Van Orden wrote about exposing male lieutenant’s genitals to female officers in 2015 book

Derrick Van Orden

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT) — Derrick Van Orden, the Republican running for Wisconsin’s 3rd Congressional District, bragged in a 2015 book that he exposed a male lieutenant’s enlarged scrotum to unsuspecting female officers.

Van Orden, a retired Navy SEAL, wrote about the incident in his book, “Book of Man: A Navy SEAL’s Guide to the Lost Art of Manhood.”

Van Orden, who lives in Hager City, Wis., is running against U.S. Rep. Ron Kind (D-La Crosse).

In the book, he described a training mission in which he and other SEALS had to contend with poison oak, which causes breathing problems and swelling, including on the testicles.

Van Orden wrote about a male lieutenant who was exposed to poison oak and taken to Balboa Naval Hospital in San Diego for treatment.

“Here’s this lieutenant sitting behind a little curtain, spread eagle, (scrotum) huge as a cantaloupe, and his eyes swollen nearly shut,” Van Orden wrote. “That’s when I spotted two ensigns, who happened to be young girls in their early twenties.”

“‘Excuse me,’ I said to the two cute girls, approaching them. ‘Could I ask you something'”

“‘Sure,’ one of them answered.”

“After walking them over to the outside of the lieutenant’s location, I whipped the curtain back. ‘Have you ever seen anything like this?’ I asked. They gasped in horror as they saw the LT in all of his glory. I’m sure they never wanted to have anything to do with a man ever again.”

Van Orden said in a statement described the incident as medical training, writing that he was fulfilling his duty as a Special Operations Independent Duty Corpsman to train other military servicemembers in medical diagnostics and procedures.

“Regarding the single vignette referenced from the 230 pages of the book, I was instructing two junior Medical Corps officers in recognition and treatment for an advanced case of contact dermatitis involving the airway of another Navy SEAL who was exposed to poison oak over a period of five days during a Special Reconnaissance training mission,” Van Orden said. “I discussed the treatment modalities used to approach the problem set and the pharmacological interventions utilized to ensure that the SEAL officer could maintain a patent airway.”

The book does not indicate that the women were providing medical attention to either men, instead saying they were caught off guard.

Kind described the incident as “sexual harassment.”

“His sexual harassment detailed in his book is not something to brag about, it’s something to be condemned. It’s outrageous and wrong,” Kind said. “These aren’t the values I was raised with here in Wisconsin and it’s not how my wife and I raised our two sons to treat others. This is not the behavior of someone who should be representing Wisconsin in Congress.”

Democratic Party of Wisconsin spokesperson Courtney Beyer described Van Orden’s actions and response as “deeply disturbing.”

“That he chose to brag about sexually harassing women demonstrates his inability to represent Wisconsinites in Congress with integrity,” Beyer said. “This behavior is absolutely unacceptable and disqualifying of anybody running for public office.”