Timeline of Veteran Suicides, Legislative Efforts, and Nationwide Negligence at the Department of Veterans Affairs

Military Sexual Trauma – The New Face of PTSD (2007):

The Other PTSD – Sexual Abuse of Women in the Military -NBC Nightly News (May 4, 2007)

NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams Featured ‘The Other PTSD: Sexual Abuse of Women in the Military’ (MJFA, May 4, 2007)

Joshua Omvig Veterans Suicide Prevention Act (2007):

The House debates the Joshua Omvig Veterans Suicide Prevention Act, which directs the VA to develop and implement a comprehensive program to reduce the incidence of suicide among veterans. The bill is named for an Iraq veteran who took his own life, and recognizes the special needs of veterans suffering from PTSD and elderly veterans who are at high risk for depression and experience high rates of suicide. -Rep Leonard Boswell (October 23, 2007)

President George W. Bush Signed the Joshua Omvig Veterans Suicide Prevention Act Into Law (MJFA, November 5, 2007)

The Number One Problem Combat Vets Will Face is Mental Health (2007):

Paul Sullivan of Veterans for Common Sense tells Armen Keteyian that the No. 1 problem facing vets of Afghanistan and Iraq will be mental health. -CBS News (November 13, 2007)

The Veteran Suicide “Epidemic” (CBS News, November 13, 2007)

Veterans Who Get Help at VA Are Still at Risk of Suicide (2008):

CBS News first reported on the staggering number of veteran suicides in a report last year. Now, newly-released data shows that vets who get help from the VA are still at risk. -CBS (March 20, 2008)

Suicides Seen Among Vets Treated By VA (CBS News, March 20, 2008)

Seven Vets Under VA’s Care Died by Suicide in Washington (2008):

They served their country honorably but after risking their life in combat abroad, coping with coming home was too much. In the last three months seven servicemen being treated by Spokane’s VA Hospital have committed suicide. -4 News Now (April 29, 2008)

Army National Guardsman Spc. Timothy Juneman Died by Suicide; Family Shares Imminent Redeployment to Iraq ‘Major Stressor’ (March 5, 2008)

Senator Patty Murray Alleges VA Cover-up of Veteran Suicide (2008):

Despite recent efforts by the Veterans Administration to prevent veteran suicide, seven have committed suicide in the Inland Northwest in the last four months and US Senator Patty Murray is calling the situation unacceptable. -4 News Now (May 1, 2008)

Murray Assails Top VA Official over Vets Suicide Cover-Up (Senator Patty Murray, April 23, 2008)

“The Betrayal Issues Are Really Deep” (2009):

Katie Couric investigates an alarming trend in the U.S. military, as more and more female soldiers have come forward with tales of sexual abuse at the hands of male soldiers and superior officers. -CBS (March 17, 2009)

Sexual Assault Permeates U.S. Armed Forces (CBS News, March 17, 2009)

Continue reading

Forbidden, Dying for Love: Six Active-Duty Military Homicide Cases Featured on Investigation Discovery

An Officer, Not a Gentleman:

ID Go: A Filipino woman falls for a married US Navy Officer who will do anything to keep his mistress and his money. -An Officer, Not a Gentleman, Forbidden: Dying for Love (S1,E4)

Forbidden, Dying for Love Premiered ‘An Officer, Not a Gentleman’ on ID: Navy Chief John Bench Chooses Adultery & Murder Over Divorce (January 22, 2016)

The Sergeant and the School Girl:

ID Go: When high school senior Michelle Miller joins the Future Soldiers program, she sees it as the first step to realizing her dream of enlisting in the Army. But a forbidden affair with her recruiter risks her career in the Army, and her future itself. -The Sergeant and the Schoolgirl, Forbidden: Dying for Love (S2,E1)

Forbidden, Dying for Love Premiered ‘The Sergeant & the Schoolgirl’ on ID: Army Reserve Recruiter Adam Arndt Preys On & Seduces 17-Year-Old Student (January 6, 2017)

The Girl with the Gold Earring:

ID Go: A young mom falls for a married military man after a chance meeting at his naval base. -The Girl with the Gold Earring, Forbidden: Dying for Love (S2,E8)

Forbidden, Dying for Love Premiered ‘The Girl with the Gold Earring’ on ID: Navy Sailor Zachary Littleton Murders to Hide Adultery (February 24, 2017)

Love is a Battlefield:

ID Go: A young Army recruit enlists with dreams of serving her country. What she doesn’t expect is to find love with a commanding officer in her platoon. The two battle to keep their forbidden affair secret but can they defeat the enemy within? -Love is a Battlefield, Forbidden: Dying for Love (S3, E1)

Forbidden, Dying for Love Premiered ‘Love is a Battlefield’ on Investigation Discovery: Army Spc. Kamisha Block Dies in Murder-Suicide in Iraq (March 13, 2018)

Onward, Christian Soldier:

ID Go: While her husband serves in the army, a lonely married mother of three finds comfort in the arms of her church’s charismatic new minister. But danger looms in the form of a jealous love-rival that will stop at nothing to scare her away. -Onward, Christian Soldier, Forbidden: Dying for Love (S4,E4)

Forbidden, Dying for Love Premiered ‘Onward, Christian Soldier’ on ID: Fort Bragg Army MSgt William Wright Admitted Murdering Wife (June 29, 2019)

Love is War:

ID Go: A decorated marine faces war at home when he falls for a married woman. Suspicion and jealousy plague their affair as they battle to keep their secret from their spouses but with the stakes so high it’s a truth they’ll stop at nothing to hide. -Love is War, Forbidden: Dying for Love (S4,E8)

Forbidden, Dying for Love Premiered ‘Love is War’ on Investigation Discovery: Marine Archie O’Neil Jr. Shoots Mistress at Camp Pendleton After Fight (July 27, 2019)

Editor’s note: With a cable subscription, you can download the free ID Go app and watch Investigation Discovery programming at your convenience. And for those who do not have cable, you can watch “unlocked” episodes on the ID Go app including the latest premieres. For those who prefer commercial free programming during your binge session, Prime Video has an ID channel: ‘True Crime Files by Investigation Discovery” available for $3.99 a month. It’s a compilation of older seasons but totally worth the cost if you are a true crime addict. Download the ID Go app or purchase ID True Crime Files & binge away.

Related Links:
About the Show | Forbidden: Dying for Love | Investigation Discovery
An Officer, Not a Gentleman | Forbidden: Dying for Love | Investigation Discovery (S1,E4)
An Officer, Not a Gentleman | Forbidden: Dying for Love | Investigation Discovery (website)
An Officer, Not a Gentleman | Forbidden: Dying for Love | Investigation Discovery (Amazon)
The Sergeant & the Schoolgirl | Forbidden: Dying for Love | Investigation Discovery (S2,E1)
The Sergeant & the Schoolgirl | Forbidden: Dying for Love | Investigation Discovery (website)
The Sergeant & the Schoolgirl | Forbidden: Dying for Love | Investigation Discovery (Amazon)
An Officer, Not a Gentleman | Forbidden: Dying for Love | Investigation Discovery (S1,E4)
An Officer, Not a Gentleman | Forbidden: Dying for Love | Investigation Discovery (website)
An Officer, Not a Gentleman | Forbidden: Dying for Love | Investigation Discovery (Amazon)
Love is a Battlefield | Forbidden: Dying for Love | Investigation Discovery (S3, E1)
Love is a Battlefield | Forbidden: Dying for Love | Investigation Discovery (website)
Love is a Battlefield | Forbidden: Dying for Love | Investigation Discovery (Amazon)
Onward, Christian Soldier | Forbidden: Dying for Love | Investigation Discovery (S4,E4)
Onward, Christian Soldier | Forbidden: Dying for Love | Investigation Discovery (website)
Onward, Christian Soldier | Forbidden: Dying for Love | Investigation Discovery (Amazon)
Love is War | Forbidden: Dying for Love | Investigation Discovery (S4,E8)
Love is War | Forbidden: Dying for Love | Investigation Discovery (website)
Love is War | Forbidden: Dying for Love | Investigation Discovery (Amazon)

Fear Thy Neighbor Premiered ‘A Killer View’ on ID: Neighborhood Dispute Between Clyde Reddicks and Jeffrey Flaugher Turns Deadly (August 1, 2019)

ID Go: A young family builds their dream home in the Kentucky Hills, but their heaven is hell for the quiet couple living next door. And a dispute over a shared road leads to fireworks, fury, and cold-blooded murder. -A Killer View, Fear Thy Neighbor (S6,E1)

On July 16, 2004, decorated Vietnam veteran Clyde Reddicks fatally shot Jeffrey Flaugher and Teresa Leadingham in their Grayson, Kentucky home after a sustained campaign of neighborhood disputes and gaslighting. Reddicks was facing the death penalty for capital murder but in July 2006 opted to plead guilty, but mentally ill to two counts of first-degree manslaughter, one count of second-degree burglary, and three counts of first-degree wanton endangerment. Clyde Reddicks was sentenced to 18 years for each manslaughter count, with the terms to run concurrently, ten years for the burglary charge, and seven years for the wanton endangerment counts which run consecutively with the manslaughter term. Clyde Reddicks died of cancer after serving just six years in prison.

Post Traumatic Stress is not a justification for murder.” -Det. Robert Garnes, Kentucky State Police (A Killer View, Fear Thy Neighbor)

YouTube:

A Killer View, Fear Thy Neighbor, Cream Productions (July 29, 2019)

A Killer View | Fear Thy Neighbor | Cream Productions (July 31, 2019)

A Killer View | Fear Thy Neighbor | Cream Productions (August 1, 2019)

Editor’s note: With a cable subscription, you can download the free ID Go app and watch Investigation Discovery programming at your convenience. And for those who do not have cable, you can watch “unlocked” episodes on the ID Go app including the latest premieres. For those who prefer commercial free programming during your binge session, Prime Video has an ID channel: ‘True Crime Files by Investigation Discovery” available for $3.99 a month. It’s a compilation of older seasons but totally worth the cost if you are a true crime addict. Download the ID Go app or purchase ID True Crime Files & binge away.

Related Links:
Teresa Ann Criswell (1974-2004)
Jeffery Lynn “Bub” Flaugher, Jr (1978-2004)
Clyde “Junior” Reddicks, Jr (1944-2012)
Neighbor Feud Ends In Murder
Vietnam flashbacks blamed in murders
Clyde Reddicks pleads guilty to lesser charges
Couple sentenced in neighbors’ deaths
Parade Lawsuit Settled
Eastern Ky. man settles with city, county over parade ban
Clyde Reddicks, Jeffrey “Bub” Flaugher: Watch ‘Fear Thy Neighbor A Killer View,’–Vietnam Vet, Fireworks Feud In Kentucky
A Killer View | Fear Thy Neighbor | Investigation Discovery (Teaser)
A Killer View | Fear Thy Neighbor | Investigation Discovery (Teaser 2)
A Killer View | Fear Thy Neighbor | Investigation Discovery (Fireworks & Fury)
A Killer View | Fear Thy Neighbor | Investigation Discovery (S6,E1)
A Killer View | Fear Thy Neighbor | Investigation Discovery (website)
A Killer View | Fear Thy Neighbor | Investigation Discovery (Amazon)
Fear Thy Neighbor: 23 Veteran Cases Featured on Investigation Discovery

Simple Kindness: Easy Ways to Repay Our Veterans for Their Service (July 31, 2019)

DeployOrg.com.png

(Image courtesy of Pexels)

Guest post by Kelli Brewer, DeployCare.org

Simple Kindness: Easy Ways to Repay Our Veterans for Their Service 

It can be very difficult for the average American, especially those with no military experience, to appreciate the mental, physical, and financial impact that years of military service can have. The situation comes into focus when you consider that there are more than 1.3 million men and women on active duty, with more than 800,000 in the country’s reserve forces.

Post-traumatic stress disorder, family problems, and lack of employment opportunities can place a huge obstacle in the way of returning service members who just want things to return to normal. Unfortunately, it’s often not that easy, especially for those who return with debilitating injuries. If you’re looking for a way to help out, here are a few ideas.

Say ‘Thank You’

The Vietnam War experience taught Americans that returning service members can be seriously affected by the nature of their return. If it’s critical or indifferent, veterans may feel unsupported and unappreciated. And while today’s military personnel typically don’t face the kind of harsh criticism that confronted Vietnam-era servicemen and servicewomen, they can still be powerfully impacted by a lack of support and understanding. If you want to help a veteran, acknowledge their service by shaking their hand or offering a sincere “Thank you.”

The Health Care They Need

Veterans, particularly seniors, need to understand how their health insurance works. For those enrolled in Medicare Part A or B, there are several out-of-pocket costs, and to complicate matters further, plans often change from year to year. Fortunately, you can enroll in a Medigap plan, which may provide more of the benefits you need. For example, Plan F covers the deductible that comes with Medicare Part B, though certain changes to this particular benefit will go into effect beginning in 2020. Knowing your coverage and understanding how Medicare functions is essential for getting the most out of your coverage.

Help Veterans Reintegrate Socially

A soldier who returns home without a job or without access to social services may feel lost and alone. Consider organizing an event for returning service members, perhaps schedule an evening at the movies, an informal dinner setting, or get together every week at a nearby coffee shop. Make it a venue where everyone can talk about their experiences, hopes, and frustrations.

If you have a relationship with a veteran, offer to help out in specific ways. For example, if your friend has trouble scheduling a medical or therapy appointment, reach out by offering to babysit or offer to give them a ride if they lack transportation. There are many ways to volunteer, just by making efforts of simple goodwill.

Finding Work

Veterans often find that the skills they learned in the military don’t translate well into steady employment once they’re discharged. That can be especially true of veterans who lack a degree or some form of higher education. If you’re a business owner or have access to human resources personnel at work, why not put in a good word for a veteran who’s having trouble latching on somewhere? Your company will earn tax credits for hiring veterans. Sometimes, a foot in the door is all a veteran needs to impress a prospective employer.

Be a Willing Listener

You don’t have to be close friends with a service member who just needs a sympathetic ear. Give a veteran an opportunity to share their experiences. You really don’t need to say much, just be present in the moment and listen without judging or criticizing. It’s a simple but important gesture because many have no one to talk to, no outlet for their frustrations and anxieties.

Simple gestures are sometimes the best way to help veterans, service members, and their families. Be willing to provide the kind of support and assistance you’d offer to anyone. It’ll make you feel great and it’s a great way to thank our military heroes for their service. 

Forbidden, Dying for Love Premiered ‘Love is War’ on Investigation Discovery: Marine Archie O’Neil Jr. Shoots Mistress at Camp Pendleton After Fight (July 27, 2019)

ID Go: A decorated marine faces war at home when he falls for a married woman. Suspicion and jealousy plague their affair as they battle to keep their secret from their spouses but with the stakes so high it’s a truth they’ll stop at nothing to hide. -Love is War, Forbidden: Dying for Love (S4,E8)

Editor’s note: With a cable subscription, you can download the free ID Go app and watch Investigation Discovery programming at your convenience. And for those who do not have cable, you can watch “unlocked” episodes on the ID Go app including the latest premieres. For those who prefer commercial free programming during your binge session, Prime Video has an ID channel: ‘True Crime Files by Investigation Discovery” available for $3.99 a month. It’s a compilation of older seasons but totally worth the cost if you are a true crime addict. Download the ID Go app or purchase ID True Crime Files & binge away.

Related Links:
Love is War | Forbidden: Dying for Love | Investigation Discovery (S4,E8)
Love is War | Forbidden: Dying for Love | Investigation Discovery (website)
Love is War | Forbidden: Dying for Love | Investigation Discovery (Amazon)
Military Spouse Kimberly O’Neal Found Murdered at Camp Pendleton Park; Marine Corps Gunnery Sgt. Archie O’Neil Jr. Sentenced to Life, No Parole (February 29, 2004)
Forbidden, Dying for Love: Six Active-Duty Military Homicide Cases Featured on Investigation Discovery

Gillibrand: The Military Justice Improvement Act Would Give Service Members a Justice System That Works (July 1, 2019)

Brian Lewis MJIA.jpg

You can listen to U.S. Navy veteran Brian Lewis’ March 13, 2013 testimony to the Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Personnel here.

“Nearly 30 years ago, when George H. W. Bush was president and Dick Cheney was the secretary of defense, the Pentagon made a promise to our service members. Dozens of Navy and Marine Corps aviation officers had just been investigated for the infamous Tailhook sexual assault scandal, and America’s military leadership affirmed a “zero tolerance” policy toward sexual assault within their ranks. The military had a sexual assault problem, and pledged to solve it.

It’s painfully clear that the military has now failed at this mission by almost any metric. For years, survivor after survivor has told us the change in the system we needed to make to end this scourge — the same change that a number of our allies around the world have already made: take the adjudication of these crimes outside of the chain of command and allow trained military prosecutors to prosecute them.” Read more opinion at Military Times here.

“The Military Justice Improvement Act would take the prosecution of sexual assault and other serious crimes, such as murder, out of the chain of command. It would keep those crimes in the military justice system, but put the decision to prosecute them into the hands of actual military prosecutors who are trained to deal with complex legal issues.” –Senator Kirsten Gillbrand (Military Times, July 1, 2019)

Gillibrand Leads Bipartisan Coalition to Reform Military Justice System  -Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (May 16, 2013)

Related Links:
Pass the Military Justice Improvement Act @SenGillibrand
S. 1789: Military Justice Improvement Act of 2019
S. 1789: Military Justice Improvement Act of 2019 [Full Text]
Comprehensive Resource Center for the Military Justice Improvement Act
Sens. Cruz, Gillibrand Reintroduce Military Justice Improvement Act
Udall, Heinrich Reintroduce Military Justice Improvement Act To Address Crisis Of Military Sexual Assault
Leahy Joins Gillibrand And Others To Reintroduce Military Justice Improvement Act
Hirono Wants To Change How The Military Prosecutes Sexual Assault
Senator Martha McSally’s Responsibility to Survivors of Military Sexual Assault
McSally defends keeping military commanders involved in sexual assault cases
Gillibrand: “Status Quo” Not Working With Military Sexual Assaults
Veterans for Peace: Sexual Assault on Military Members Press Conference, Seattle, Washington (August 11, 2006)
Jamie Leigh Jones Testified at the House Judiciary Committee Halliburton/KBR Iraq Rape Case Hearing (December 19, 2007)
HOR Oversight Subcommittee on National Security & Foreign Affairs Held a Hearing on Sexual Assault in the Military (July 31, 2008)
Former Representative Bruce Braley (D-IA) Introduced the Holley Lynn James Act (April 12, 2011)
Lauterbach Case Prompts Policy Reforms for Victims of Sexual Assault in the Military (December 25, 2011)
Sexual Misconduct Allegations at Lackland AFB | C-SPAN (January 23, 2013)
Panetta Is Lifting Ban On Women In Combat Roles (NPR, January 23, 2013)
Sexual Assault in the Military, Part 1 | C-SPAN (March 13, 2013)
Sexual Assault in the Military, Part 2 | C-SPAN (March 13, 2013)
Gillibrand Leads Bipartisan Coalition to Reform Military Justice System [Full Video] | Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (May 16, 2013)
Gillibrand Builds Bipartisan Support for Change of Military Justice Code (May 16, 2013)
S. 967: Military Justice Improvement Act of 2013 – U.S. Senate Voting Record (March 6, 2014)
The war in Congress over rape in the military, explained (June 8, 2016)
Sexual Assault in the Military | C-SPAN (March 6, 2019)
S. 1789: Military Justice Improvement Act of 2019 Reintroduced by Republican Senator Ted Cruz of Texas and Democratic Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York (June 13, 2019)
Senate Armed Services Committee Members & House Armed Services Committee Members (June 21, 2019)
Gillibrand: The Military Justice Improvement Act Would Give Service Members a Justice System That Works (July 1, 2019)