Daily Prompt 4/17/23

Daily writing prompt
Write about a time when you didn’t take action but wish you had. What would you do differently?

One time on a deployment, I was enjoying a final drink with some coworkers who had become great friends. We were celebrating our deployment and how we had managed to not kill anyone.

To my left was this weird group of guys who were laughing and hollering. They would be quiet and leaning into something, looking down. It made no sense. So finally, one of my friends went over to the group to see what all the fuss was about. It was a group from our unit, so we knew almost everyone standing there.

When he returned, he was laughing and almost celebrating. He had a picture on his phone that he showed our group. It was this girl from our squadron, Jessica, with her shirt pulled up and her boobs out. The guys were taking pictures as she was sitting there topless, smoking. The laughing and hollering happened every time someone reached down and touched her. She was just sitting there, staring back in the picture, smiling with some random hand on her boob.

Then another friend shook his head and I asked him what was wrong. He said that Jessica had sent random sexual texts to almost every enlisted guy in the squadron, sometimes pictures of herself partially naked and sometimes pictures of her engaged in sexual acts with someone else. He said it was pornographic every time she sent a picture and he had to block her because it disgusted him and upset his girlfriend. He didn’t give Jessica his number; she got it from the squadron recall roster, same as all the other guys.

In the moment, I judged her and said horrible things about her. Obviously she wanted this attention if she was sending these pictures unsolicited. She didn’t need any help. And I didn’t want to offer her any help in the moment.

Looking back, I wish I had saved her from herself. I wish I had busted through that circle and grabbed her arm, covered her chest with her own shirt, and hustled her away. She had been drinking, although probably not enough to be anything more than tipsy. She might’ve refused to leave. The other guys might’ve been upset with me and tried to stop me. I might’ve gotten caught up in something negative.

I’ve always felt like I shirked leadership responsibility that day. I was a young officer in an aviation squadron, which are known for these overly sexualized shenanigans. I didn’t really care if a bunch of dudes thought I was a killjoy or not. She was bringing discredit to the service and our squadron and I should’ve stepped in.

When I got home, I told her supervisor. This supervisor told me that this was common behavior for her and that they were already punishing her for the pictures she’d sent. I have a feeling if it had been a dude sending the same type of pictures, the punishment would’ve been much harsher. Eventually she would usher aircraft to parking in nothing but her underwear and also get commissioned as an officer. I am sure that the lack of punishment means she had some high level sponsorship from a general. Ridiculous. She needed something to get her past all of this bizarre behavior. I hope she’s doing well and stopped doing things like this to get attention.

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