and change

Every lived experience shared brings vulnerability AND empowerment

Our stories are important. One is powerful; combined they blend like a commanding tsunami


Sharing my story and  others to make a difference on the MST Battlefield

Not broken, but beautifully crafted to emerge stronger after trauma

For I am an MST Warrior.



Carrington Firmin LLC



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