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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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)

Military Policy and Legislation Considerations for the Investigations of Non Combat Death, Homicide, and Suicide of US Service Members

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Objective: Provide support to families who have lost loved ones to non combat death, homicide, and suicide. Prevent non combat death, homicide and suicide by providing an expedited transfer option to whistleblowers and those who feel like their lives may be in danger.

This is a small sample of the many soldiers that have died of non combat deaths, homicide, and suicide. It was hard for me to choose which ones to feature. Given the amount of families who have questioned a ruling of suicide while their loved one was serving in the US military, it’s fair to say that some suicide rulings should have a second look to determine if a homicide was ruled out. It’s important to note that if the cause of death is determined to be suicide, then the military never has to investigate again.

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The Silent Truth: The Rape, Murder & Military Cover-Up of Army Pfc LaVena Johnson in Iraq

Ninety-four US military women in the military have died in Iraq or during Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF). ‘The Silent Truth’ tells the story of one of these women, PFC LaVena Lynn Johnson, who was found dead on Balad Air Force Base in Iraq. The army claimed she shot herself with her own M16 rifle, but forensic evidence, obtained by the Johnson family through the Freedom of Information Act, brings the army’s findings into question. The Army refuses to re-open LaVena Johnson’s case, leaving the family in limbo. ‘The Silent Truth’ follows the Johnson’s pursuit of justice and truth for their daughter. -The Silent Truth

What happened to LaVena Lynn Johnson and so many others speaks to a Pentagon culture which more closely resembles a rogue government–than a legitimate branch serving under civilian control. It is highly telling that this family, along with the Tillman family each had to have a documentary film made JUST TO ALERT THE PUBLIC TO THE TRUTH OF PENTAGON COVER-UPS. I urge everyone to view this important documentary–before the local military recruiter mandated under No Child Left Behind–‘friends’ their child at school. God forbid, they could wind up coming home in a body bag–like LaVena. –Truthout

LaVena Johnson

Pfc. LaVena Johnson, US Army

Learn more:
The Silent Truth on YouTube
The Silent Truth on Amazon Video
Army Pfc LaVena Johnson Died of Non Combat Related Injuries in Iraq, Death Ruled Suicide But Autopsy Report Revealed Rape & Murder (2005)
Non Combat Deaths of Female Soldiers in the US Military (Iraq)
Violent Crime, Suicide & Non Combat Death at Fort Campbell, Kentucky (US Army)
The Silent Truth Documentary aka The LaVena Johnson Murder Cover-Up
What Really Happened to Pat Tillman?
Pat Tillman: The US Army Murder Scandal

Link

Military family puts lives on hold to care for wounded vet

When someone you love is hurt it’s amazing which — capable — like taking care of them in the absolute worst of circumstances. But it happens every day quietly among families and friends. People putting their own lives on hold for some of America’s bravest men and women returning from the battlefield.

Watch video: http://video.foxnews.com/v/2727035710001/military-family-puts-lives-on-hold-to-care-for-wounded-vet?intcmp=related

Link

PTSDIs PTSD Contagious?

It’s rampant among returning vets—and now their spouses and kids are starting to show the same symptoms.

Researchers posit that traumatic brain injury can make the brain more vulnerable to PTSD, or that it can exacerbate its symptoms of exhaustion, agitation, confusion, headaches.

Read more: http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2013/01/ptsd-epidemic-military-vets-families?page=2

Link

Shutdown halts death benefits for military families

A growing number of military families are facing temporary denial of the $100,000 death gratuity benefit the Defense Department typically provides after service members are killed while on active duty.

At least 17 troops have died — including six killed in Afghanistan — since the government shutdown began Oct. 1. But their family members have not immediately received the lump sum payments known as a “gratuity benefits.”

Read more: http://www.armytimes.com/article/20131008/BENEFITS/310080023/Shutdown-halts-death-benefits-military-families

Amber Lowery’s Remains Identified; Husband & Army Veteran Michael Lowery Found Guilty of First Degree Murder and Sentenced to Life (2013)

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Amber Lowery, US Army Veteran Spouse

Amber Lowery, 34, went missing on July 23, 2013. Her brother reported her missing on July 24th. Days later on July 31st, human remains were found on the Lowery property; they were later identified as Amber Lowery. As a result, Army veteran Michael Lowery, 34, was arrested and charged with the murder of his wife. Amber’s siblings described Mike Lowery as a controlling individual who received counseling for anger management, was “kicked out” of the Army for drug use and insubordination, and was fired from several jobs because of the abuse of his wife while on the job. A Texas jury found Lowery guilty of murdering Amber, dismembering her body, placing her remains in a pile, and burning them. Michael Lowery was sentenced to life in prison for first degree murder.

Related Links:
Amber Lowery (34) was allegedly murdered by her husband
‘I think he did it,’ says Rising Star murder suspect’s brother
Family of suspected murderer say Michael Lowery has ‘a dark soul’
Lowery capable of murder, according to brother
Missing former Kingman woman suffered in abusive marriage, authorities say
Lowery drove wife’s SUV to Rising Star and left it, lawmen allege
Lowery’s Remains Identified
Human Remains Found on Lowery Property
Human remains found in search for West Texas woman
Authorities Didn’t Inform Amber Lowery’s Family of Positively Identified Remains, Brother Speaks Out
Brownwood’s Air Evac reacts to new details in Amber Lowery’s case
Husband of missing former Kingmanite arrested for murder
Husband of missing Comanche County woman arrested on murder charge, held on $1 million bond
Michael Lowery Found Guilty of Murder, Sentenced to Life with No Chance for Parole
Lowery Murder Trial: Rising Star man receives life sentence for killing wife
Michael Lowery Found Guilty For The Murder of His Wife

US Air Force TSgt. Jennifer Norris Testified Before the House Armed Services Committee in Washington DC (2013)

Jennifer Norris

Jennifer Norris, USAF Ret.

It 
is 
with 
a 
heavy 
heart 
that 
I 
sit 
here 
today. 
Because, 
I
 am 
not 
only 
speaking 
for 
myself 
but 
I
 am 
speaking 
for 
thousands 
and 
thousands 
of 
male 
and
 female
 survivors, 
both 
military
 and 
civilian, 
whose 
lives 
have 
been
 forever 
altered 
by 
the 
military’s 
sexual 
assault 
epidemic, 
a
 culture 
that punishes 
the 
victim
, and 
a 
broken 
military 
justice
 system.

Core 
issues 
must
 be 
addressed. 
The 
military 
justice
 system
 elevates 
an individual’s
 discretion 
over 
the 
rule 
of 
law. 
The 
system 
is 
encumbered 
with personal 
bias, 
conflicts of interest and abuse of authority. The cycle of repeated 
scandals,
 self‐investigations, 
and
 ineffective reforms must be broken. Click here for full House Armed Services Committee testimony.

I 
want
 to
 recognize 
the 
service
members 
who 
have 
not 
survived
 due 
to
 non‐combat
 deaths, murder, 
and 
suicide 
and 
their 
families 
who 
are 
still 
waiting
 for 
answers. -Jennifer Norris, USAF Retired

Please note the same day of the military sexual assault hearings before the House Armed Services Committee on January 23, 2013, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta announced the Pentagon was lifting the women in combat ban.

Personal Story:

I am older now and I have had a lot of time to reflect back on what happened to me. And it is now evident to me that I am one of many who have experienced the same kind of treatment simply because I reported sexual assault by a fellow, higher-ranking soldier.

I was raised by a father who worked hard as a logger his entire life. He taught me early in my childhood that I was equal with my brothers. I was expected to help prepare the firewood every season, I was expected to help mow the fields, and I was included in any and all activities. I grew up in a small town and never once experienced someone trying to harm me in a violent way or discrimination based solely on my gender. I grew up with a sense of confidence and determination that I could do anything I wanted to with my life. That is the American dream, right?

I learned quickly after joining the USAF that I had stepped into a whole new world, one that eventually made me feel like I was dealing with an underground mob. Shortly after I enlisted, I was invited to a “new recruit” party. I was really excited to attend so that I could meet others who were also going through the excitement and fear of becoming a soldier. Instead I became the victim of a calculating predator who used the “party” as a way to set up his attack. And, as I commonly see in many of the cases in my work as a victim advocate, he used alcohol as his weapon. When he was unable to pressure me to drink, he used whatever means necessary to incapacitate his victim. When I was raped, I was chemically restrained and could not move; yet I knew what was happening to me. In my works as a victim advocate, I frequently saw this same modus operandi.

I didn’t report that crime and here is why. I could not face that it happened. I didn’t want to start out my military career like that and so I determined that I would never talk about it to anyone. From that day forward, I avoided the recruiter at all costs and soldiered on. I have never seen him since.

I had an amazing basic training experience at Lackland. My military training instructor was SSgt Knight and that professional NCO taught me how to be a good follower and he also believed in my leadership skills.

The majority of the people that I served with were amazing, inspiring individuals who truly were dedicated to the mission. But just like me, there are far too many who fall victim to manipulation and abuse of authority by perpetrators who are higher ranking and have more credibility with those who are in charge. We have no choice but to acquiesce when under the leadership of a heavy fisted Chain of Command.

I was assaulted a second time at Keesler Air Force Base after Basic Training by my instructor. I was attending Satellite and Wideband Communications technical school. I was there for 6 months. While there, I learned very quickly that if you reported sexual harassment, assault, or were offended by someone’s lewd and crude remarks that you will be quickly turned out of the Air Force. So, I planned to get through it, go back home and serve with the Maine Air National Guard, where I thought I would be safe. I just sucked it up and kept my mouth shut so I could graduate. I watched an Active Duty Air Force female, who to this day is one of my best friends, get swiftly booted from the military, after she reported that one of her instructor’s made derogatory remarks to her during class. This girl was 19 years old. The military training managers engaged in what appeared to be a witch-hunt and looked for anything and everything to kick her out. In the end, they were successful. Today she suffers severe PTSD from this experience.

A few very significant things happened while I was at Keesler. One of the female airman that I was going to school with admitted that she had sex with her recruiter. This conversation was in the presence of another Maine Air National Guardsman who shared that the same recruiter who raped me had also sexually assaulted his cousin, who as a result did not join the military. When he explained to me how it occurred, my blood began to boil with rage because I recognized the pattern immediately. The recruiter had done the same thing to me and I determined I was going to press charges against him, when I returned home, to stop him from harming anyone else.

The Post Traumatic Stress, which I didn’t realize I had, kicked in to overdrive after learning this information. I wanted to take action. I did an impulsive thing. I called up the recruiter who raped me and told him I was going to press charges against him and that I knew what he had done to another girl as well. He quickly hung up on me. My thinking was maybe just maybe he would be too scared to try this again.

About two weeks before graduation from Keesler, I was performing a maintenance loop on a mobile satellite communications van as part of the testing to move on to the next block. I had it down. I loved my job and everything stuck. For this test, we needed to step inside the enclosed satellite communications maintenance van. The instructor shut the door and stood there with his clipboard behind me while I configured the van. Shortly after starting the task, he came up from behind me, attacked me, pushed me into the wall of the van, rubbed his groin area on my body and whispered in my ear, “let me help you, let me help you.” Those words trigger me to this day.

I got angry, I flipped out and pushed him away and told him not to touch me ever again. He was surprised and didn’t say a word. My fight or flight response had kicked into overdrive and my anxiety was so high that I was shaking while I finished configuring that van and waited for him to give me permission to leave the enclosed van. But, I did it. I passed the test.

Unfortunately, it did not end there. This TSgt told me to stay behind after class. Because I could not disobey a direct order without consequences, I stayed only for him to tell me that he was going to fail me for attitude even though I passed the final test. I immediately broke down and started crying. All I could say is why are you doing this to me? Why? I begged him to reconsider. He told me to report the next morning an hour before the rest of the class and he would reconsider. I did not do as ordered and I never saw him again.

Instead of going to school the next morning, I instead went to the Air National Guard liaison, who I had established a nice relationship with, and I informed her that my instructor wanted to fail me for attitude, despite passing my test. The Guard gave the TSgt. a call. He acquiesced and I was told to report to my next class. While at Keesler, I never saw him again. I did not report this crime for a number of reasons. First I witnessed first hand what happens when you report that type of behavior. Second, I was only two weeks away from graduation, and, third, I did not want an investigation launched and risk being stuck on that base with that predator. Lastly, I did not want to be stigmatized as a female who alleges sexual assault before I had even entered the operation Air Force. These fears and attitudes exist to this very day.

When I got back to the Maine Air National Guard, the recruiter was gone. He had quit his full time AGR position, which rarely happens in the National Guard. He was a MSgt and he effectively gave up his career and his retirement. He moved to North Carolina. I was so relieved that he was gone. Again, I did not report because I knew I could potentially lose my career. I let myself become excited about starting my new career. I planned on staying in for 20 plus years and despite being raped and assaulted in the first year of my career, I loved being in the military, I loved my job, and I loved being a part of a family and a team.

I thought I would be safe at the Maine Air National Guard. The Commander put me to work as soon as I got back from Technical School to help me transition back into civilian life and I totally excelled and became a superior performer. As a result, unbeknownst to me my Commander asked my NCOIC to coordinate hiring me as temporary federal technician. My NCOIC notified me and began the hiring process. I was ecstatic beyond belief and made the most money I had ever made for doing a job I loved!

Shortly after beginning my job, I noticed that the Maintenance Superintendent, also my NCOIC, and boss began treating me differently than the guys. It made me feel uncomfortable, because I didn’t want the guys I worked with to be resentful. But, I also knew that I was a great troop, so I ate up all the extra responsibility that was assigned thinking he must recognize that I am a true leader. No, that was not the case at all. Eerily similar to the recruiter, my NCOIC was beginning to set up his attack. He began assigning me jobs that would isolate me so that he could make his move. He would give me the assignment, then show up unexpectedly to “check in on me,” but instead forced himself on me every chance he got. I could not escape. The abuse escalated over time and he became more abusive the more I resisted and told him NO. His attitude was that I should be flattered that he wanted me. I was in pain. I was there to do a job, to serve my country, why must I deal with this?

The more I fought him off and begged him to stop, the more he would escalate. He regularly forced himself on me, but when I fought back, he called me names and belittled me. He would tell me that my breasts were too small and tell me that it would be in my best interest. I was too scared to report this behavior because he was the Commander’s right hand man. And in the military, rank does come with its privileges including the higher rank you are the more credibility you have with the Commander. After what happened with the recruiter and the technical school instructor, I was already fearful of rank and abuse of authority.

Meanwhile, while my NCOIC was sexually assaulting me and abusing me during the week, there was another National Guardsman, who was considered a weekend warrior, doing the same exact thing to me. I did my best to stay clear of both but they would sneak up on me when I was least expecting it. It was like it became a sick game for them. To this day, I cannot handle anyone coming up behind me or hovering near me. I watched both of them escalate while I felt powerless to do anything about it, if I wanted to save my career. After a while, they did it in front of people as well and nobody said or did anything. Why would bystanders put their career at risk for me? I felt totally isolated.

One night when my NCOIC attempted to rape me in a drunken rage, I started screaming and someone heard me. I escaped but I fell apart. I turned into an emotionless robot. I continued to do a good job but I was dying inside. My attitude began to suffer. I was looking for a way out. One day, one of the professional NCOs in our squadron approached me and said he was concerned about me. I had just received an award for Superior Performer during an Operational Readiness Exercise, but I wanted to get out and he wanted to know why. All it took was that one person showing genuine concern and care for the floodgates to open.

I immediately started crying and opened up to him forgetting that by military law, he was supposed to report any crimes that he became aware of. I begged him not to report because I was afraid that it would end my career. He told me if I did not report that he would. I then reported all four of the perpetrators to my Commander.

The Commander initially doubted me. It was not until after I provided him with proof that he raised from a seating position in anger and screamed with powerful emotion, “he betrayed me.” The Commander then told me he had instructed my NCOIC to hire me because of my excellent work performance. We discussed the recruiter and he admitted he was confused why the recruiter suddenly gave up his career and retirement, but it all made sense to him now. All of these predators appeared to be stellar troops. All of them had histories of sexually assaulting others.

In many ways, I am one of the lucky ones, which is sad to say. My Commander believed me. He did the best he could to handle the case against my NCOIC and his friend given the complexities involved. He strove to be fair, neutral, and impartial. I was forced to leave the Squadron if I wanted to be safe, while he conducted the investigation. Because he could only investigate on Guard weekends, the case got dragged out for months. While I was isolated at Headquarters, the two predators were able to stay and inject their version of how things went down. They had all that time to convince many in the squadron that I was the bad guy. After they admitted guilt the day prior to the administrative hearing, they were both forced to leave my squadron and I was allowed to return.

Sounds like a success story right? Wrong. My Commander deemed the crimes sexual assault. When the crimes were reported to the Adjutant General for the state, it somehow became sexual harassment. Our only recourse was to file an EEO complaint. I filed the complaints against two of the four perpetrators, because we didn’t have jurisdiction over the Active Duty Air Force Technical School Instructor and the Recruiter had skipped town. I had no one assisting me.

I was contacted by the one of the perpetrator’s lawyer both on the phone and in writing. I never responded. While waiting for the investigation to conclude, I was physically attacked by a friend of one of the perpetrator’s. I pressed charges but unfortunately the civilian authorities did not pursue the case. I told my Commander and he said there was nothing he could do because it happened off base. The day before I was to go to the Administrative Hearings for the “trial” of my NCOIC and his friend both of them copped a plea. They agreed to the punishments that the Commander recommended. The Commander told me they were willing to plead guilty. He asked if I was okay with it so he could proceed with removing them from the Squadron. I was so tired and beat down by this point that I just wanted it to be over. I wanted to go back to work and resume the career that I loved. When I agreed to the terms of the punishment it caused the EEO complaint to be withdrawn. Therefore, the Maine Air National Guard either didn’t have to report the crimes at all to the Pentagon or they could report the crimes as sexual harassment.

The punishment imposed by the Commander was that both perpetrators were permitted to agree to resign in lieu of Administrative Hearings, which would have become a matter of public record. I wasn’t offered the chance to proceed with a court martial. I was glad they were gone, but the reason I pressed charges was to prevent any other woman from having to go through this. My efforts were futile. I was told that because my NCOIC had over 18 years of service that he was allowed to stay in the military until he reached his twenty years. When he reached his twenty, he would be forced out. No sex offender record, nothing. Because we didn’t have as much evidence against the other perpetrator, the National Guardsman, he was kicked out of the Maine Air National Guard and given a LOR. He was discharged honorably; he joined the New Hampshire Air National Guard. Ironically, the last time I saw him he was in charge of a training conference I was attending and he was a MSgt working at the Pentagon. Both of these perpetrators retired with full military benefits. Meanwhile, I was retaliated against by the enlisted Chain of Command.

In 2006, The NCO in the Maine Air National Guard, who had me physically beat, was found guilty of manslaughter and leaving the scene of an accident in another case. But because he had a top-secret security clearance he somehow got off. And as I went back to my squadron, I had to work with this man. I tried to pull myself together and continue with my career, but instead I was met with resistance from almost everyone I encountered. I was the bad guy, because I made the predators lose their jobs. As a cruel joke, men literally hugged the wall as I passed by pretending I might falsely accuse them of assault. I was treated like a leper. I was pulled from leadership positions. I was denied training I needed to become eligible for my SSgt stripe. I continually asked to complete my training and was called a spoiled brat, by the Officer in Charge. And I was assigned menial tasks that isolated me. By this time, the Commander who investigated the case had been promoted to Headquarters and a new Commander was in charge. He depended heavily on the enlisted chain of command and was willing to sell me out for the mission.

I felt like an outcast and people did not hide their disdain for me. I had no more fight left in me. I didn’t want to give up my career, so I transferred to the Massachusetts National Guard, which was a four-hour drive one way. It was the only way to continue my career progression and promotions. I needed to remain in the same career field, at least until I was a TSgt.

I went from one snake’s pit to another. My old squadron called up my new squadron and informed them that I was a troublemaker. A person, in my enlisted chain of command, shared this with me when I asked why everyone was treating me so badly. I was met with resistance from the get go, despite the fact that I was a super troop and worked very hard at my job. While serving at the Massachusetts Air National Guard, I experienced gender discrimination. I was held to double standards. If others came in late, it was no big deal. If I came in one minute late, I was getting hauled into an office for a big meeting with 3 or 4 people. My new Commander recognized my skills and considered me a subject matter expert. He even hired me during the week to help keep things running smoothly because of the multiple deployments the squadron endured after 9/11. I helped keep things running smoothly back home and continued to train all the new airmen that came into the squadron. We had a lot of folks leave after their first deployment and the only ones left were the ones who wanted to be there. As a result, we got a lot of new airman.

My new squadron Commander recognized that I was a superior performer and promoted me to SSgt shortly after transferring to that base. The Maine Air National Guard would not give me my SSgt stripe claiming that I lacked leadership skills, despite the fact that I was an Airman Leadership School instructor, not only met the standards but exceeded them, including going to Airman Leadership School in person, unlike a lot of National Guardsman. And, I had to fight the Massachusetts Air National Guard for my TSgt stripe despite the fact that I had not only met the standards but also far exceeded them. I had become a very effective satellite communications trainer and had a record set up time. The straw that broke the camel’s back was the day that my NCOIC told me that he was going to make one of the Airman that I trained the Team Chief. I had 8 years in the field, while this airman had only two. I demanded to see the First Shirt regarding this issue because I didn’t want to turn this into an EEO issue.

My Chain of Command eventually acquiesced and gave me my TSgt stripe and the Team Chief position. I was the most qualified to do the job. But, this job came with big consequences. Instead of supporting me in my position, I was overworked, blamed for things out of my control, and not respected. I was left with no support or direction so I had to come in during the week and teach myself. After teaching myself, I would then create standard operating procedures to help train my troops. I always trained myself out of a job because I took serving seriously. If anything was to happen to me, I needed to have people that could seamlessly pick up where I left off.

After months of setting me up to fail they threatened to pull my TSgt stripe from me as a punishment for “substandard performance.” They had been planning it for quite some time because by this time, they had the Commander on their side and I didn’t stand a chance. As a result, I filed an EEO complaint against my NCOIC for gender discrimination. I chose to report informally because I had been through a formal reporting process before. I did not have the energy.

My Commander conducted his investigation and determined that my allegations could not be substantiated, but in the same breath told me that I could have anything I wanted. All I wanted was to go to my planned NCO Academy School and be transferred out of that squadron. I also no longer wanted to work for my abusive and belittling boss and refused to return back to satellite communications. Again, not a huge victory but at least I was able to escape that horribly oppressive environment. By this time in my career, I was beginning to unravel and feel completely ready to break. I decided to transfer back to the Maine Air National Guard and this time I chose a critical career field where women might be treated a little better than in the maintenance field. My boss was promoted to SMSgt shortly after.

I met my husband at Keesler while attending another training school in 2001. We finally made the commitment to one another in 2005 even though I realized I was severely damaged by the rape, sexual harassment, sexual assault, abuse, retaliation, and gender discrimination. Love is the only thing that pulled me through this relationship, because I was literally incapable of having interpersonal relationships. I was hardened, damaged, hyper vigilant, and defensive.

Because of him, I reached out to the VA when I found out that they finally were treating Military Sexual Trauma. I have been getting counseling and treatment at the VA since 2006. As a result of getting that help, I was forced to list on my security clearance form that I was receiving counseling for military sexual trauma. The security clearance folks wanted a release of information signed so they could gain access to my medical records from the VA. I signed them, out of fear. But, then called the VA and revoked it, essentially ending my career. I did not want to jeopardize my future career opportunities because I had been labeled and diagnosed with PTSD from military sexual assault.

After being medically retired from the Air Force for PTSD due to MST, I felt like a fish out of water. I had no purpose in life. I was taking a ton of prescription medications, to help me feel less angry, depressed, and help me live without constant anxiety and fear. I felt like I had lost my life’s dream and there was no reason to live anymore. I came very close to ending my own life, because I felt broken, damaged, and unsure of myself. I literally felt like I was invisible and what I thought or felt did not matter. I wanted to die because I basically got fired for being raped.

Working with veterans and active duty personnel who are victims of military sexual assault, I came to recognize that I had been shamed into silence. My fellow veterans helped me find my voice again.

If anyone ever tells you that women are the weaker sex, don’t you believe it.

Related Links:
Jennifer Norris, USAF Full HASC Testimony
Jennifer Norris, USAF HASC Personal Story (PoD)
Jennifer Norris, USAF HASC Testimony (C-SPAN Video)
The Battle Within: Examining Rape in America’s Military (Photos)
Women in Combat: Defense Secretary Leon Panetta Lifts Pentagon Ban
Now That Women Are Cleared For Combat, How About A Rape-Free Workplace?
Time to act on sexual assault in the military, Susan Collins says
Senator Susan Collins Leads Effort to Reform Military Justice System to Address Sexual Assaults (Military Justice Improvement Act)
Sexual assault victim, “The system is rigged”
Claire McCaskill’s ‘lonely’ sex-assault stand
The war in Congress over rape in the military, explained
Letter of Support for Save Our Heroes in Our Shared Quest for Military Justice Reform & Constitutional Rights
Massachusetts School of Law Interviews Veteran Jennifer Norris About Violent Crime in the Military & Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
What Happens When a Rape is Reported in the Military?

SOTT: PTSD is an epidemic for military vets and their families (2013)


Is PTSD Contagious? -Mother Jones

“Brannan Vines has never been to war. But she’s got a warrior’s skills: hyperawareness, hypervigilance, adrenaline-sharp quick-scanning for danger, for triggers. Super stimuli-sensitive. Skills on the battlefield, crazy-person behavior in a drug store, where she was recently standing behind a sweet old lady counting out change when she suddenly became so furious her ears literally started ringing. Being too cognizant of every sound – every coin dropping an echo – she explodes inwardly, fury flash-incinerating any normal tolerance for a fellow patron with a couple of dollars in quarters and dimes. Her nose starts running she’s so pissed, and there she is standing in a CVS, snotty and deaf with rage, like some kind of maniac, because a tiny elderly woman needs an extra minute to pay for her dish soap or whatever.”

Learn more from SOTT here.

Related Links:
Is PTSD Contagious?

Army Staff Sgt Amy Tirador Died of a Non Combat Related Incident in Iraq, Army Ruled Suicide But Family Believes Execution Style Murder & Cover-Up (2009)

Honoring SSG Amy Seyboth-Tirador, US Army (2009)

Staff Sgt. Amy Tirador, US Army

Staff Sgt. Amy (Seyboth) Tirador, US Army, died of injuries sustained from a non-combat related incident in Kirkush, Iraq on November 4, 2009. Staff Sgt. Tirador was supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom on behalf of the 209th Military Intelligence Company, 1st Squadron, 14th Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division in Fort Lewis, Washington. This was Amy’s third tour of duty in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. The Department of Defense announced the circumstances surrounding the incident were under investigation at the time of the press release. Media reports declared that Amy was found by a maintenance worker in the base’s small generator room with a single gunshot wound to the back of the head. The Army pathologist ruled the cause of death as a ‘self inflicted gunshot wound’ but Amy’s mother Colleen Murphy disagreed and vowed to launch a private investigation. The family expressed concerns publicly that this was an execution style murder on a secure base and that she was killed in the generator room to muffle the sounds of the gunshot. Amy’s DNA evidence was found on the 9mm and that of another person. The family shared that the investigation report attempted to lead one to believe that Amy was considered high risk for suicide because of pressures at work as an Arabic translator and a strained marriage. Amy’s husband Michael Tirador was living at the same deployed location in Iraq as Amy at the time of her death. Amy’s mother denied any history of depression or substance abuse and does not believe her daughter committed suicide.

A year after Amy’s death the Army Criminal Investigation Division indicated in media reports that the investigation was not completed and no final rulings had been made. Yet Colleen Murphy shared that she was told the case was officially closed and expressed frustration with the miscommunication she typically experienced with Army bureaucracy. Amy’s mother also indicated that a lot of women in the military who have died have had their deaths falsely ruled as suicides. Colleen learned from other families who have lost their loved ones that they have even exhumed their daughters’ bodies and found that, without a shadow of a doubt, they did not kill themselves. Colleen indicated that she was going to get a second autopsy in light of the Army pathologist’s determination of cause of death. Michael Tirador expressed in interviews that he did not believe that his wife committed suicide and ordered that her body be exhumed for a second autopsy. Michael was of course a person of interest but his DNA did not match the second DNA profile on the gun. Colleen Murphy indicated that despite Michael’s claims that they had a good marriage, Amy wanted to divorce him. Amy’s father Greg Seyboth expressed concern that her work as a interrogator made her a high-profile target. Retired Army Colonel Ann Wright validated Amy’s family when she published an article stating that several female soldier’s deaths have been grossly mislabled by the military yet when faced with further evidence, they refused to change their findings. Colleen Murphy stated that she will never accept that her daughter committed suicide and that the Army is covering up the real reason that she was killed.

Tirador’s “greatness” has been shrouded in military “secrecy”. Her military legacy clouded by the military’s label of a “non-combat” death. An execution-style death in a “secure area” on an American military base in a war zone. –Family of Amy Tirador

Learn more: Who Murdered Staff Sgt. Amy C. Tirador While On An American Base In A Secure Location?

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