My original efforts were inspired by Carri Leigh Goodwin and the others that did not survive as a result of their service to this country. In honor of these women and men, we pledge to fight for justice on their behalf, amplify their voices, and support the families who deserve to know the truth.
In August 2007 at the age of 18 Carri Leigh Goodwin of Ohio enlisted in the United States Marine Corps to make her former Marine father proud. During her time in the Marine Corps Carri was sexually assaulted by two different men while serving, reported the crimes, and was instead discharged with a mental health diagnosis and misconduct discharge. Like the rest, she had acute PTSD from the brutal assaults that she endured. She died on February 28, 2009 from alcohol poisoning only a few days after being discharged from the US Marine Corps. Gary Noling wants to honor her and all the families who have lost their child to the sexual assault and violence epidemic in the military.
On February 20, 2009, US Air Force service member Jason Klinkenberg murdered his wife Crystal Louise Gray and then committed suicide in North Las Vegas after a stand-off with police. Jason was stationed at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada. The family believes that Jason was never the same after returning home from a deployment to Iraq in 2005. Jason was plucked from his base to be a member of Detachment 2632, a unit assembled to augment the Army and provide security for cargo trucks on Iraq’s bomb laden roads. Jason witnessed a fellow soldier die after the vehicle they were driving was struck with a rocket-propelled grenade. The family shared that Jason had Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and continued to see images of his friend in his last moments. Jason’s sister shared that Jason attempted to get help for PTSD but the Air Force called him a liar. The Air Force denied this assertion. They claimed they regularly assess for mental health issues and referred Jason to counseling off base.
“Veterans advocates like Manji Varghese say nothing excuses violence. But they say military and veterans officials too often ignore a pattern of problems that has played out again and again, with deadly results.” -Salt Lake Tribune