Stars and Stripes: Why is Fort Hood the Army’s Most Crime-Ridden Post? (August 21, 2020)

#IAmVanessaGuillen

by Rose Thayer

Keeping Track

“In the last five years, 165 soldiers assigned to Fort Hood have died, according to the Fort Hood Public Affairs Office, which regularly released information on soldiers’ death until a 2018 decision to stop the practice. The post was an outlier in this level of transparency.

In those years, seven soldiers died by homicide, while six died in a combat zone. The deaths of 70 soldiers were ruled suicides, and on- and off-base accidents resulted in the deaths of 60 soldiers.”

(Army Soldiers at Fort Hood in Texas Are Dying at Alarming Rates Stateside (January 1, 2016 to Present) *we missed close to 25 deaths because Fort Hood stopped issuing press releases for the death of soldiers in early 2018)

Asking for a Solution

Air Force veteran Jennifer Norris believes Fort Hood’s current situation has been years in the making.

For the past decade, Norris, a trained social worker with a master’s degree in public policy, has been tracking crimes committed by and against service members and advocating for reform. She posts her research on her website, Military Justice for All.

She first focused her research on several large military bases, but after noticing a trend of Fort Hood deaths, Norris narrowed her efforts to the Texas post.

‘I didn’t set up to go after Fort Hood at all. It’s a compilation of systematic issues,’ she said.

At the end of 2017, Norris used her own money to travel from her home in Maine to Washington to meet with lawmakers. By the time she got home, Norris said she thought everyone had moved on without intending to address the problems.

‘The other bases are nothing like Fort Hood is right now,’ she said. ‘I think the anomaly with Fort Hood is that its isolated and that it’s such an economic powerhouse in the community that it’s in everybody’s best interest to protect it so they can protect themselves.’”

(Washington D.C. Veteran’s Presentation on the Current Status of the Armed Forces at Fort Hood in Texas (December 12, 2017))

Read more here: Why is Fort Hood the Army’s most crime-ridden post?

Related Links:
Fort Hood Army Staff Sgt. Paul Norris Fatally Shot Spc. Kamisha Block in Murder-Suicide in Iraq; Family Calls for Congressional Hearings & Independent Investigations (August 16, 2007)
Air Force TSgt. Jennifer Norris Testified Before the House Armed Services Committee in Washington DC (January 23, 2013)
Gillibrand: The Military Justice Improvement Act Would Give Service Members a Justice System That Works (July 1, 2019)
Rep. Seth Moulton Introduces The Brandon Act to Change DoD Mental Health Policy, Pay Tribute to Fallen Navy Sailor Brandon Caserta (June 25, 2020)
Open Letter to House of Representatives in Support of an Independent Investigation of the Murder of Vanessa Guillen at Fort Hood (July 7, 2020)
Austin American-Statesman: Vanessa Guillen’s Death Shines Light on More Tragedies at Fort Hood (July 28, 2020)

Military Murder Podcast Featured the Homicide of Fort Hood Army Spc. Kamisha Block in Iraq; Friendly Fire or Military Cover-Up? (July 13, 2020)

Kamisha Block

Spc. Kamisha Block, U.S. Army

TWITTER: Shonta Block @ShontaBlock
FACEBOOK: Corruption without justice in the military
JUSTICE: Reasons why the Block family want congressional hearings
PETITION: Justice for Kamisha Block commanding officers are not above the law.
SENATORS: Contact your two Senators here (top left has drop down for state)
REPRESENTATIVE: Contact your Representative here (enter zip code)
SASC/HASC MEMBERS: Click here to contact the SASC/HASC members
OTHER CASES: 15 Active Duty Cases That Beg for Prevention Efforts, Military Justice Reform, and the End of the Feres Doctrine and Army Soldiers at Fort Hood in Texas Are Dying at Alarming Rates Stateside (January 1, 2016 to Present)

“In August 2007, [Fort Hood Army] Specialist Kamisha Block’s family was told that their 20-year-old daughter had died in Iraq as a result of friendly fire – one shot to the chest. The family was floored. They didn’t quite understand what that meant and they wanted answers. But Kamisha would give them a sign. When Kamisha’s mom, Jane, arrived at the funeral home to see her daughter one last time, she noticed a bullet sized hole on Kamisha’s head that had been covered with makeup. Her knees buckled as she thought – what have they done to my baby girl? And the answer she would get would never quench the Block’s family desire for real answers. Kamisha had been killed intentionally by another soldier – Staff Sergeant Paul Brandon Norris. Norris and Kamisha had been dating on and off for a few months and their relationship was against military regulations.” Listen to Episode 38 on the Military Murder Podcast website here.

UPDATE: Army reopens case of 2007 murder-suicide that was originally called ‘friendly fire’ (Stars and Stripes, April 19, 2019) and Army closes investigation into allegations of a coverup in 2007 murder-suicide in Iraq (Stars and Stripes, June 19, 2020)

Kamisha Block Congress

If you would like to help the family get a congressional hearing and investigation, please call the ranking members of the HASC and SASC. #JusticeforKamishaBlock

Goals and Questions from Kamisha Block’s Family:

1. Hearings to discuss service wide responses to dangerous situations, negligence, and preventable deaths

2. There’s a break down in continuity of ‘no contact orders.’ For example, may be enforced in US but not in Iraq, may be enforced in civilian jurisdiction but not on base, etc.

3. Discussion of how a victim of crime copes when they report and are ignored or they don’t report for fear of their lives, loss of career, retaliation.

4. Brandon Norris was in Kamisha’s enlisted chain of command and was able to manipulate the situation to keep Kamisha under his control. When the Chain of Command learned about the forbidden relationship, one of them should have been moved to address the situation.

5. When the homicide-suicide occurred in Iraq, military members were told not to talk to Kamisha Block’s family. Out of fear, they remained silent until they watched an Investigation Discovery episode outlining what happened in Iraq. Most are veterans now and as a result of time and conscience, they now are willing to come forward and testify at hearings.

6. The service members who were in Iraq are now suffering with what we would refer to as moral injury. They knew the truth, they were shocked the Army told Kamisha Block’s family she died by friendly fire. They were fearful of coming forward while still serving in the US Army.

7. Brandon Norris was problematic before being deployed to Iraq. His behavior was erratic, he was drinking, he very likely could have had PTSD due to prior deployments, and he should not have been sent back to Iraq. When the command found out about the forbidden relationship, they issued a no contact order, which is virtually useless when both parties are on the same small base. They sent Brandon Norris to Iraq knowing there was a no contact order. There were a number of red flags in Brandon’s history to warrant getting him evaluated and medically retiring him. Although PTSD isn’t an excuse for violence, the mental health breakdown that comes with that diagnosis will send someone into a downward spiral if not addressed. These are co-occuring issues. Prior problems with domestic violence and PTSD are a deadly combination if no intervention.

8. When they sent Brandon Norris back to Iraq, it made Kamisha even more fearful because she could not escape him, there was nowhere to turn and she was isolated. The expedited transfer policy needs to be expanded to include all victims of crime and those who are fearful of their lives and trapped in dangerous situations. Did Brandon manipulate fellow leaders to see things his way? Why didn’t they protect Kamisha from Brandon’s escalating violence?

9. Why was the no contact order ignored, why was Brandon not removed from Kamisha’s Chain of Command, why was Brandon sent to Iraq with Kamisha, why did the Army tell Kamisha’s family she died by friendly fire, why was the Chain of Command not held responsible for negligence, why did Kamisha feel like she had nowhere to turn, why were service members told to remain silent, why did it take this long to get Kamisha’s case reopened? Why was Kamisha Block’s case closed before any of the questions were answered? Why was it closed because there was “no evidence” to support one allegation?

10. Why was Kamisha’s computer wiped clean before it was returned to the family? Why was it returned to the family if it was considered evidence? Why would anyone wipe the computer clean when it was full of potential evidence that would help us understand the victimology of Kamisha and what was going on in her life at the time? Service members informed family they were asked to destroy all paperwork and personnel records before Army CID arrived to investigate. Why would anyone destroy evidence needed to evaluate and investigate a homicide-suicide? How can we prevent the Chain of Command from destroying evidence in the future?

11. The morning of the homicide-suicide, it is alleged that Brandon Norris was experiencing a mental health breakdown. Why was his gun not taken from him immediately if there were already concerns about his behavior, actions, and deteriorating mental health state. This is another example of how this tragedy could have been prevented had the Army intervened and sent him home. Again, he should have never been sent to Iraq on a deployment with Kamisha. The no contact order is impossible to enforce if both are in the same unit on the same base in Iraq. Kamisha clearly expressed fear of Brandon and wanted the no contact order enforced, they ignored it. Why? Did they need warm bodies in Iraq? Did Norris manipulate them? Did the chain of command not care about Kamisha’s safety?

12. Why was Brandon sent to Iraq instead of discharged? Why was he not held responsible for an illegal relationship with a subordinate? Why was his mental health and problematic behavior ignored? Why would the chain of command issue a no contact order that can’t be enforced when two service members are serving together in the same unit on the same base whether in the US or overseas? Had any of these things been addressed and investigated, it could have saved Kamisha’s life.

13. Was Brandon Norris taking any medication for his mental health issues? If so, what were the prescriptions and what are the side effects. It is alleged that Brandon was taking ambien to help with sleep in a war zone. If this is the case, what is the responsibility of the mental health professionals or other military doctors who prescribed this medication to him? What is the responsibility of the chain of command if they have knowledge of medications? Do the health professionals and chain of command discuss whether it is healthy for a service member to deploy while on said medications? Did the medications or the side effects of the medications contribute to a downward spiral? Did he abruptly stop taking the medications at any point? Why was his health and medication management not considered before he was sent to Iraq? This puts everyone in danger if the person is not taking medications as prescribed and/or not well.

14. Discussion of Feres Doctrine. This archaic, unconstitutional Supreme Court decision is preventing us from holding key players accountable. Lawsuits are a form of checks and balances in the system. How do we hold the military accountable if we can’t utilize one of the three forms of government to force positive change for all service members in the future? Wrongful death lawsuits help us find the answers we may not get in an investigation or if something was not investigated. Lawsuits are used to force change and prevent the same tragedies from happening over and over. This is not happening in the military as evidenced by years of failed reforms. Preventable deaths are a common occurrence and until we can hold them accountable, nothing is going to change. How do we begin the process of getting the Feres Doctrine overturned? If congressional members do not do their jobs and help family members learn the truth, where do we turn? How do we get a case reopened without re-traumatizing ourselves over and over. It took years for Kamisha’s family to get her homicide case reopened and one year before the Army closed it again. The family wants the chain of command held criminally responsible for what they know was a preventable death. What do families do if Congress doesn’t help them? What do families do if the media won’t help tell their story? What do families do when they want an independent investigation because they question the outcome of the Chain of Command and CID’s investigation?

15. Does the Chain of Command involved in the wrongful death of a soldier deserve to continue serving in the military? Why are they not held responsible for manslaughter or negligence? If their actions or inaction lead to the death of someone under their command, shouldn’t they be held responsible for that death as well? Shouldn’t they be held responsible for not taking care of Brandon or Kamisha when they had the chance? Why was Brandon’s escalating violence and problematic behavior ignored at Kamisha’s expense? How do we hold them accountable when they destroy evidence? How do we prevent them from destroying evidence and wiping computers and phones clean before giving them back to the family?

16. There are a number of female soldiers who have died under suspicious circumstances while deployed to Iraq, Afghanistan and other overseas locations. There were a cluster of deaths around the time Kamisha died as well. If you study each female service member’s story, it fits a pattern, a pattern recognized in Kamisha’s case as well. It reveals the continued repeated pattern of placing people in dangerous situations with potentially dangerous service members. We need an evaluation of all the non combat deaths overseas to find out what the root causes are in an effort to prevent these suspicious deaths and/or suicides from happening in the first place. Did the service member ask for help, report a crime, etc. before they died. We need to know how and why they died to help us create deployment policy that can be enforced in an effort to prevent a wrongful death. They need the expedited transfer policy expanded to capture all the dangerous situations not related to a sexual assault or rape. This can be used to save the service members life if they chain of command ignores them. The danger increases exponentially in a war-time environment one cannot escape.

17. Lastly what about the impact this has on the loved ones left behind? First off, the families should be compensated for the pain and suffering the military causes them when they question the cause of death ruling or they question what happened to their loved one who died under suspicious circumstances. We must address how the military treats families in these situations. Most don’t even know where to start. They don’t know how the military works. They don’t know the Commander is the central investigator and CID does what is asked of them. They don’t know how to FOIA records. They can’t make sense of records they do obtain because most of it is redacted or blacked out. No family should have to FOIA any records related to their loved ones death. This should be an automatic for them. The system is set up to make the family feel hopeless and give up, and that’s exactly what most do because the current system re-traumatizes them when they learn that no one will take responsibility for what happened under their watch or help them find the answers they deserve to have. They should not be expected to simply accept the military’s outcomes. In the civilian world, they have more access to the case and those involved and it is a proven fact a second set of eyes on a case can be the deciding factor in learning the truth. Military families don’t have this option. They should be assigned a victim advocate and or a special victims counsel like those provided to victims of sexual assault and rape. They should be treated with kindness, not ignored, transferred from person to person, and intimidated. The current system is reinforcing the trauma originally experienced from losing their loved one to a preventable death. This is unacceptable and causes irreversible harm. The truth is all that is wanted and it shouldn’t come at the expense of the family member’s health and wellness.

18. Lastly, what is the role of the FBI? Why is it that they can investigate a case in Nigeria involving folks pretending to be soldiers to scam people of money but they can’t investigate any of the suspicious deaths of female soldiers in Iraq, Afghanistan, etc. If you do the research and look at how many suspicious deaths of service members occurred overseas, you will see the pattern. Every family who loses a loved one to a non combat death overseas deserves answers and a full investigation of the circumstances if they believe they were murdered or pushed to suicide because they had no way out. We lost a lot of female soldiers to non combat death overseas but we also lost a lot of male service members too. Would the expansion of the expedited transfer policy save their life? Or are they still trapped because current policy dictates their commander make that decision. Why can’t we have a bug out plan for the service members who were ignored like Kamisha? Why can’t we provide them with a plan that safely helps them extricate themselves from a dangerous situation if the chain of command chooses to do nothing because they don’t care or don’t understand how violence escalates?

Questions from Retired U.S. Federal Special Agent:

1. Was SSG NORRIS still legally married to his “third” and last wife at the time the relationship between him and SPC BLOCK initiated at Ft. Hood, Texas…or…elsewhere?

2. If SSG NORRIS was still legally married at the time he and SPC BLOCK became sexually involved, the military offense of ADULTERY, as well as other possible military offenses, was applicable…and…that military crime must not have been permitted to occur without subsequent “mutually applicable” ADULTERY military legal action against both SSG NORRIS and SPC BLOCK!

3. At the time of his suicide, was SSG NORRIS divorced or still married to his last wife?

4. According to the U.S. Army, upon his death, who was officially designated as SSG NORRIS’ “immediate legal surviving relative”

5. Was there any company level chain of command knowledge of the SSG NORRIS-SPC BLOCK relationship at Ft. Hood, Texas, prior to their respective departures from that unit to the Basic NCO Course (BNOC) (SSG NORRIS) and Iraq (SPC BLOCK)?

6. Must ID and interview their family, close friends and company level chain of command back at Ft. Hood prior to the SSG NORRIS and SPC BLOCK respective departures, to attempt to determine any possible degree of knowledge about their “pre-departure” existing relationship, which is already somewhat detailed by an unidentified soldier in one of the case’s enclosed CID Sworn Statements.

7. Must clarify, as far back as possible…due to their respective different military ranks…and…probable age difference, where exactly did their relationship commence…at Ft. Hood, Texas…or…elsewhere before that…for example, at the U.S. Army Military Police School (USAMPS), Ft. Leonardwood, Missouri,…or…somewhere in-between…in order to determine for how long their Chains of Command permitted their, most likely UNLAWFUL or at least PROHIBITED, fraternization and personal romantic relationship to exist.

8. When did each of them, SSG NORRIS and SPC BLOCK, first arrive at their MP Company in Ft. Hood, Texas…and…from where?

9. Obtain copies all written U.S. Army Regulations and policies relative to FRATERNIZATION PROHIBITIONS and “SOCIAL DISTANCING” applicable to Non-Commissioned Officers (NCOs) (Rank of Corporal to Sergeant Major) and Enlisted Personnel (Rank of Private to SPC) applicable to both SSG NORRIS and
SPC BLOCK.

10. Obtain any and all possible evidence of where exactly did both SSG NORRIS and SPC BLOCK received official information concerning #9 above.

11. When American military personnel are discharged from any military duty, they are issued a DD Form 214, with extensive official individual military history pertaining to promotions, awards, tours of duty, type of discharge, etc. Need to determine what form is issued by the U.S. Armed Forces to the official legal survivors of dead military personnel, and obtain a copy of the ones issued to SSG NORRIS and SPC BLOCK to see what information they contain.

12. Obtain copies of their respective Death Certificates…what cause and/or manner of death is listed in each?

13. Who, from the U.S. Armed Forces, first officially notified BLOCK’s family of her death…when…where…how?

14. Exactly what was the BLOCK family initially told concerning the cause and/or manner of death of SPC BLOCK?

15. Was SPC BLOCK “posthumously” awarded a “Purple Heart” medal by the U.S. Army?

16. If SPC BLOCK was indeed awarded a “Purple Heart” medal, a copy of the corresponding “Citation” must be obtained, and its obviously FALSE content noted…as it is a medal officially authorized to be awarded ONLY for: “Being wounded or killed in any action against an enemy of the United States or as a result of an act of any such enemy or opposing armed forces…”

17. Did the official legal survivor of SSG NORRIS receive any government “Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance (SGLI) payment in connection with any claim for his death by suicide?

18. The Chain of Command should have, upon receipt of the initial complaint against SSG NORRIS, made rapid administrative/personnel arrangements for the separation and transfer of SPC BLOCK or SSG NORRIS completely out of the area, to another overseas assignment or back to a base other than Ft. Hood,
Texas, and into a different MP Company, back in the Continental United States (CONUS)…not merely to transfer SPC BLOCK from SSG NORRIS’ squad to another squad…IN THE SAME PLATOON!

*THE FAILURE TO REMOVE SPC BLOCK AND SSG NORRIS FROM EACH OTHER IS THE MOST SERIOUS CHAIN OF COMMAND NEGLIGENT FAILURE WHICH LED TO THE MURDER OF SPC BLOCK! IF NOT FOR “A” THEREFORE NOT “B!”

19. There was also two(2) appearances or perceptions of possible CONFLICT OF INTEREST at the military law enforcement and criminal investigation level which took place at this crime scene:

a. “Off Duty” Military Police personnel, from SSG NORRIS’ and SPC BLOCK’s MP unit and MP platoon became overly involved at the crime scene, acting as if they were the first responding “On-Duty” MPs, which as far as I can tell they were NOT! At this time, I do NOT recall having read anything, in the E-mailed documents I have thus far received, which details anything about when or which “On-Duty” MPs or CID Agents arrived and took over complete and total control of the chaotic crime scene.

*FOR CLARIFICATION PURPOSES: Unless something has changed of which I am not aware, in the U.S. Army, Military Police personnel exist and perform under a “double supervision” system. They have an “OFF-DUTY” unit of assignment…as in their MP company…under the supervision of that company’s Chain of Command. And, as the need arises, they are basically provided to the “Provost Marshal” (Military Chief of Police) to be under his/her OPERATIONAL or “ON-DUTY” control.

b. In one of the Sworn Statements, it is revealed that one of the CID Special Agents at the crime scene was a former Military Police NCO at the same MP Company and possibly assigned to the same platoon as SSG NORRIS and SPC BLOCK, back in Ft. Hood, Texas. In that Sworn Statement, that MP witness also stated he had conversed with that CID Agent while in the vicinity of the SSG NORRIS and SPC BLOCK murder/suicide crime scene…and…that the agent had been one of his MP platoon leaders back at Ft. Hood, Texas…and…he had made a prior courtesy visit to that CID agent at the Camp Liberty CID Office, upon hearing that said NCO was now working there as a CID Agent. Obviously, based on this information, the CID Agent in question applied for the U.S. Army CID Program while he was assigned to that same MP Company back in Ft. Hood, Texas, before the unit was deployed to Iraq. That “SFC” ranked CID Special Agent should have informed his CID supervisor(s) he was formerly an NCO member of the MP Company where the SSG NORRIS and SPC BLOCK murder/suicide crime scene was located…and…should have been recused from any involvement in the case, ESPECIALLY IF HE PREVIOUSLY PERSONALLY KNEW OR SUPERVISED EITHER OR BOTH SSG NORRIS and SPC BLOCK FROM HIS ASSIGNMENT AT THE MP COMPANY BACK AT FT. HOOD!

20. Are MEDICS now organically attached to or assigned to MP units? I sensed some of the individuals involved at the crime scene, subsequent to the murder/suicide, were MP-connected MEDICS.

21. A Staff Sergeant counseling another Staff Sergeant about fraternization or anything else? That is strange to me…and…indicative of Chain of Command NEGLIGENCE in delegating this important preventive measure to an NCO of the same rank as the individual receiving the counseling! In my opinion, any and all counseling involving SSG NORRIS should have been done by a higher ranking NCO or a Commissioned Officer, not by his Platoon Sergeant OF EQUAL RANK. I feel such counseling should have been done by either the First Sergeant, Platoon Leader, Executive Officer or Company Commander.

22. Maybe, just maybe, I am just TOO OLD ARMY, but off-post squad parties at a squad leader’s off-post private home…and…drinking beers and going to off-post clubs with my squad leader?! Unheard of for me in my Army days…never happened! In my time there was strict “social separation” between Enlisted Soldiers, Non-Commissioned Officers (NCOs) and Commissioned Officers! Each rank category had their own SEPARATE on-post clubs…ENLISTED CLUB…NCO CLUB…and…OFFICERS CLUB. I’ve got a feeling that, at least in this particular MP company, there was a bit of too much socializing among the Enlisted soldiers and the NCOs…and this, as it does with Commissioned Officers also, is a pure social seed planting environment which blooms into prohibited FRATERNIZATION situations.

23. I suspect that SSG NORRIS came to a realization that he could get away with his fraternizing relationship with SPC BLOCK because he had gotten away with for so long, everyone was looking the other way and in denial…and…no one was really challenging him to not continue fraternizing with her!

24. My gut also tells me that SSG NORRIS’ anger streak was common knowledge around his MP Company, and most of his immediate supervisors and some in the Chain of Command, preferred NOT to confront him and hold him accountable for anything. THEY ROUTINELY GAVE HIM A PASS! And most soldiers were simply afraid and/or reluctant to report and complain about him.

25. I am in total agreement with all critique and comments previously provided about the CID Crime Lab apparent shortcomings.

*Most importantly…WHAT EXACTLY WAS IN THE CELL PHONES AND LAPTOPS! Must demand the transcripts and photos from each of those devices. What was the final legal disposition of those EVIDENCE ITEMS?!

YouTube Videos:

Spc. Kamisha Block, U.S. Army in Iraq (2007) 

Vidor family of soldier Kamisha Block alleges cover-up after 2007 shooting in Iraq -12 News Now (February 12, 2019)

Families from across the U.S. held a rally outside Fort Hood demanding answers about the deaths of their loved ones who died while serving. -KCEN News (July 11, 2020)

Related Links:
DoD Identifies Army Casualties
Ep. 38: Military Cover-up? The Murder of Kamisha Block | Military Murder Podcast
Ep. 38: Military Cover-up? The Murder of Kamisha Block | MM Podcast (Player FM)
Ep. 38: Military Cover-up? The Murder of Kamisha Block | MM Podcast (Stitcher)
Ep. 38: Military Cover-up? The Murder of Kamisha Block | MM Podcast (Apple)
Ep. 38: Military Cover-up? The Murder of Kamisha Block | MM Podcast (Podchaser)
Army Staff Sgt. Paul Norris Fatally Shot Spc. Kamisha Block in Murder-Suicide in Iraq; Family Requests Congressional Hearings & Investigation of Military Leadership (2007)
Forbidden, Dying for Love Premiered ‘Love is a Battlefield’ on Investigation Discovery: Army Spc. Kamisha Block Died in Murder-Suicide in Iraq (March 13, 2018)
Crimelines True Crime Podcast Featured the Military Murder of Army Spc. Kamisha Block in Baghdad, Iraq (October 20, 2019)
Murderific True Crime Podcast Featured the Military Murder of Army Spc. Kamisha Block in Baghdad, Iraq (December 8, 2019)
Army Soldiers at Fort Hood in Texas Are Dying at Alarming Rates Stateside (January 1, 2016 to Present)
15 Active Duty Cases That Beg for Prevention Efforts, Military Justice Reform, and the End of the Feres Doctrine
Forbidden, Dying for Love: Six Active-Duty Military Homicide Cases Featured on Investigation Discovery
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)
Non Combat Deaths of Female Service Members in the U.S. Military (Iraq)
Spc. Kamisha Block, U.S. Army in Iraq (YouTube)
Vidor family of soldier Kamisha Block alleges cover-up after 2007 shooting in Iraq
Dozens gather to protest for answers outside Fort Hood

Senators Cruz, Gillibrand, Grassley Offer Bipartisan Military Justice Improvement Act as Amendment to Defense Bill (July 2, 2020)

Pass MJIA 2.png

Find contact information and how your Senators voted here.

Contact the SASC & HASC Members here.

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

“U.S. Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and I recently announced that we will offer the bipartisan Military Justice Improvement Act as an amendment to this year’s National Defense Authorization Act. The Military Justice Improvement Act would professionalize how the military prosecutes serious crimes by moving the decision over whether to prosecute them to independent, trained, professional military prosecutors.

Despite years of Congressional reforms, thousands of service members are raped and sexually assaulted every year. In many of those cases, the assailant is someone in the survivor’s own chain of command. Only a small fraction of the perpetrators are ever held accountable for their violent crimes. Last year, the Department of Defense announced a record number of sexual assaults reported by or against service members, and yet, less than 10 percent of cases considered for command action ever proceeded to trial. Worse yet, despite repeated efforts to stamp out the scourge of retaliation against military sexual assault survivors, the most recent Pentagon survey found that 64 percent of survivors say they have experienced some form of retaliation for reporting the crime. That figure is statistically unchanged from 2016.”

Read more here.

SASC: Senate Armed Services Committee
HASC: House Armed Services Committee

Related Links:
Chair Jackie Speier NDAA Provisions Address Military Sexual Assault, Intimate Partner Violence, Racial Justice, Ethics, Military Families, and DoD Oversight and Modernization (July 2, 2020)
Sens. Cruz, Gillibrand, Grassley Offer Bipartisan Military Justice Improvement Act as Amendment to Defense Bill (July 2, 2020)
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)
Military Policy and Legislation Considerations for the Investigations of Non Combat Death, Homicide, and Suicide of US Service Members
15 Active Duty Cases That Beg for Prevention Efforts, Military Justice Reform, and the End of the Feres Doctrine
Washington D.C. Veteran’s Presentation on the Current Status of the Armed Forces at Fort Hood in Texas (December 12, 2017)
Army Soldiers at Fort Hood in Texas Are Dying at Alarming Rates Stateside (January 1, 2016 to Present)
August: U.S. Department of Defense Casualties Report from September 11, 2001 to Present (August 31, 2017)
September: U.S. Department of Defense Casualties Report from September 11, 2001 to Present (September 30, 2017)
Non Combat Deaths of Female Service Members in the U.S. Military (Iraq)
Non Combat Deaths of Female Soldiers in the US Military (Afghanistan)
Non Combat Deaths of Female Soldiers in the US Military (Other Areas)

Dear Vanessa Guillen… (June 30, 2020)

Vanessa Guillen

I will never forget you Vanessa Guillen. ❤️

Dear Vanessa,

My heart is heavy with the news we heard today and I still hold out hope that it’s not real. I don’t want to give up the hope that you are still out there and we will find you, as a dedicated, motivated team. So many people care about you. And a lot of people stepped forward and said yes, it happened to me too. The silence was finally broken and now we know for a fact that the same military justice system that failed us failed you too. My heart is broken. The writing was on the wall at Fort Hood. Prior to your disappearance, a team of people fought for you and all the other service members praying none of you would go missing or die whether by your own hand or someone else’s, both failures of leadership. The retaliation is real and we’ve been concerned that if we don’t deal with hazing, bullying, sexual assault and domestic violence appropriately then other more violent behavior would follow and it has.

Ten years of research and the creation of a website dedicated to military crime backs Vanessa up and all the other brave veterans who spoke up and shared their stories of heartbreak and betrayal. Although your safety has been of the utmost priority, we witnessed a shift because of you and because of what’s been going on at Fort Hood. I am so thankful you said something to your mother so everyone would know that sexual harassment is at the beginning of the continuum of harm and if not stopped only escalates. It’s like watching your future attacker plot when to make his move and you know it’s coming but there’s no way to escape. And then it’s too late. I’m not sure how I am going to sleep tonight but please know you are in my thoughts and I pray we can continue searching for you tomorrow and that what we learned is not true.

I was disappointed with the media today and how this was handled. I was especially disappointed with the headlines that purposefully made assumptions. I pray that justice will be served, that Fort Hood cleans up its act, and that your experience changes the entire military justice system. If this had been treated like the missing persons case it was, I may not be so angry knowing this is business as usual for the military. They replace us just as quickly as we disappear. The callousness and lack of regard for our fellow human, including murder victims, is sickening and heart breaking. Vanessa, please know how much you mean to me and so many other thousands of people. You are making a huge impact. Sending so much love and comfort to your family at this time, and anyone else who is struggling with today’s news.

Much love,

A Vet with MST
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Navy Sailor Brandon Caserta Died by Suicide at Naval Station Norfolk; Family Pushing for Suicide Prevention Legislation ‘The Brandon Act’ Focusing on Hazing & Bullying (June 25, 2018)

Brandon Caserta

AEAN Brandon Caserta, U.S. Navy (photo courtesy of the Caserta family)

UPDATE: Rep. Seth Moulton Introduces The Brandon Act to Change DoD Mental Health Policy, Pay Tribute to Fallen Navy Sailor Brandon Caserta (June 25, 2020)

The Brandon Act:

I can honestly say no one is looking in this because at this point, no one cares. I just looked at the suicide rate right now in the Navy and it is now reported 43 for the year so far. I looked at it on Wednesday of last week and it was at 37. What the heck is going on and when will someone anyone going to start caring about the men and women in our Armed Forces? We need to respect the flag AND the men and women who defend it and save their lives like they do us. We all need to write to our senators and congressional staff. We need The Brandon Act passed and quickly.

I’m going to explain what “The Brandon Act” is. It is designed to be a safe word that men and women in our Armed Forces can use if they are subjects of any kind of abuse whether it’s physical, emotional or mentally. Abuse comes in many, many forms to include bullying, hazing, threats, sexual, abusive leadership, and any kind of mental and emotional abuse. These are just a few abusive tactics that can be done to someone. “The Brandon Act” protects those who come forward asking for help. It is designed for these men and women to come forward and get the help they need and if the abuse merits it, the sailor or troop will have a right to ask to be reassigned to another command or unit without any retaliation whatsoever from anyone in their current command or their next assignment. Our hope is to bring suicides to an end and by using this “Act” will hopefully allow them the courage to get help when they need it and get them healed and back on the right path. This “Act” is in front of Congress right now and hopefully very soon, they will approve and pass it once it’s completely written. Thank you for reading. #thebrandonact

-Patrick and Teri Caserta (Brandon Caserta’s parents)

Sailor’s Death at Naval Station Norfolk Ruled Suicide:

Sailor’s death at Naval Station Norfolk ruled suicide. -WAVY TV 10 (June 26, 2018)

Peoria Family Hopes for Change in Military Culture After Son Takes His Own Life:

As Teri Caserta entered her son’s bedroom in their Peoria home, she broke down. It’s an emotion that Teri and her husband Patrick Caserta will always carry with them. Their son Brandon was in the United States Navy from 2015 to 2018. However, at just 21, Brandon would take his own life. -ABC 15 Arizona (June 14, 2019)

Parents of Norfolk-Based Sailor Who Committed Suicide Want Changes:

Brandon Caserta, 21, was a sailor. He died by suicide while stationed in Norfolk. His parents hope new legislation will protect future military men and women. -13 News Now (October 4, 2019)

Updates on The Brandon Act:
The Brandon Act | Facebook Public Page
‘Everybody’s overworked’ — string of Navy suicides raises concerns over sailor stress and toxic leadership
Following son’s death, Capital Region family raises flag on suicides in Navy
Family of Sailor who committed suicide at Naval Station Norfolk pushes for change
Parents hopeful sailor son’s suicide leads to legislation

Navy AEAN Brandon Caserta was stationed with the Helicopter Combat Sea Squadron 28 (HSC-28) at Naval Station Norfolk in Virginia when he died by suicide on June 25, 2018. While Brandon’s parents were on the phone with Navy leadership at the Squadron, Brandon walked out on the flight line, apologized to the plane captain (who is in-charge of the flight line), and hurled himself into a helicopter rotor, dying instantly. AEAN Caserta had a brief career with the Navy and it didn’t turn out the way he had hoped. He had failed Special Warfare Training and was transferred into a new career field as a result. And then unexpectedly Brandon broke his collar-bone in a bicycle accident, which also negatively impacted his Navy career. At the moment Brandon Caserta made his final walk out to the flight line, his father Patrick Caserta was on the phone with the command expressing concern for his son’s welfare. Patrick was making plans to fly out to Naval Station Norfolk to explore his son’s legal options.

Desperate for answers, the Casertas reached out to Brandon’s chain of command and friends but eventually everyone stopped responding. The Casertas were told by many friends in Brandon’s command that leadership ordered a cessation of communications. Before the silence, Brandon’s friends shared that they thought he appeared to be suffering from depression, feelings of worthlessness, and anger, hence the reason he left a note asking the Navy be held accountable. As a result of the information gleaned from the note and those who knew Brandon, the HSC-28 conducted an investigation of itself; basically the fox guarding the henhouse. Although they knew months in advance of the problems, the report did note that Brandon’s supervisor had a history of berating and belittling those who worked for him. As a matter of fact, this supervisor could have been court-martialed under UCMJ Article 93, Cruelty and Maltreatment, but he wasn’t. Instead, Military.com reports he received no punishment and was transferred with a “declining evaluation” (and this was only after it was heard and reported that he made “derogatory and inflammatory comments concerning the deceased”).

“I want to see as many people fired, kicked out or, at the very least, lose rank.” -Brandon Caserta, U.S. Navy

According to Military.com, the Navy’s suicide rate in 2018 was the highest it’s ever been. And it was reported that a post-mortem analyses of suicides in the military usually showed the victim “faced major issues like financial problems, relationship problems, medical issues, and mental health conditions.” The military reporter reached out to Dave Matsuda, an anthropologist at California State University-East Bay, who researched and studied a suicide cluster among soldiers in Iraq in 2010. Matsuda’s research found some non-commissioned officers (NCOs) and officers in the chain of command made their subordinates’ lives a “living hell.” Matsuda also added that although the “bad leaders weren’t fully responsible for the suicides, they helped push the soldiers over the edge.” But in a system where the Navy is investigating the Navy, we have learned that the Chain of Command isn’t going to admit there is a problem. They have a history of blaming the victim and/or scapegoating an enlisted NCO or lower ranking military officer.

Brandon’s father, Patrick Caserta, a retired U.S. Navy sailor himself, asserts the Command was “so hostile, corruptive and unethical,” that they tormented Brandon and drove him past the brink of despair. Patrick and Teri Caserta wholeheartedly believe the command murdered their son. Patrick reminded us that the military talks about trauma, exposure to war, and mental health, but they don’t talk about harassment and bullying. He believes military leadership do not want to admit harassment, bullying, and retaliation happen or admit they are at fault. In the days and weeks that followed their son’s death, Patrick and Teri also learned from those who worked with Brandon that they were all dealing with a high operational tempo and manpower shortfalls. Brandon’s co-workers believed “personal issues were not a high priority and Brandon’s death could have been prevented.” And an anonymous message sent to the squadron commander on June 18, 2018 revealed the abuse was ongoing before Brandon died.

According to the message, Brandon’s supervisor called subordinates his “bitches,” referred to the chiefs as “douchebags” and “dumbasses” behind their backs, and “treated workers worse than garbage” and “like dogs.” –Military.com (June 8, 2019)

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Military.com reported that Brandon Caserta’s death was one of 68 Navy suicides in 2018. They also reported the rise in military suicides appears to mirror an increase in suicides among the general U.S. population. Suicide experts are struggling to understand why so many are dying by suicide. Some factors for suicide risk, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), include “spending time in prison or jail, having a mental health disorder or a substance abuse problem, experiencing family violence, a history of suicide, and having guns in the home.” Brandon’s family believes their son’s suicide was a direct result of toxic leadership, one superior who harassed and bullied Brandon, pushing him over the edge. According to Army Doctrine Publication 6-22, a toxic leader “operates with an inflated sense of self-worth and from acute self-interest,” consistently using “dysfunctional behaviors to deceive, intimidate, coerce, or unfairly punish others to get what they want for themselves.” Although it appears there are multiple variables that impact when a service member chooses to die by suicide, the experts need to find out the why so we can save our service member’s lives. What is happening in their environment that makes them feel like suicide is the only way out?

The directive states, toxic leaders exhibit a combination of “self centered attitudes, motivations, and behaviors that have adverse effects on subordinates, the organization, and mission performance.” –Military.com (June 8, 2019)

Military.com reported that one of Brandon’s co-workers helped shed some insight into the toxic climate at the Navy’s HSC-28 squadron. He accused leadership of deploying personnel in retaliation for speaking up and not doing as they are told. This particular individual requested that he remain at the squadron when his wife got sick because he needed to support her and their two girls. But his leadership was going to deploy him with a detachment anyways. So he filed an Inspector General complaint and thankfully was transferred out of the squadron in a couple weeks. He believes Navy personnel have a “fear of retribution” because the command is resentful of the service members who can’t deploy. Brandon’s family experienced a form of retaliation as well. The unit held a memorial service for Brandon four days after he died but Patrick and Teri said they were not invited by anyone in the HSC-28 command. Patrick Caserta believes the family was excluded out of sheer pettiness; leadership wanted to continue to conceal and coverup what truly happened. Regardless of the reason, it was a violation of Navy policy.

“Navy policy states that the command should provide round-trip travel and allowances to family members to attend a command memorial service.” –Military.com (June 8, 2019)

On May 31, 2019, after the command learned that Military.com had made phone calls regarding the Casertas’ allegations, Navy personnel indicated there was a “culture of fear” at the squadron. The Casertas are so angry and distraught that communications have stopped that they offered a $25,000 reward to anyone who came forward with information that “lead to successful prosecution of individuals in their son’s chain of command.” They have also met with the congressional staff of at least a dozen senators and representatives, including Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA) and Senator Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) to discuss “the treatment they and Brandon received, request an independent investigation, and promote efforts to prevent suicide linked to toxic leadership.” They also would like to see the Navy implement Brandon Caserta’s request in his suicide note regarding the re-rate process: “sailors who don’t complete the training for the rate they initially sought should be able to select any other training they qualify for with their Armed Services Vocational Battery (ASVAB) test results.”

Anthropologist Dave Matsuda told Military.com that to truly address the problem of suicide in the armed forces, “all the services need to consider ‘toxic leadership’ when analyzing the deaths of each individual.” If we understand the why, we can prevent suicide. Matsuda also believes operational leaders should not rely on “the boot camp strategy of breaking people down to build them back up.” Matsuda concluded with the assertion that indeed a toxic command climate can trigger suicidal behavior. One year later, Patrick and Teri Caserta are determined to get justice for their only son, because they believe this tragedy could’ve been prevented. The pair also report that Congress is drafting “The Brandon Act,” which is “federal legislation aimed at ending military suicides, holding commanders accountable, and halting the bullying and hazing that occurs within military ranks.” Please contact both the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC) members and the House Armed Services Committee (HASC) members and your Senators and Representative to ask that they too support our troops by supporting The Brandon Act. Our service members deserve a chance at a beautiful life post military.

“The Brandon Act” is designed to be a safe word that men and women in our Armed Forces can use if they are subjects of any kind of abuse whether it’s physical, emotional or mentally. Abuse comes in many, many forms to include bullying, hazing, threats, sexual, abusive leadership, and any kind of mental and emotional abuse. These are just a few abusive tactics that can be done to someone. “The Brandon Act” protects those who come forward asking for help. It is designed for these men and women to come forward and get the help they need and if the abuse merits it, the sailor or troop will have a right to ask to be reassigned to another command or unit without any retaliation whatsoever from anyone in their current command or their next assignment. Our hope is to bring suicides to an end and by using this “Act” will hopefully allow them the courage to get help when they need it and get them healed and back on the right path. This “Act” is in front of Congress right now and hopefully very soon, they will approve and pass it once it’s completely written. Thank you for reading. –Justice for Brandon Caserta on Facebook (June 20, 2019) #TheBrandonAct

Sources: Patrick Caserta (Brandon’s father), Patricia Kime, Military.com, and related links

Related Links:
The Brandon Act | Facebook Public Page
Obituary: Brandon Patrick Caserta (June 25, 2018)
3rd Cowpens CO Fired Since 2010; CMC Relieved (2014)
Army Takes On Its Own Toxic Leaders (2014)
‘I now hate my ship’: Surveys reveal disastrous morale on cruiser Shiloh (2017)
Navy: Failures of Leaders, Watchstanders Led to Deadly Ship Collisions (2017)
Former MCPON Bawled Out Staff, Made Sailors Fetch Coffee: Investigation
His Suicide Note Was a Message to the Navy. The Way He Died Was the Exclamation Point
When Driven to Suicide, at a Minimum it is Manslaughter! – The Navy’s Incessant Harassment of Brandon Caserta Ultimately Drove Him to Suicide – People Were Promoted, Instead of Held Accountable
Suicides Are Still On The Rise In The Military — Is That Really a Surprise? Spoiler: The Answer Is ‘No.’
Peoria family hopes for change in military culture after son takes his own life
Family hopes for change in military culture after son takes his own life
Family hopes for change in military culture after son takes his own life
Peoria family hopes for change in military culture after son takes his own life (YouTube)
An Open Letter to Air Force Commanders about Suicide
‘Everybody’s overworked’ — string of Navy suicides raises concerns over sailor stress and toxic leadership
Following son’s death, Capital Region family raises flag on suicides in Navy
Family of Sailor who committed suicide at Naval Station Norfolk pushes for change
Parents hopeful sailor son’s suicide leads to legislation
Parents of Norfolk-based sailor who committed suicide want changes
Sailor’s death at Naval Station Norfolk ruled suicide
Peoria family hopes for change in military culture after son takes his own life
Parents of Norfolk-based sailor who committed suicide want changes
Army Staff Sgt. Paul Norris Fatally Shot Army Spc. Kamisha Block in Iraq After She Ended a Forbidden Relationship, Then Ended His Own Life (August 16, 2007)
Camp Lejeune Marine Maria Lauterbach & Unborn Child Murdered, Remains Discovered in Fellow Marine’s Backyard; Cesar Laurean Sentenced to Life in Prison, No Parole (December 15, 2007)
Military Rape Survivor Army Sgt. Amanda Sheldon Died by Suicide After Suffering With Depression; Family Hopes Her Death May Spark Change (October 7, 2010)
Lauterbach Case Prompts Policy Reforms for Victims of Crime in the Military (December 25, 2011)
Army Directive 2011-19: Expedited Transfer or Reassignment Procedures for Victims of Sexual Assault (3 Oct 11)
Military Policy and Legislation Considerations for the Investigations of Non Combat Death, Homicide, and Suicide of US Service Members (2016)
Army Soldiers at Fort Hood in Texas Are Dying at Alarming Rates Stateside (2017)
Are More Male’s Victims of Violent Crime in the United States Than Females? (2017)
September: U.S. Department of Defense Casualties Report from September 11, 2001 to Present (2017)
Sexual Assault in the Armed Forces, Transfer Policies Panel (2017)
48 Hours NCIS Premiered ‘Trail of Fire’ on CBS: Holley Wimunc, Domestic Violence, and the Holley Lynn James Act (June 26, 2018)
ProPublica: ‘Death and Valor on an American Warship Doomed by Its Own Navy’ (February 6, 2019)
Senate Armed Services Committee Members & House Armed Services Committee Members (June 21, 2019)
The Brandon Act | Justice for Brandon Caserta
Justice for Brandon Caserta | Facebook
Navy Failed Their Son | ABC 15 Arizona

Rep. Mike Turner Says New Military Legislation Closes a Loophole & Includes Domestic Violence Victims in the Expedited Transfer Policy Law (May 1, 2018)

Law protecting military victims of sexual assault discussed. -WDTN-TV (May 1, 2018)

“In civilian life you have complete control of your movements, and if you’re in an unsafe situation you can remove yourself. In military life, the victim needs permission to take even basic self-preservation actions.” (Rep. Mike Turner, December 25, 2011)

“It’s been almost ten years since that law for expedited transfers on base for sexual assault victims was changed. But today Congressman Turner and Mary Lauterbach both say there’s still more work to be done. Now backtracking to 2007 when Maria Lauterbach reported her sexual assault, the Vandalia Marine requested a base transfer and it was denied, leaving her in close proximity to her assaulter. Since her death, her mother has worked with Turner to get that law changed where victims can now seek that expedited transfer…Today, Turner’s saying even with that law passed those who report sexual assault in context of domestic violence have not been permitted expedited transfer, bringing forth the persist against Military Sexual Trauma Act. ‘We have drawn legislation that would close that loophole and make certain that those who are subject to domestic violence also have the ability, as victims of sexual assault, to seek the expedited transfer’ (Rep. Mike Turner)This will be included in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) which will pass the House of Representatives next week.” –WDTN-TV (May 1, 2018)

In the News:

Critics say the military needs to do more about domestic violence against women. A CBS News investigation found more than 25,000 women have been victimized over the past decade. -CBS Evening News (January 28, 2009)

Rep. Bruce Braley introduces the Holley Lynn James Act — a bill to help victims of sexual assault and domestic violence in the military get justice. The bill is named after Holley Lynn James, a constituent of Rep. Braley who was killed by her husband while both were in the service. -[Former] Representative Bruce Braley (April 12, 2011)

The man found dead in Germantown is ID’s as Adam Anthony Arndt; teen ID’d as Michelle Miller. -ABC 7 WJLA (April 8, 2013)

New provisions handed down from the Department of Defense are giving sexual assault victims in the military rights they never had before. It’s all thanks to the fight from Congressman Mike Turner and a local mother Mary Lauterbach. The provisions make certain that a victim has legal counsel throughout the whole process so they understand what their legal rights are and how to protect themselves. The provisions also remove the accused from the situation and not the victim. -WKEF/WRGT (August 15, 2013)

A major hurdle cleared for sexual assault victims in the military. Congress passed a bill that would give victims rights and protection they never had before. The push came after the tragic murder of local marine Maria Lauterbach and her unborn son. Congress approved a bill that would give military sexual assault victims legal counsel and criminalize retaliation against any victim. “If Maria had had this, she would be alive today, it’s very important.” The bill now heads to President Barack Obama for his signature. -WKEF/WRGT (December 20, 2013)

Morris’ death in 2012 was ruled a suicide. -WMAR-2 News (August 10, 2015)

First Class Private Shadow McClaine’s body was discovered earlier this week and investigators arrested two fellow soldiers. -CBS Sacramento (January 28, 2017)

The family learned Kamisha Block was shot and killed while serving in Iraq. The Department of Defense told the Block family Kamisha was shot in the chest by friendly fire. It would take the family a grueling six months to learn the truth. The petition to ask for a congressional hearing set up by Shonta on change.org says: “I am begging for justice. I want the army to be held accountable.” -12 News Now (February 12, 2019)

A Marine colonel’s wife mourns her husband’s death in the Iraq war. Authorities said it was suicide, but she said he was murdered. -CBS News (March 29, 2019)

As Terri Caserta entered her son’s bedroom in their Peoria home, she broke down. It’s an emotion that Terri and her husband Patrick Caserta will always carry with them. Their son Brandon was in the United States Navy from 2015 to 2018. However, at just 21, Brandon would take his own life. -ABC 15 Arizona (June 14, 2019)

Related Links:
Law protecting military victims of sexual assault discussed (May 1, 2018)
Sgt. Bill Coffin Murdered Ex-Fiancee After Civilian Courts Issued Protective Order, Judge Alleges Army Routinely Ignores Court Orders (December 15, 1997)
Army Staff Sgt. Paul Norris Fatally Shot Army Spc. Kamisha Block in Iraq After She Ended a Forbidden Relationship, Then Ended His Own Life (August 16, 2007)
Camp Lejeune Marine Maria Lauterbach & Unborn Child Murdered, Remains Discovered in Fellow Marine’s Backyard; Cesar Laurean Sentenced to Life in Prison, No Parole (December 15, 2007)
Army Nurse Lt. Holley Lynn James Murdered by Marine Husband the Day After She Announced Divorce; John Wimunc Plead Guilty, Sentenced to Life in Prison (July 9, 2008)
HOR Oversight Subcommittee on National Security & Foreign Affairs Held a Hearing on Sexual Assault in the Military (July 31, 2008)
The Army And Domestic Abuse | CBS (January 28, 2009)
History: The Military And Domestic Abuse (January 28, 2009)
Rep. Braley introduces Holley Lynn James Act (April 12, 2011)
[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)
Army Spouse Katherine Morris Found Dead in Car Near Mall; Cause of Death Initially Ruled Suicide But Further Investigation Suggests Homicide Motivated by Insurance Fraud (May 6, 2012)
Air Force TSgt. Jennifer Norris Testified Before the House Armed Services Committee in Washington DC (January 23, 2013)
Michelle Miller, Adam Anthony Arndt found dead in Germantown (April 8, 2013)
Evidence Reveals Army Reserve Recruiter Adam Arndt Murdered High School Student & Recruit Michelle Miller, Then Killed Self; Army Claims Double Suicide (April 8, 2013)
Gillibrand Builds Bipartisan Support for Change of Military Justice Code (May 16, 2013)
Dept. of Defense Gives New Provisions to Military’s Victims of Sexual Assault (August 15, 2013)
Major Hurdle Cleared for Victims of Sexual Assault in the Military (December 20, 2013)
Family of Katherine Morris wants Dept. of Justice to investigate death (April 10, 2015)
Family of Katherine Morris wants Department of Justice to investigate death (August 10, 2015)
Non Combat Deaths of Female Soldiers in the U.S. Military (Iraq)
Non Combat Deaths of Female Soldiers in the US Military (Afghanistan)
Non Combat Deaths of Female Soldiers in the US Military (Other Areas)
An Open Letter to the Senate and House of Representatives in Support of the Military Justice Improvement Act (June 1, 2016)
The war in Congress over rape in the military, explained (June 8, 2016)
Army Pfc. Shadow McClaine Reported Missing at Fort Campbell; Ex-Husband Sgt. Jamal Williams-McCray & Spc. Charles Robinson Pleaded Guilty to Murder (September 2, 2016)
Military Policy and Legislation Considerations for the Investigations of Non Combat Death, Homicide, and Suicide of US Service Members (October 21, 2016)
Army Pvt. Paige Fontenot Briles Found Unresponsive in Vehicle at Fort Hood Housing in Texas; Initially CID Investigated as Homicide But Later Ruled Suicide (December 24, 2016)
Mom Of Soldier Who Died At Hands Of Fellow Soldiers Hopes For Death Penalty (January 28, 2017)
Army Soldiers at Fort Hood in Texas Are Dying at Alarming Rates Stateside (February 13, 2017)
30 Domestic Abuse Cases in the Military That Ended in the Murder of Female Partners (November 27, 2017)
Police: Lewis-McChord airman killed his family, himself (March 13, 2018)
Man charged in death of soldier’s wife at Fort Stewart (June 6, 2018)
Estranged Husband Charged in Murder of Fort Campbell Soldier (October 19, 2018)
Fort Campbell soldier charged with murder Friday in wife’s beating death (January 11, 2019)
Vidor family of soldier Kamisha Block alleges cover-up after 2007 shooting in Iraq (February 12, 2019)
Gruesome details emerge in lovers’ triangle murder of Army soldier in Benton Harbor (February 20, 2019)
Was it death by suicide or murder? “48 Hours” investigates in “Widow’s War” (March 29, 2019)
Fort Bliss soldier charged with murdering his wife, also a soldier (April 15, 2019)
Peoria family hopes for change in military culture after son takes his own life (June 14, 2019)
Wife Accused Of Fatally Shooting Army Husband Days After He Got Emergency Protection Order Against Her (June 18, 2019)
Senate Armed Services Committee Members & House Armed Services Committee Members (June 21, 2019)
Military Families for Justice (MFFJ)

A Month in Review: In the News on Military Justice for All (January 2018)

January 2018

Missing:
Authorities seek information in Marine recruit’s disappearance
Investigators scour woods in case of missing Marine recruit
Aunt of Missing Marine Recruit Makes Emotional Plea for Nephew’s Safe Return
Family: It’s out of character for missing national guardsman to disappear
Help find service dog stolen from KY veteran
Theodore Jost Missing Veteran
Clarence Moore Missing Active Duty Military
Special agent’s disappearance doesn’t make sense
Where are “The Springfield Three”? Women Disappeared Without a Trace in 1992
Disappeared: Stacy McCall, Suzie Streeter, and Sherrill Levitt are ‘The Springfield Three’ who Vanished from Levitt’s Missouri Home on June 7, 1992
Lackland Air Force Base Nurse Nonnie Dotson Mysteriously Disappeared, Last Seen November 19th, 2006 in Littleton, Colorado While on Leave

Cold Cases:
10 Unsolved Military Cases | Military Justice for All
Army National Guard Capt. Gordon Hess Found Stabbed to Death at Fort Knox, CID Ruled Suicide Despite 26 Stab Wounds to Neck & Chest Area (1998)
Air Force Col. Philip Shue Died in an Apparent Car Accident, But Autopsy Revealed Much More; Texas Judge Ruled Cause of Death as Homicide (2003)
Cold Case: Army Veteran Kanika Powell Shot Several Times at Doorway of Maryland Home, No Known Suspects At This Time (2008)
Unsolved Homicide: Fort Hood Army Pvt. Justin Lewis Shot & Killed Near Vacant Lot in Neighborhood in Killeen, Texas (2017)
Family of Man Murdered in LR New Year’s Day 2016 Seeking Public’s Help in Finding His Killer

Fugitive on the Run:
New Security Footage in Search For ‘Armed and Dangerous’ Fugitive Army Recruiter
Reward Offered for Armed and Dangerous Fugitive: Army Recruiter John Blauvelt Wanted for Allegedly Murdering Estranged Wife in South Carolina (2016)
US Marshals release new images of man wanted for 2017 double murder

*************************************************

ACTIVE DUTY

Overseas Deaths:
US Army soldier dies at base in Kosovo
Islamic State group offshoot claims attack on US soldiers in Niger
SPC Zachary C. Moore Memorial
DoD Identifies Army Casualty: Javion Sullivan, 24, Ft. Hood
DoD Identifies Army Casualty: Mihail Golin, 34, Ft. Lee
Family: Soldier with ties to Simpsonville killed in Iraq
Fort Hood soldier who died in Iraq remembered by family
US servicemember killed in fighting in eastern Afghanistan
DoD identifies Green Beret killed in New Year’s Day attack in Afghanistan
First Navy Jack flies at Pearl Harbor to honor sailors killed in collisions
Body of Turlock soldier who died in Iraq returns home

Stateside Deaths:
Three young men killed after late-night crash in St. Lucie remembered by family, neighbors
Cause of Death Determined in Lakeside Car Fire
Marine Dies in Parachute Accident in Arizona
Fort Hood identifies soldier found unresponsive at off-post residence
Soldier killed, 5 injured when military vehicles crash
2016 Hornet Crash Involved Commander of Top Gun, Investigation Shows
Two soldiers killed in Apache crash at Fort Irwin
In Memory Of U.S. Army SSG Anthony Ray Lovell | Freedom Isn’t Free
Airman assigned to Shaw AFB found dead at off-base home
Fort Riley soldier found dead off post
Shaw AFB airman who was found deceased identified as crew chief
Mosque vandal commits suicide a day after sentencing
Two teens, both Army Reservists, killed while pushing stalled vehicle off Jefferson County road
Camp Pendleton Marine killed in San Diego had plans to join law enforcement
Dakota Lee Stump (EP 104) | The Vanished Podcast
Honor sought for US soldier who died in Bronx fire rescue
2 killed in Bellevue when tow truck crashes into stopped cars, police say
Ohio to require overpass fencing after sandbag causes deadly crash
19-year-old airman, Papillion man killed in 3-vehicle crash

Homicide Cases:
Court denies appeal in airman stabbing murder conviction
Body of Calif. woman identified two decades later
DNA hit solves 1992 murder-mystery
18-year-old Marine who was fatally stabbed at Camp Pendleton buried Monday, as investigation continues
Judge rules on bail conditions for triple homicide suspect
Family of murdered Army sergeant make an appeal to you
Funeral Monday for Janesville Marine murdered at Camp Pendleton
Ex-Marine Found Guilty of Killing Two UCSD Medical Students In Drunk Driving Crash
Procession held for Camp Pendleton Marine stabbed to death on base
“We do this to honor him:” Body of murdered Rock County Marine returns to Wisconsin
How homicide charges for two skippers will shake up the entire Navy
Michelle Paet sentenced to life without parole for conspiring to kill her husband
2nd man charged in slaying of Army sergeant is ordered held on no bail
Family mourns Marine stabbed to death at Camp Pendleton
2nd man charged with Omaha slaying of visiting soldier
More Murder-Suicide Details Disclosed
McKernan could serve 3 1/2 years under plea deal
American sailor freed from Belgian custody as Pentagon takes over homicide probe
Navy filing homicide charges against 2 ship commanders
Navy filing homicide charges against officers in ship collisions that killed 17
Funeral held for murdered Army Staff Sergeant Kyle LeFlore
Man accused of shooting Army sergeant admitted to the crime, prosecutor says
Police: Witness to murder-suicide involving Navy officer struck gunman with SUV
Pregnant woman killed by stray bullet identified as Air Force wife
Soldier Found Guilty, Sentenced in Murder of Good Samaritan Marine
US Marine killed in stabbing at Camp Pendleton’s School of Infantry
Suspects wanted in Texas couple’s ambush, murder during home robbery
Man convicted in fatal shooting of Good Samaritan at Arlington Walgreens in 2016
3 Men Accused of Brutally Slaying Texas Couple Execution-Style Held Without Bond
Raised by a Serial Killer: Edward Edwards’ Daughter Shares Guilt and Shame After Turning Him In
Fate of Marine charged with murder for fatal crash in hands of jury
‘With Excrutiating Sadness’ Father Confirms Marine Son Killed in Camp Pendleton Stabbing
2nd man charged in slaying of Army sergeant is ordered held on no bail
Fort Eustis soldier, mistress plead guilty to wife’s 2013 murder
Fort Bragg investigates dead body found on post
Document: Ft. Bliss soldier accused of killing man claims he has PTSD
Court documents detail moments leading up to death of man near Hueco Tanks
Fort Bliss soldier accused of killing man in front of shocked witnesses
Navy servicewoman allegedly killed by ex-boyfriend in Lake Forest had made video about domestic violence
Staff sergeant shot, killed while visiting family in Nebraska
Arrests Made in Fatal Stabbing of Camp Pendleton Marine
Suspects in Gaslamp Quarter Stabbing of US Marine Have History of Predatory Attacks: Prosecutor
Claire Vanlandingham & Ryan Zike: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know
Omaha gunfire claims the life of a soldier on a visit home
Men who stabbed Marine to death targeted him because he appeared to be easy target
Green Beret indicted for murder (1994)

Sex Crimes Cases:
Coast Guard rape conviction overturned after court’s scathing attack on women-packed jury
Man sentenced to 20 years for child molestation
Air Force Academy cadet accused of sexual assault found not guilty
Navy recruiter suspected of using position to lure sex-abuse victims
Ex-Air Force policeman who raped four women at gun point sentenced to prison
Airman sentenced for sexually abusing young pregnant teen runaway on base
Academy Scandal Exposes Air Force’s Continuing Struggle With Sexual Assault
Former death row inmate, Army Sergeant accused of sex trafficking
Man previously on Delaware’s death row indicted in Hawaii

Other Crime Cases:
Airman, son of Army 1SG charged with injuring 5-year-old during a hit and run
Man pleads guilty in border smuggling case involving former Fort Hood soldiers
Army hospital employees under investigation for misconduct
Marine charged in ‘military training’ child abuse
Military romance scammers steal U.S. soldiers’ photos — and money — from lonely people
Soldier who was hunting charged after N.C. woman was struck by a bullet while in truck with baby
Clarksville Mongols gang members no strangers to police
First military trial in Navy’s ‘Fat Leonard’ scandal results in guilty plea in Norfolk
Motorcyclists held at gun point after trying to sneak in USAF base for second time
Security Forces airman arrested for kidnapping, spotted at squadron holiday party

Absent Without Leave (AWOL) Cases:
Military Desertion is Issue in Border Agent’s Murder Case
Asking for help to find double homicide suspect
Soldier who found fame executing Nazis died his own mysterious death

Military Explosives:
Anti-personnel mine found near Fountain Creek was real
Police: Hand grenade disarmed after being found in trash
$10,000 reward offered for info about military explosives discovered in Pine

Wrongful Conviction Cases:
Bill would give Norfolk Four $3.5M for wrongful rape, murder convictions
Former Marine Sniper Punished in Scandal Wins Again in Court
Dennis Maher: How DNA Freed a Wrongfully Convicted Army Sergeant After 19 Years

*************************************************

NATIONAL GUARD

Stateside Deaths:
Florida National Guard identifies soldier killed in military vehicle crash
2 soldiers die after SUV stalls on Missouri roadway
Indiana National Guard soldier dies at Fort Hood
Army releasing few details on National Guard soldier who died at Fort Hood
Second Republican Lawmaker Commits Suicide Following Sexual Abuse Allegations In Less than a Month

Felony Crime:
Couple was paid for recruiting soldiers, but they committed fraud, jury finds
Fairbanks man gets 20 years for 2016 rape

Administrative:
Former official claims sex discrimination, lies, obstruction at Oregon military agency in $4 million suit
Shutdown cancels North Carolina National Guard training
Eric Greitens Should Have Known Better
Allegations against Missouri governor raise legal risks
Sheena Chestnut, Eric Greitens’ Wife: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

*************************************************

VETERANS

Deaths:
Cause of fatal SW Wichita fire determined
Man who died in Lansing house fire was U.S. Air Force veteran
Gun used in Yakima veteran’s suicide among those confiscated, sold
This Marine Veteran Just Died of Cancer at 36. Here’s Why He Fought Assisted Suicide.
Military Suicide Awareness | SGT Jordan Roberts, 27, USMC, November 14, 2017
A Tacoma veteran died waiting for heart surgery from the VA. His family has sued

Homicide Cases:
3 sentenced to prison for their part in killing of Army veteran
Former Marine accused of murder-for-hire plot released on bail
Ex-soldier sentenced to life in prison for murder of Denver transit guard
Murder suspect held on $5 million bond, victim’s family seeks answers in Delaware shooting
Ex-soldier gets life in prison without parole for slaying Denver transit guard
Funeral services held for paramedic, Army veteran, killed by husband
Victims in Bella Vista suspected murder-suicide identified
Family says murder victim was killed for defending his daughter
Attorney seeks to bar border agent’s military records from trial in teen’s shooting
Crime History: Versace-Killer Andrew Cunanan’s 1997 Murder Spree
Deputy US marshal, an Army veteran, killed while serving Pennsylvania warrant
Man convicted in Kane County murder 20 years ago now on trial for armed robbery
Deputies Down-Colorado story
Officials: SCI-Somerset inmate killed his cellmate
Colorado Gunman Live-Streamed Shooting of Sheriff Deputies
Suspect charged with murder in San Bernardino deputy’s death ‘needs to spend the rest of his life in prison,’ DA says
Police: Former School Principal and Her Mom Died of Gunshot Wounds
Alonzo Leron Smith, Who Fatally Punched California Police Officer, Charged With Murder
Suspect identified in fatal shooting of deputy

Other Crime Cases:
Army Vet Shot by Police at VA Clinic Faces Charges
Dear thieves, give back the Silver Star you stole from a dying Kansas veteran
Former Pilot Sentenced to Life in Prison for Traveling to Philippines to Buy, Rape Young Girls
See the First Image of Sarah Palin’s Battered Husband Todd After Son Track’s Alleged Attack

Wrongful Conviction Cases:
Blackwater: Black-listed and betrayed
Man wrongfully convicted of Simi double-murder plans to work with veterans

Veterans Affairs Issues:
DoD and VA Partner with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention to Focus on Reducing Suicide
VA criticized over eye care for vets in rural areas
Fired combat veteran sues McDonald, alleging discrimination
DoD and VA Release Online Tool to Assist Veterans with Discharge Upgrade Process
Police: Oregon man shot by VA officer had come to clinic for appointment
What You Think About Veterans Is Likely Wrong
Man Shot at Oregon Veterans Clinic During Altercation
Inmates, dogs help veterans reintegrate into civilian life
The Obstacles Facing VA In Its Fight To End Veteran Homelessness
Army veteran found dead in freezing cold parking lot after release from VA hospital
Army vet with scalpel left in body after surgery sues VA
New England vet claims surgeon left scalpel inside his body for 4 years
VA secretary apologizes for surgery that left scalpel in Army veteran for years
VA Facilities Now Offer Same-day Care for Urgent Primary and Mental Health-care Needs
New Hampshire House Approved Marijuana Legalization Bill
New Trump order focused on preventing suicide among new vets
New Trump Executive Order Takes Aim At America’s Veteran Suicide Crisis
Reality Check: Veterans Have Lost Faith in A Failing VA System
Unarmed Kansas Man killed by SWAT Team After Getting ‘Swatted’ By Call of Duty Player
If You’re A Vet In California, Here’s How The New Marijuana Laws May Affect You
Explainer: What is “Swatting?” Prank Calls to SWAT Teams are on the Rise
VA Caught Denying Care To Sicker Vets To Get Better Performance Ratings
Attorney General Sessions ends federal policy that let legal pot flourish
VA says Justice Department crackdown on marijuana won’t hit veterans
VA firings spiked after Trump signed the new accountability law last year

*************************************************

Mental Health:
Show Your Mind Who’s Boss
“You have value. It’s there.” | Korey Shaffer
Seeking Justice or Enhancing a Victimized Identity?
5 Things Not to Say to Someone Who’s Suicidal — and What to Say Instead
A Letter to Parents Surviving a Child’s Suicide
Is Mental Illness Physical or Mental?
Honoring Our Fallen Police, Firefighters, Military
11 Signs of a Sneaky Sociopath
The Catch-22 of Dealing With a Narcissist
How To Spot Sociopath Women
3 Surprising Ways Heartbreak Impacts Your Brain

*************************************************

MILITARY JUSTICE REFORM

Felony Crime:
Freed Felon Chelsea Manning to Run For Senate
Military Sexual Trauma Survivors Speak Out At Pentagon
Pentagon officials endorse demonstration against military sexual assault
Veterans Who Have Faced Sexual Assault Ask: Where Is Our #MeToo Moment?
“Where’s Our Reckonin?” | Military Women Gather Outside Pentagon in #MeToo Protest

International Incidents:
Pentagon investigating video that appears to show a service member opening fire on a civilian

Accountability:
Military Morale Sacrificed as Pawn in Shutdown Political Game
Surface Fleet Commander to Resign After Reported Firing Recommendation
Army general now ‘special assistant’ after ‘sweetheart’ comment to female staffer
So the military is doing its job, but not getting paid. And Congress is not doing its job, but getting paid? #SchumerShutdown via Uncle Sam’s Misguided Children

Other Injustices:
Pico Rivera Student Who Recorded Teacher’s Anti-Military Rant Hopes to Serve in Marine
Secrecy and uncertainty surrounds Navy discipline for fatal ship collisions
This viral video caught a California high school teacher’s ugly rant about military recruiters
CA Teacher Caught on Tape: US Military Members ‘The Lowest of the Low’
Air Force supplying drinking water after water well contamination detected near former Texas base
Sgt. Joshua Berry, 2009 Terrorist Attack, Fort Hood | Judicial Watch
Report: Navy sailor found hiding on ship had financial problems
Missing sailor who hid on USS Shiloh was found filthy, carrying Peeps candy, report says
Navy Missed Signs Of ‘Clear Instability’ In Days Before Shiloh Sailor Went MIA

Military Policy:
John Kelly says California teacher caught on video bashing troops ‘ought to go to hell’
Social media becoming powerful tool for Fayetteville police
Marine Col. drugged, robbed in Colombia; now being forced to retire
Air Force technical sergeant removed for racially charged video rant
The Conversation #MeToo Needs to Have
USAF TSgt removed from charge after online rant, base under investigation
Second Lady Karen Pence Advocates for Art Therapy to Help Fort Hood Soldiers
Geraldine Lovely: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know
The Innocence Deniers
USAF NCO under investigation for saying only her black subordinates are disrespectful
Why Revoking Obama’s Sex Assault Letter Won’t End Campus Witch Hunts
US soldiers are revealing sensitive and dangerous information by jogging
Army pays $4 million to families for murders committed by WA soldier
New PTSD study shows recovery for Fort Hood soldiers in just two weeks
Navy tells families when they can identify a sailor who has died on social media in latest handbook
AFRICOM investigates images depicting Niger ambush that killed four US soldiers
#MeToo Excesses | Opinion | The Harvard Crimson
Why Does Our Justice System Fight So Hard to Keep Innocent People Behind Bars?
Injured Heroes, Broken Promises: Army Launches Investigation Inside Fort Hood’s Warrior Transition Unit
This Is How Mass Incarceration Happens
Nonprofit steps in to aid military death benefits during shutdown
How To Avoid Getting Duped By A Stripper
Troops Just Want Congress to Stop Political Budget Games: Dunford
Feds say slaying by outlaw biker gang happened at Bumpus Mills cemetery
6 signs she is more in love with your contract than you
#MeToo and the Military
Why don’t more people serve? The US is launching a commission to find out
Reporting abuse was risking my life – US veteran & rape victim
S.2870 – Military Retaliation Prevention Act (2015-2016)
McKernan jurors: What if Colleen and Rob’s roles were reversed?
‘Til Death Do Them Part: A Husband Pushed Off a Cliff, a Wife Drowns and Other Newlywed Homicides
Condoleezza Rice on #MeToo: ‘Let’s not turn women into snowflakes’
Rape Victims’ Reactions Misunderstood by Law Enforcement
DOJ to help police dive deep into numbers
This young man is transgender, and ready to enlist Jan. 1
Rape Kits in America: Battling the Backlog-on-Backlog in SAKI
Dakota’s Law by Warriors Aftermath & Recovery (Dakota Stump)
Publicly, We Say #MeToo. Privately, We Have Misgivings.
‘Believe the Victim’ Investigations Reveal a Callous Disregard for the Truth
Proposal Would Create Alerts for ‘Critically Missing’ Adults

*************************************************

MILITARY JUSTICE FOR ALL

Publications:
Honoring the Victims of Serial Killer Andrew Urdiales, US Marine Corps, in California and Illinois (1986-1996)
Top 10 Posts on Military Justice for All in 2017
Army Soldiers at Fort Hood in Texas Are Dying at Alarming Rates Stateside
74 Fort Hood Soldiers Died Since January 2016: 4 Insider Attacks & 2 Suicides Overseas; 67 Stateside Deaths Including 34 Alleged Suicides & 1 Unsolved Homicide
Army Major Chester Barrett Murdered By Estranged Wife Lisbeth & Step-Son for Military Survivor Benefits; Both Sentenced to Prison 35+ Years Later (1977)
Navy Spouse Susan Russo Hired Drug Addicted Hitmen for $100 to Murder Husband David for the Servicemen’s Group Life Insurance (July 14, 1994)
AWOL Army Pvt. Dannie Boy Edwards’ Bones Found Near Ohio Cemetery on April 13, 1997; Ed Edwards Guilty of Murder for SGLI; Sentenced to Death (April 13, 1996)
Army Soldier Gary Prokop Murdered by Wife Tyshee Manik & Childhood Friends for the Servicemen’s Group Life Insurance (June 25, 1998)
Fort Bragg Army SSG John Diamond Convicted of Murder of Air Force Capt. Marty Theer; Military Court Sentenced to Life in Prison, No Parole (2001)
Army Pfc LaVena Johnson Died of Non Combat Related Injuries in Iraq, Death Ruled Suicide But Independent Autopsy Revealed Rape & Murder (2005)
Army Soldier Marc O’Leary Raped an 18 Year Old Woman in Washington; Three Years Later Arrested in Colorado for Rape & Sentenced to 300 Plus Years (2008)
Pregnant Samira Watkins Found Dead in Bayou Grande in Florida; Navy Sailor Zachary Littleton Convicted of 1st Degree Murder, Sentenced to Life (2009)
Evidence Reveals U.S. Army Reserve Recruiter Adam Arndt Murdered High School Student & Recruit Michelle Miller, Then Killed Self; Army Investigators Claim ‘Double Suicide’ (2013)
Army Spouse Dana Mackay Found Murdered in Virginia Home; SSG John Mackay, Nicole Houchin, Nace Houchin, & Greg Crawford Confessed to Crime (2013)
Air Force Veteran Colleen McKernan Shot Husband Robert 10 Times; Plead Guilty to Manslaughter to Avoid 3rd Trial, Sentenced to 7 Years in Prison (2014)
Fort Hood Army Pvt. Dakota Stump Found Dead on Post Three Weeks After Vehicle Accident; Family Wants Missing ‘Warrior Alert’ Law (2016)
Pvt. Wanya Bruns Died by Self-Inflicted Gunshot Wound Nine Months After Joining Army; One of Many in 1st Cavalry Division at Fort Hood, Texas (2016)
The Silent Truth: The Rape, Murder & Military Cover-Up of Army Pfc LaVena Johnson in Iraq
Killeen PD: Army SSG Anthony Lovell Died of Injuries Sustained in Apparent Motorcycle Accident Along Nolan Creek in Killeen, Texas (2017)
Fort Hood Army Spc. Zachary Moore Found Unresponsive in Barracks on Deployment to Camp Hovey, South Korea; CID Ruled Suicide (2017)
30 Domestic Abuse Cases in the Military That Ended in the Murder of Female Partners (2017)
Washington DC Veteran’s Presentation on the Current Status of the Armed Forces at Fort Hood in Texas (2017)
30 Domestic Abuse Cases in the Military That Ended in the Murder of Female Partners (2017)
A Month in Review: In the News on Military Justice for All (November 2017)
A Month in Review: In the News on Military Justice for All (December 2017)
Sophie and Co | RT: Reporting abuse was risking my life – US veteran & rape victim (2018)

On This Day:
100 Years After The Porvenir Massacre, Most Texans Still Haven’t Heard The Story
Today in History for Jan. 15
Johnson says U.S. should stay in Vietnam | History.com (January 12, 1966)
Andrew Muns Disappeared from USS Cacapon, Listed AWOL; 30 Plus Years Later, NCIS Cold Case Squad Solved Murder; Michael LeBrun Plead Guilty (January 17, 1968)
Explosion rocks USS Enterprise (January 14, 1969)
Cease-fire goes into effect (January 28, 1973) | History
President Carter pardons draft dodgers | History (1977)
Army Brigadier General Bobby Robinson Found Dead by Gunshot Wounds at Washington DC Home, Death Believed to be Suicide (January 14, 1985)
Saddleback College Student Robbin Brandley was Stabbed to Death by Camp Pendleton Marine Andrew Urdiales in California (January 18, 1986)
Civilian Kimberly Ruggles Raped & Murdered by Fort Bragg Soldier; Ronald Gray Sentenced to Death by Military Courts for Two Murders & One Attempted Murder (January 6, 1987)
The Persian Gulf War begins (January 16, 1991)
Army OTS Candidate Lisa Gaudenzi Disappeared from Virginia Home; 15 Years Later, Spouse Lawrence Pleaded Guilty to Murder, Sentenced to 25 Years (January 26, 1995)
Navy Petty Officer James Kuenn Convicted of the Cold Case Murder of Carol Hutto in Florida; Sentenced to Life, Possibility of Parole After 25 Years (February 9, 2000)
The US Air Force Academy Sexual Assault Scandal, Colorado (2003)
Army Sgt. Keicia Hines Struck by a Vehicle on Mosul Airfield in Iraq; No Updates on Outcome of DoD Investigation (January 14, 2004)
Air Force SSgt Michael Severance Drugged by Wife; Wendi Davidson Plead ‘No Contest’ to 1st Degree Murder, Sentenced to 25 Years (January 15, 2005)
Army Pfc. Suzanne Swift Went AWOL from Fort Lewis; She Refused to Deploy for Third Time with Superiors She Accused of Sexual Harassment (January 15, 2006)
Army Soldier Katherine ‘Kat’ Singleton Died in Iraq; Department of Defense Did Not Publish Press Release Notifying Public of Death (January 18, 2006)
MA1 Jennifer Valdivia, US Navy, Died in a Non Combat Related Incident in Bahrain, NCIS Ruled Death Suicide by Carbon Monoxide Poisoning (January 16, 2007)
Marine Veteran Joseph Kerekes & Navy Veteran Harlow Cuadra Murdered Bryan Kocis in Pennsylvania Home; Sentenced to Life in Prison (January 24, 2007)
College Student Brianna Denison Kidnapped, Raped and Strangled by a Former Marine in Reno, Nevada; James Biela Sentenced to Death (January 20, 2008)
Sgt Tracy Birkman, US Army, Died of Non Combat Related Injuries in Owesat, Iraq (January 25, 2008)
Iraq War Army Veteran Benjamin Barnes Found Dead in Mount Rainier National Park; Suspect in Death of Park Ranger Margaret Anderson (January 2, 2012)
Army Soldier Sgt. Brandy Fonteneaux Found Murdered in Fort Carson Barracks; Sgt. Vincinte Jackson Sentenced to Life, No Parole (January 9, 2012)
Fort Bragg Army Soldier Joshua Eisenhauer Shot at Police & Firefighters During 4-Hour Standoff at Fayetteville Home (January 13, 2012)
Shannon O’Roark Murdered Estranged Husband’s Mistress Veterans Affairs Psychiatrist Dr. Irina Puscariu; Sentenced to 20 Years in Prison (January 13, 2012)
Iraq War Army Veteran Steven Russell Jr. Convicted of the Capital Murder of Girlfriend Joy Owen; Sentenced to Life in Prison, No Parole (January 27, 2012)
US Air Force TSgt. Jennifer Norris Testified Before the House Armed Services Committee in Washington DC (January 23, 2013)
Air Force Defends Handling of Sex Scandal (January 24, 2013)
JBLM Army Soldier Shawn Woods Died Saving a Woman Stabbed in Back by Boyfriend; Chase Devyver Sentenced to 31 Years in Prison (January 19, 2014)
Army SSG Devin Schuette Found Dead in Vehicle at Recreation Area Near Fort Hood; CID Ruled Suicide, Spouse Requests Independent Investigation (January 3, 2016)
Iraq Army Veteran Jonathan ‘Mike’ Gilotti Gunned Down in Front of Home in Alabama; 4 Individuals Charged with Murder, 1 Found Not Guilty (January 5, 2016)
Air Force Major John Gerrie Died from Non-Combat Related Incident at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar (January 16, 2016)
Fort Hood Army Major Troy Wayman Found Dead at Residence in Nolanville, Texas; Death Ruled Suicide by Self-Inflicted Gunshot Wound (January 16, 2016)
Air Force TSgt Zechariah Casagranda Stabbed to Death in Parking Lot in Louisiana; Benjamin Shaw Found Not Guilty of Second Degree Murder (January 24, 2016)
Vanity Fair Confidential on Investigation Discovery Features ‘Code of Dishonor’ (January 25, 2016)
Army Sgt. Joseph Stifter Died of Wounds Suffered When Armored HMMWV was Involved in Roll-over Accident in Iraq (January 28, 2016)
Army Pfc. Shadow McClaine Reported Missing at Fort Campbell on 9/2; Spc. Charles Robinson Pleaded Guilty to Murder, Sgt. Jamal Williams-McCray Awaiting Trial (January 23, 2017)
Fort Hood Army Pfc. Kai Yancey, Died After Complications From a Short Illness on New Year’s Day at Scott & White Hospital in Temple, Texas (January 1, 2017)
Fort Hood Army Pfc. Randal Anderson Died from Gunshot Wound in Killeen; No Updates on Outcome of Investigation & Cause of Death Ruling (January 2, 2017)
Florida airport shooting suspect Esteban Santiago formally charged with murder (January 6, 2017)
Army Spc. Barron Von Reichelt Died From Injuries Suffered in an Automobile Accident on South Range Road at Fort Hood (January 7, 2017)
Army Sgt. Alex Taylor Found Unresponsive in Place of Duty at Fort Hood; No Updates on Outcome of Investigation & Cause of Death Ruling (January 11, 2017)
Army Spc. Zackary Partin Found Dead in Barracks at Fort Hood in Texas; Had Plans to Discharge in a Few Months & Become Full-Time Firefighter (January 12, 2017)
Army Pfc. Shadow McClaine Reported Missing at Fort Campbell on 9/2; Spc. Charles Robinson Pleaded Guilty to Murder, Sgt. Jamal Williams-McCray Awaiting Trial (January 23, 2017)
Shaw AFB SSgt. Zachary Townsend Found Deceased at Off-base Residence Near Columbia, South Carolina; No Foul Play Suspected (January 15, 2018)

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ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

Featured in Television Episode, Movie, Documentary, Theatre:
No Means Yes | Deadly Women Quick Hits
“48 Hours: NCIS” | Body of Evidence
Tyshee Prokop Documentary | Female Killers
‘The 15:17 Train to Paris’ Cast on Who They Would’ve Chosen to Play Themselves
Megan Leavey Movie Trailer
Cold Case Files: Carols Diary (With Bill Kurtis)
Realistic Patriotism Makes ‘12 Strong’ A War Movie Worth Watching
Watch Our Interview With the Real Heroes of ‘The 15:17 to Paris’
BSF Exclusive Sneak Peek: National Geographic’s Chain of Command
The Ultimate Pledge | Bride Killa | Investigation Discovery
‘The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story’: Who is Andrew Cunanan?
My Father, The Serial Killer | People Magazine Investigates (ID Web)
Afghan War Documentary ‘Trauma’ Does Justice To The Difficult Job Of Combat Medic
‘12 Strong’ Isn’t The Afghan War Movie We Deserve, But It’s The One We Want
The Perfect Suspect (Investigation Discovery): Lisa Gaudenzi, US Army
Forbidden: Dying for Love (Investigation Discovery): Adam Arndt & Michelle Miller
‘A Few Good Men’ Comes to Cotuit Center for the Arts
Evil Lives Here (Investigation Discovery): Bobby Joe Long, Army Veteran

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MISCELLANEOUS
Army announces deployments for about 10,000 soldiers
Elevator maintenance worker found dead at William Beaumont’s 9th floor
US: American soldier wounded in Afghan attack
Top 10: Mariah Woods disappears
Married to a Monster: Ex-wife discusses serial killer who raped, killed 10 women
After 15 years, father finds peace in knowing truth about his murdered daughter
Oprah as commander in chief? Here’s what she had to say about the Iraq War
Okinawa-Based Marine Honored for Heroism after Harrowing Water Rescue
Gen. Mark Welsh sounds alarm on undermanned Air Force (2015)
Rear Admiral Ronny Jackson: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know
Martin Luther King Day | Military Justice for All
Chelsea Manning files to run for US Senate in Maryland
Ex-wife says lawmaker who killed himself molested 2 girls, including relative
Dog Found Tied To Tree With Note Has Been Adopted By Army Specialist
Surprise for an Army Veteran | Purple Heart Homes
Thank you for your service to all generations of veterans
NFL rejects Super Bowl ad from veterans group that asks players to stand during anthem
California Names Mountain after Marine Who Died in Combat
Preston Sharp: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

Related Links:
A Month in Review: In the News on Military Justice for All (November 2017)
A Month in Review: In the News on Military Justice for All (December 2017)
A Month in Review: In the News on Military Justice for All (January 2018)
A Month in Review: In the News on Military Justice for All (February 2018)
A Month in Review: In the News on Military Justice for All (March 2018)

TSgt Steven Bellino, US Air Force (2016)

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TSgt Steven Bellino, US Air Force

TSgt Steven Bellino, 41, US Air Force, passed away on April 8, 2016 at Joint Base San-Antonio in Texas.

Related Links:
Obituary: Steven D. Bellino
Technical Sgt. Steven D. Bellino, Save Our Heroes
Two Airmen Fatally Shot at San Antonio Base Identified
Air Force Officials Identified Two Men Killed In Workplace Violence
Lackland AFB shooting victims identified as TSgt and squadron commander
Victims in Lackland shooting ID’d as former FBI agent, squadron commander
Gunman in Texas Air Force Base Killing Had Gone AWOL
Lackland AFB Shooter Was Facing Disciplinary Action For Going AWOL
Training Squadron Commander, Student ID’d as Airmen Dead in Air Force Base Shooting
Lackland Air Force Base Gunman in Murder-Suicide was Ex-FBI Agent
Official: Ex-FBI Agent Was Gunman in Texas Base Shooting
Suspect in Apparent Murder-Suicide at Texas Air Force Base Was a Former FBI Agent
Lackland base shooter ID’ed as former FBI agent, Iraq war veteran
Air Force: Student from Northeast Ohio killed commander at Lackland AFB
Texas Air Force base gunman was from Parma Heights, reports say
Commander ‘went out swinging’ in Lackland murder-suicide
Air Force commander ‘went out swinging’ during deadly shooting with former FBI agent at Texas base
Special Operations airman killed his squadron commander in apparent-murder suicide
Gunman in Texas Air Force base killing had gone AWOL, then taken mental health exam
A Long Career in Military’s Elite Spirals Into a Killing and a Suicide
Lackland gunman had been a standout soldier
Air Force: PTSD, other factors led airman to kill commander
Air Force reports: PTSD, other factors led airman to kill commander
Special Forces Vet Killed Himself, Commander Because Of Failing Career
Special Forces vet took two guns, a knife and a grudge into fatal meeting
In wake of Lackland shooting, Air Force aims to remove dropouts quicker
Family of Spec Ops Airman, who killed commander, alleges a USAF cover-up
A disputed suicide note and other documents trace Steve Bellino’s descent
Violent Crime, Suicide & Non Combat Death at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston, Texas

The gunman behind the fatal shooting at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland has been identified as Steven D. Bellino, a former FBI agent who later enlisted in the US Air Force. Bellino was an FBI agent for less than two years before resigning in 2013. Authorities have not confirmed why Lt. Col. William A. Schroeder was targeted in the murder/suicide attack.

United States Air Force Court of Criminal Appeals Upheld United States v. Jane Neubauer, US Air Force (2016)

Retaliation

On March 10, 2016 the United States Air Force Court of Criminal Appeals upheld United States v. Jane Neubauer, United States Air Force. Is this another case of federal government overreach and denial of due process rights? I think John Q Public‘s assessment of this case speaks volumes of the real issues behind the Command directed prosecution of an airman who blew the whistle after being recruited as an Office of Special Investigations (OSI) confidential informant. The same OSI office she exposed ended up investigating and assisting with her prosecution. This is yet another example of the importance of letting an impartial law enforcement official and prosecutor make decisions about whether to investigate, who should investigate, who to investigate, and whether or not they have the evidence to move forward with a case. The moment a military member asks for an attorney, all criminal justice communications with Commanders and their investigators must cease. Every accused military member should be represented by counsel and afforded their due process rights throughout the entire investigation including collection of evidence. Learn more about your due process rights here.

“There have been many sexual assault accusations far less credible than the accusation made by this Airman. Many that were enthusiastically pursued by prosecutors despite their frailty … many that did not result in disciplinary actions when they were revealed to have been false.

So, what was so special about this accusation?

Well, she was an OSI informant, and the situation cast OSI in an extremely negative light at a time when the OSI informant program was already under fire. The same organization that recruited her right out of BMT to help investigate drug activity at Keesler AFB conducted the investigation that eventually resulted in her prosecution.

If she’s wrong … if she’s bad … if she’s a liar … then obviously she’s the problem. She’ll absorb the negative attention and culpability … leaving OSI and its shady actions in this debacle comfortably out of the limelight.

Another example of prosecutorial inconsistency and arbitrariness in the USAF … demonstrating that it’s not operating an impartial justice system, but a score-settling control device on behalf of the chain of command.” ~John Q Public

Related Links:
United States v. Airman Basic Jane M. Neubauer, United States Air Force
Spies, Lies, and Rape in the Air Force: An Undercover Agent’s Story
Undercover Agent Says the Air Force Is Retaliating Against Her After She Was Raped
Air Force undercover informant claims she is being hounded out of the service after being raped while trying to root out drug rings
Gillibrand Reacts to Air Force Rape Case First Reported by The Daily Beast
The Pentagon’s shameful culture of sexual assault can still be uprooted
Air Force Charges Ex-Informant With Lying About Her Rape
Keesler Air Force Base ex-informant loses appeal
Former Air Force informant who made false rape charge loses appeal
Former Air Force Informant Who Made False Rape Charge Loses Appeal
Honor and deception: A secretive Air Force program recruits academy students to inform on fellow cadets and disavows them afterward
Air Force Cadet’s Secret Story: I Blew the Whistle on Football Players and Sex Assaults
Hearing testimony reveals subterfuge of Air Force Academy informant program
Informant Debate Renewed as Air Force Revisits Cadet Misconduct
Air Force Academy: Please Reinstate Cadet Eric Thomas and Reform the Confidential Informant Program!

A Very Realistic Military Game | Inside Amy Schumer (August 26, 2014)

Amy discovers that her boyfriend’s war game unfolds very differently when the player chooses a female character. -Inside Amy Schumer, Comedy Central (August 26, 2014)

The sketch says it all… there’s a reason the majority of service members don’t report crime. Character assassination and retaliation is real for both male and female victims of crime in the military. Their lives, reputations, careers, and futures are dependent on the actions of the convening authority who has the power to do nothing. In the civilian world, after reporting a crime to the local police department and evidence is gathered, a prosecutor determines whether or not a case moves forward in the judicial system. The Military Justice Improvement Act (MJIA) attempts to mirror this process and was reintroduced in June 2019, yet again was not allowed on the Senate floor for a vote. The last cloture vote on the way the military should handle felony crimes was on March 6, 2014. Invoking cloture means 60 Senators or two-thirds is required for passage of a bill as opposed to the majority of Senators. The biggest opponents of the MJIA were former Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO) and former Senator Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), both since voted out of the Senate and replaced by Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA) and Senator Martha McSally (R-AZ). This pair of military officers are proponents of keeping the Chain of Command involved in the decision making process of adjudicating felony crime despite what the majority of military sexual assault survivors have asked for because the fear and retaliation continues. Meanwhile, the fight for military justice reform rages on. #PassMJIA

Related Links:
Inside Amy Schumer – A Very Realistic Military Game (YouTube)
Inside Amy Schumer – A Very Realistic Military Game (website)
Inside Amy Schumer: Military Video Game and Victim Blaming
Best of 2014: Inside Amy Schumer’s military rape sketch
The 11 Best Sketches from ‘Inside Amy Schumer’ Season 2
Amy Schumer Plays a Very Realistic Military Game (Trigger Warning)
Here’s Why You Don’t Want To Play A Female Character In A ‘Realistic’ Military Game
Amy Schumer Realizes Military Games Are Not Fun for Female Characters
15 feminist Amy Schumer sketches that will make you stand up and cheer
Amy Schumer’s Top 5 Feminist Comedy Sketches
The top 10 funniest sketches from ‘Inside Amy Schumer’
Amy Schumer: ‘I don’t try to be feminist. I just am. It’s innately inside me’
Amy Schumer Is A Feminist Icon & Here’s 5 Undeniable Reasons Why
5 jokes that explain how Amy Schumer became the new queen of comedy
Breathless: Why Amy Schumer Is an Amazing Feminist
Amy Schumer’s Call of Duty: The Comedic Art of Straddling the Line Between Humor and Hurt