15 Movies and Documentaries That Expose the Broken Military Justice System

A Few Good Men (Sony Pictures):

Lt. Daniel Kaffee (Tom Cruise) is a military lawyer defending two U.S. Marines charged with killing a fellow Marine at the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base in Cuba. Although Kaffee is known for seeking plea bargains, a fellow lawyer, Lt. Cdr. JoAnne Galloway (Demi Moore), convinces him that the accused marines were most likely carrying out an order from a commanding officer. Kaffee takes a risk by calling Col. Nathan R. Jessep (Jack Nicholson) to the stand in an effort to uncover the conspiracy. -A Few Good Men, Sony Pictures Entertainment (December 9, 1992)

About | A Few Good Men | Sony Pictures Entertainment (Drama)

Soldier’s Girl (Showtime):

New Army recruit Barry Winchell is assigned to a base in Tennessee. One night out to a local bar hosting a drag show. Calpernia Addams an in-transition transsexual drag queen, fascinates Barry, and they strike up a relationship. -Soldier’s Girl, Showtime (January 20, 2003)

Showtime Entertainment Released ‘Soldier’s Girl’: Based on the True Story of the Murder of Fort Campbell Army Pfc. Barry Winchell

In the Valley of Elah (Warner Bros):

“In the Valley of Elah” tells the story of a war veteran (Tommy Lee Jones), his wife (Susan Sarandon) and the search for their son, a soldier who recently returned from Iraq but has mysteriously gone missing, and the police detective (Charlize Theron) who helps in the investigation. -Warner Bros. (September 14, 2007)

Warner Bros. Premiered ‘In the Valley of Elah’: Based on the True Story of the Murder of Fort Benning Army Spc. Richard T. Davis

The Tillman Story (The Weinstein Company):

Pat Tillman never thought of himself as a hero. His choice to leave a multimillion-dollar football contract and join the military wasn’t done for any reason other than he felt it was the right thing to do. The fact that the military manipulated his tragic death in the line of duty into a propaganda tool is unfathomable and thoroughly explored in Amir Bar-Lev’s riveting and enraging documentary. -The Tillman Story (August 20, 2010)

The NFL, the MilItary, and the Hijacking of Pat Tillman’s Story

The Wounded Platoon (Frontline PBS):

The Wounded Platoon

Since the Iraq War began, soldier arrests in the city of Colorado Springs have tripled. FRONTLINE tells the dark tale of the men of 3rd Platoon, Charlie Company, 1st battalion of the 506th infantry, and how the war followed them home. It is a story of heroism, grief, vicious combat, depression, drugs, alcohol and brutal murder; an investigation into the Army’s mental health services; and a powerful portrait of what multiple tours and post-traumatic stress are doing to a generation of young American soldiers. –The Wounded Platoon (May 18, 2010)

Frontline PBS: The Wounded Platoon Documentary [Full Episode]

On the Dark Side of Al Doura (Maverick Media):

U.S. Army Ranger John Needham, who was awarded two purple hearts and three medals for heroism, wrote to military authorities in 2007 reporting war crimes that he witnessed being committed by his own command and fellow soldiers in Al Doura, Iraq. His charges were supported by atrocity photos which, in the public interest, are now released in this video. John paid a terrible price for his opposition to these acts. His story is tragic. –On the Dark Side in Al Doura (2011)

On the Dark Side in Al Doura (Iraq): Documentary Gives You an Inside Look at Toxic Leadership in the U.S. Army

The Invisible War (Cinedigm):

The Invisible War is a groundbreaking investigative documentary about one of our country’s most shameful and best kept secrets: the epidemic of rape within our US military. Today, a female soldier in Iraq and Afghanistan is more likely to be raped by a fellow soldier than killed by enemy fire with the number of assaults in the last decade alone in the hundreds of thousands. -The Invisible War (June 22, 2012)

Military Rape Documentary Funded and Distributed by “Serial Predator” and Hollywood Movie Executive Harvey Weinstein

Women of War Documentary (Sundance Films):

Military Sexual Trauma or M.S.T. has been a fixture in the military for as long as human war has existed, and is still quite prevalent even in today’s modern military. This feature length documentary uncovers the origins and offers solutions to M.S.T. -Women of War Documentary (February 4, 2013)

Women of War Documentary, Phil Valentine [Full Episode]

The Frozen Ground (Grindstone):

“The Frozen Ground” is inspired by the incredible true story that follows Alaskan State Trooper Jack Halcombe (Nicolas Cage) as he sets out to end the murderous rampage of Robert Hansen (John Cusack), a serial killer who has gone unnoticed for 13 years. As the bodies of street girls start to pile up in Anchorage, fear strikes a chord with the public. -The Frozen Ground (August 23, 2013)

Serial Killer & Army Reserve Veteran Robert C. Hansen Died of Natural Causes While Serving Out a Life Sentence in Alaska State Prison

The Silent Truth (Midtown Films):

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 Documentary (July 1, 2014)

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

The Kill Team (PBS Independent Lens):

The Kill Team looks at the devastating moral tensions that tear at soldiers’ psyches through the lens of one highly personal and emotional story. Private Adam Winfield was a 21-year-old soldier in Afghanistan when he attempted with the help of his father to alert the military to heinous war crimes his platoon was committing. But Winfield’s pleas went unheeded. Left on his own and with threats to his life, Private Winfield was himself drawn into the moral abyss, forced to make a split-second decision that would change his life forever. -The Kill Team, (July 25, 2014)

The PBS Documentary ‘The Kill Team’ Reveals How the Military Justice System Operates in Response to Media Scandals

Gangs in the U.S. Army (A&E Television):

Sworn to protect us from every enemy, foreign and domestic, and every day the majority of soldiers do just that ! yet some units are being compromised and turn into street gangs. An FBI report recently showed an increased gang activity within US soldiers. -Gangs in the U.S. Army Documentary (2017)

Gangs in the Military: Armed and Dangerous Forces

The Kill Team (A24):

When a young US soldier in Afghanistan witnesses other recruits killing civilians under the direction of a sadistic sergeant, he begins to fear that the men he’s serving with might be the ones to kill him. -The Kill Team (October 25, 2019)

‘The Kill Team’ Movie Released: Based on the True Story of Army Whistleblower Adam Winfield

Leavenworth (STARZ):

Academy Award-winning filmmaker Steven Soderbergh and executive producers Paul Pawlowski and David Check tell the story of First Lieutenant Clint Lorance. Watch the Official Trailer for the upcoming STARZ Original Docuseries, Leavenworth, premiering October 20 on the STARZ App. (August 28, 2019)

STARZ Premiered ‘Leavenworth’: Docu-Series Examines Army 1st Lieutenant Clint Lorance Afghanistan ‘War Crimes’ Case

Ready for War (Showtime):

Andrew Renzi sheds light on the lives of three of the estimated thousands of immigrants who volunteer for service in the American military, yet find themselves deported from the US once their tours of duty are over. -Ready for War, Showtime (November 22, 2019)

The ultimate threat for deported U.S. veterans? Drug cartels, new documentary says

Crimelines True Crime Podcast Featured the Military Murder of Army Spc. Kamisha Block in Baghdad, Iraq (October 20, 2019)

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

“In 2007, Kamisha Block was one of a nearly 900 soldiers killed in Iraq. But Kamisha was not killed in combat. Her family was told Kamisha’s death was an accident; she was a casualty of friendly fire. But Kamisha’s death was much darker than that and has forced us to ask: could it have been prevented?” –Kamisha Block, Crimelines True Crime Podcast (October 20, 2019)

UPDATE: Army reopens case of 2007 murder-suicide that was originally called ‘friendly fire’ (Stars and Stripes, April 19, 2019)

Related Links:
DoD Identifies Army Casualties
Crimelines True Crime Podcast (website)
Crimelines True Crime Podcast (Facebook)
Crimelines True Crime Podcast (Twitter)
Kamisha Block | Crimelines True Crime Podcast | Website
Kamisha Block | Crimelines True Crime Podcast | Stitcher
Kamisha Block | Crimelines True Crime Podcast | Player FM
Kamisha Block | Crimelines True Crime Podcast | Podtail
Kamisha Block | Crimelines True Crime Podcast | Luminary
Kamisha Block | Crimelines True Crime Podcast | Podbean
Kamisha Block | Crimelines True Crime Podcast | Spotify
Kamisha Block | Crimelines True Crime Podcast | Facebook Post
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)
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)
Forbidden, Dying for Love: Six Active-Duty Military Homicide Cases Featured on Investigation Discovery
Non Combat Deaths of Female Service Members in the U.S. Military (Iraq)

Army Reservist Sgt. Christina Shoenecker Died of a Non-Combat Related Incident in Baghdad, Iraq (February 19, 2018)

Christina Schoenecker

Sgt. Christina Schoenecker, U.S. Army Reserve

Army Reservist Sgt. Christina Schoenecker, 26, died of a non-combat related incident on February 19, 2018 in Baghdad, Iraq. Sgt. Schoenecker was supporting Operation Inherent Resolve on behalf of the 89th Sustainment Brigade, 451st Expeditionary Sustainment Command in Wichita, Kansas. Sgt. Schoenecker’s home of record is listed as Arlington, Kansas. According to Honor the Fallen at Military Times, Sgt. Schoenecker enlisted in the military in May 2009 and served as a human resources specialist. At the time of the press release, the incident was under investigation which is typical with any non combat death but an official cause of death has not been determined or publicized by authorities. The site Popular Military shared that a source close to them in Iraq in an unofficial report believed it was a suicide. This could not be confirmed in other media reports.

In the News:

The body of U.S. Army Sergeant Christina Marie Schoenecker is escorted from the Hutchinson Airport to Elliot Mortuary by the Patriot Guard, Hutchinson Police and the Hutchinson Fire Departments. SGT Schoenecker died February 19, 2018, from a non-combat related incident, in Baghdad, Iraq at the age of 26. She will be buried in her hometown of Arlington, Kansas, Monday, March 5, 2018. -The Hutchinson News (March 2, 2018)

U.S. Army Sergeant Christina Marie Schoenecker was buried at Arlington Cemetery, Arlington, Kansas on Monday, March 5, 2018. SGT Schoenecker died February 19, 2018, from a non-combat related incident, in Baghdad, Iraq at the age of 26. -The Hutchinson News (March 5, 2018)

Related Links:
DoD Identifies Army Casualty
Honor the Fallen: Sgt. Christina M. Schoenecker, U.S. Army Reserve
Christina Marie “Tina” Schoenecker | 1992 – 2018 | Obituary
Kansas soldier dies in Iraq
Kansas soldier dies in non-combat incident in Iraq
Female soldier dies in accident in Iraq
US soldier dies in non-combat incident in Baghdad
SGT Schoenecker’s body returns home
Army Sgt. Christina M. Schoenecker honored in dignified transfer Feb. 22
Army identifies soldier killed in noncombat incident in Baghdad
Army Identifies Sergeant Who Died While Deployed Supporting ISIS Fight
Kansas soldier dies in non-combat incident while supporting ISIS fight in Iraq
U.S. Army sergeant dies in Iraq, unofficial report suggests it was suicide
Mystery surrounds ‘non combat’ death of female soldier battling ISIS in Iraq as her body is returned home and Department of Defence announce an investigation
IGTNT: “She will be sorely missed” | Daily Kos
Funeral held for KS soldier who died last month in Iraq
Family and friends celebrate the life of Christina Schoenecker
Family, friends gather to honor fallen Arlington soldier
SGT Christina Marie Schoenecker’s burial service
Latest U.S. military deaths in Afghanistan, Iraq
On Memorial Day: Three stories to remember the soldiers we have lost
CJTF-OIR reflects on significant military gains, fighting ISIS in 2018
Non Combat Deaths of Female Service Members in the U.S. Military (Iraq)
Military Policy and Legislation Considerations for the Investigations of Non Combat Death, Homicide, and Suicide of US Service Members

Navy Sailor Ashley Barnes Died Unexpectedly While Stationed as an Information Systems Technician in Gaeta, Italy; Official Cause of Death Unknown (August 7, 2016)

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Ashley Barnes, U.S. Navy

Navy sailor Ashley Barnes, 19, died unexpectedly on August 7, 2016 while stationed as an Information Systems Technician in Gaeta, Italy. Ashley’s family said they have not been informed of the exact cause of death and are awaiting autopsy results. Ashley graduated from Great Lakes Naval Training Center on October 3, 2014, Information Systems Technician “A” School on March 26, 2015, and reported to the U.S.S. Mount Whitney (LCC 20) on April 19, 2015. On July 1, 2016, Ashley was qualified as an enlisted surface warfare specialist. According to her obituary, Ashley Barnes was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania but she lived in Totowa for most of her life.

Ashley was a 2014 graduate of Passaic Valley High School, where she played varsity field hockey. And the Passaic Valley reports she also played softball and basketball. The family and the whole community were devastated by the loss. “We were all devastated when we found out she passed suddenly and you can’t believe this could happen to someone so young. My daughter had just seen and talked to her before she returned back to Italy after being on leave,” family friend Marianne Puluse said. She emphasized that Ashley was someone who deserves to be remembered. The outcome of the investigation and the official cause of death are unknown.

Related Links:
Obituary of Ashley Ann Barnes
Obituary: Ashley Barnes, 19, Of Totowa
Vigil being held tonight for Passaic Valley grad who served in U.S. Navy
Totowa Opening Day Ceremony Will Honor Ashley Barnes

Non Combat Deaths of Female Service Members in the U.S. Military (Afghanistan)

Map of Afghanistan

2014
3 May 14: Pfc Daniela Rojas, Army (non-combat related illness, required treatment beyond military’s capability)

2013
2 Jul 13: Spc Hilda Clayton, Army (non-combat related incident, training exercise)
3 May 13: Capt Victoria Pinckney, USAF (KC-135 airplane crash, malfunction, pilot error)
11 Mar 13: Capt Sara Cullen, Army (helicopter crash during training mission, under investigation)

2012
3 Oct 12: SGT Camella Steedley, USMC (cause of death is under investigation)
5 Sep 12: CWO2 Thalia Ramirez, Army (helicopter crash, under investigation)
24 Aug 12: Pfc Patricia Horne, Army (unspecified causes)

2011
21 Dec 11: Spc Mikayla Bragg, Army (found shot & killed in a guard tower, military ruled suicide)
27 Apr 11: MSgt Tara Brown, USAF (gunfire wounds sustained from Afghan military trainee)
16 Apr 11: SSG Cynthia Taylor, Army (Afghan National Army soldier grenade attack)
16 Apr 11: SGT Linda Pierre, Army (Afghan National Army soldier grenade attack)

2010
16 Nov 10: LTC Gwendolyn Locht, USAF (non-combat related illness, Leukemia)
22 Oct 10: SSG Aracely Gonzalez O’Malley, Army (non-combat incident, brain aneurysm)

2009
8 Aug 09: SSG Tara Smith, Army (non-combat related medical condition)
27 Mar 09: LT Florence Choe, Navy (Afghan National Army soldier opened fire on military personnel)

2008
25 Jul 08: Spc Seteria Brown, Army (injuries sustained in a non-combat related incident)

2007
28 Sep 07: Cpl Ciara Durkin, Army (single gunshot wound to the head, military ruled suicide, family suspects murder after Ciara shared concerns of safety)

2006
17 Feb 06: SrA Alecia Good, USAF (two helicopters crashed into the Gulf of Aden during a training mission)

2005
6 Apr 05: SGM Barbaralien Banks, Army (helicopter in which she was riding crashed)
6 Apr 05: Spc Chrystal Stout, SCARNG (helicopter in which she was riding crashed)

2004
4 Jul 04: Spc Julie Hickey, Army (complications from a non-combat-related illness)

2003
23 Mar 03: Tamara Archuleta, USAF (killed in a HH-60G Pave Hawk crash)

2002
12 Jun 02: SSgt Anissa Shero, USAF (killed in an MC-130H Combat Talon crash)
9 Jan 02: SGT Jeannette Winters, USMC (killed in a refueling tanker crash)

Civilians
6 Apr 13: Anne Smedinghoff, US State Dept (convoy vehicle struck by vehicle that exploded)
30 Dec 09: Jennifer Matthews, CIA (killed by an informant who had set a trap)
30 Dec 09: Elizabeth Hanson, CIA (killed by an informant who had set a trap)
7 Jan 09: Paula Loyd, Human Terrain System, US Army (doused with fuel & set afire by irate Afghan civilian)
3 Feb 05: Carmen Urdaneta, Management Sciences for Health (aircraft crash near Kabul)
3 Feb 05: Cristin Gadue, Management Sciences for Health (aircraft crash near Kabul)
3 Feb 05: Amy Meeks, Management Sciences for Health (aircraft crash near Kabul)

Related Links:
Non Combat Deaths of Female Soldiers in the US Military (Iraq)
Non Combat Deaths of Female Soldiers in the US Military (Other Areas)
Noonie Fortin: Killed in Afghanistan or in support of Operation Enduring Freedom

Non Combat Deaths of Female Service Members in the U.S. Military (Iraq)

Map of Iraq

    • 111 US women died in Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF)
    • 69 female soldiers considered Combat Death (63%)
    • 41 female soldiers considered Non-Combat Death (37%)
    • 1 civilian journalist from the Boston Globe died in a vehicle accident
    • Non-Combat Death: Homicide, Suicide, Unknown, Accidents, Medical
      • Combat: 69 (63%)
      • Homicide/Suicide/Unknown: 23 (21%)
      • Accidents: 12 (11%)
      • Medical: 6 (5%)
    • 36 of 41 Non-Combat Deaths are in Army (88%) 

Screen Shot 2016-08-11 at 7.42.00 PM

2018
19 Feb 18: Sgt. Christina Schoenecker, U.S. Army (non-combat related incident)

(Editor’s Note: 2018 not included in stats)

2010
2 Jul 10: Spc Morganne McBeth, U.S. Army (ruled negligent homicide, stabbed by a knife wielding soldier)
8 Mar 10: SSG Lakeshia Bailey, U.S. Army (vehicle rollover, accident)
21 Feb 10: CWO2 Billie Grinder, Tennessee Army National Guard (hard landing, family sued helicopter maker for faulty system that caused crash and settled)
10 Feb 10: Pfc Adriana Alvarez, U.S. Army (gunshot wound, outcome of investigation unknown)

2009
4 Nov 09: SSG Amy (Seyboth) Tirador, U.S. Army (gunshot wound, Army ruled suicide, family believes execution style murder, cold case)

2008
19 Oct 08: LCpl Stacy Dryden, U.S. Marine Corps (fight with fellow soldier, ruled homicide, cold case)
1 Sep 08: SSG Renee Deville, U.S. Army (injured in Iraq, died unexpectedly at Walter Reed Army Medical Center after graduating from NCO course)
14 Aug 08: Pvt Janelle King, U.S. Army (non combat related incident, outcome of investigation unknown)
2 Aug 08: Pfc Jennifer Cole, U.S. Army (gunshot wound to abdomen, ruled negligent homicide)
17 Jul 08: TSgt Jackie Larsen, U.S. Air Force (medical, natural causes)
9 May 08: Spc Mary Jaenichen, U.S. Army (non-combat related injury, outcome of investigation unknown)
22 Feb 08: Spc Keisha Morgan, U.S. Army (death ruled accidental overdose, family suspects rape and murder, cold case)
25 Jan 08: Sgt Tracy Birkman, U.S. Army (non-combat related injury, outcome of investigation unknown)

2007
20 Sep 07: Capt (Dr) Roselle Hoffmaster, U.S. Army (death ruled suicide)
7 Sep 07: Spc Marisol Heredia, U.S. Army (non-combat injuries, medical, severely burned, died in Texas from infection, outcome of investigation unknown)
16 Aug 07: Spc Kamisha J Block, U.S. Army (gunshot wound, ruled homicide, domestic violence and workplace violence)
9 Aug 07: SSG Alicia Birchett, U.S. Army (vehicle ran over her while she was changing tire, outcome of investigation unknown)
7 Feb 07: Capt Jennifer Harris, U.S. Marine Corps (helicopter crash, no sign that it involved hostile fire, outcome of investigation unknown)
28 Jan 07: Spc Carla Stewart, U.S. Army (wounds sustained when convoy vehicle rolled over)
20 Jan 07: CSM Marilyn Gabbard, Iowa Army National Guard (helicopter crash, might have been shot down, outcome of investigation unknown)

2006
12 Dec 06: Major Gloria Davis, U.S. Army (gunshot wound, death ruled suicide)
26 Nov 06: SSG Jeannette Dunn, U.S. Army (non-combat related injury, outcome of investigation unknown)
4 Sep 06: Pfc Hannah McKinney, U.S. Army (struck by vehicle, family believes rape & murder)
8 Apr 06: Lance Cpl. Juana Arellano, U.S. Marine Corps (wounds received supporting combat operations)
11 Mar 06: Pfc Amy Duerksen, U.S. Army (non-combat gunshot injury, parents share in media Amy was raped at Fort Hood prior to deployment)
1 Mar 06: Pfc Tina Priest, U.S. Army (reported rape, died of non-combat gunshot wound to the chest, cold case)
7 Jan 06: 1LT Jaime L. Campbell, Alaska Army National Guard (helicopter crash)

2005
19 Jul 05: Pfc LaVena Johnson, U.S. Army (non-combat gunshot injury, death ruled suicide, family claims rape and murder based on autopsy evidence)
4 Mar 05: Spc Adriana Salem, U.S. Army (accident, military vehicle roll over)
1 Mar 05: Spc Lizbeth Robles, U.S. Army (injuries sustained in a military vehicle accident)
16 Feb 05: Spc Katrina Bell-Johnson, U.S. Army (accident, vehicle rollover)

2004
13 Dec 04: SSG Tina Time, U.S. Army Reserve (supply truck she was driving during a dust storm collided with another military vehicle)
4 Oct 04: SSG Gina Sparks, U.S. Army (died at Fort Polk, Louisiana from injuries sustained from a non-combat gunshot wound in Iraq)
6 Jun 04: Pfc Melissa Hobart, U.S. Army (undetermined cause, died after collapsing while on guard duty)
7 Mar 04: Capt Gussie Jones, U.S. Army (non-combat related cause, outcome of investigation unknown)
14 Jan 04: SSG Keicia Hines, U.S. Army (Army reports accidentally struck by a vehicle)

2003
8 Nov 03: SSG Linda Jimenez, U.S. Army (medical, fell running to keep up with friends, died of complications at Walter Reed after a blood clot formed, caused stroke)
1 Oct 03: Spc Tamarra Ramos, U.S. Army (medical, non-combat related injuries, cancer)
15 Sep 03: Spc Alyssa Peterson, U.S. Army (gunshot wound, death ruled suicide)
9 Jul 03: SSG Melissa Valles, U.S. Army (noncombat gunshot wound to abdomen)
8 May 03: CIVILIAN Elizabeth Neuffer, Boston Globe Journalist (automobile accident)

Related Links:
Non Combat Deaths of Female Service Members in the U.S. Military (Afghanistan)
Non Combat Deaths of Female Service Members in the U.S. Military (Other Areas)
Noonie Fortin: Killed in Iraq or in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom
Is There an Army Cover-Up of Rape and Murder of Women Soldiers?
U.S. Military Keeping Secrets About Female Soldiers’ ‘Suicides’?
Military Policy and Legislation Considerations for the Investigations of Non Combat Death, Homicide, and Suicide of US Service Members

Army Reservist SSG Virginia Caballero Died on Plane Enroute in US After Deployment in Kuwait, Family Received Conflicting Accounts of Cause of Death (September 13, 2014)

If you have any information that could help this family find answers, please contact us at militaryjusticeforall@gmail.com. Thank you.

FullSizeRender-2 copy

SSG Virginia Caballero, US Army Reserves (2014)

Honoring SSG Virginia Caballero, US Army Reserves, who became ill while en-route from Kuwait and then died unexpectedly shortly thereafter at a hospital in Rockford, Illinois on September 13, 2014. Apparently the commercial plane needed fuel and/or had to do an emergency landing for Virginia in Rockford, Illinois. It appears that they were on their way to Fort McCoy in Wisconsin. According to reports, Caballero was a Reservist stationed with the 452nd Combat Support Hospital, 330th Medical Brigade out of Milwaukee, Wisconsin but trained at Fort McCoy prior to her deployment to Kuwait.  She served in Kuwait for roughly eight months and for some reason was coming home a month early with a high ranking travel companion. Media reports claim she wanted to surprise her family in Texas. It is believed Caballero suffered from a blood clot which was exacerbated with the altitude on the flight. She was not listed as a non-combat death by the Department of Defense but this would in fact be considered a non-combat death due to medical. The family admits in newspaper articles that a lot of the details are sketchy.

Here are the questions we have after combing through the below articles. Why was she coming home a month early accompanied by a high ranking travel companion if she was going to surprise her family? Did something happen in country prior to her boarding that plane? Was this an early surprise for family in Texas or an expedited transfer from Kuwait back to the states? The military isn’t in the business of assigning high ranking travel companions unless there is an issue. Were there any concerns about medical health prior to boarding the plane? Where were they flying to? Rockford, Illinois is only a couple hour drive from Fort McCoy. Why did they not land the plane sooner at a larger airport like Chicago when the medical issues began to develop or the fuel began to get low? Why did the DoD not send out an official notification of non-combat death considering she was on active duty orders in support of war efforts in Kuwait? Criminal Investigation Division (CID) was assigned to investigate the cause of death of Virginia. The family was asked to submit a FOIA request for the results of the investigation.

Related Links:
Army Soldier Reflects on Life Overseas and Time Back Home
Lubbock movers reach out to help purple heart recipient
Soldier flying home to surprise family in Texas dies en route
Decorated soldier flying home to surprise family in Abernathy dies en route
Local Purple Heart Recipient Died While On Active Duty
Purple heart recipient’s body to arrive in Lubbock on Saturday
Family, friends remember Virginia Caballero as Veterans Day approaches
The Heart of a Soldier: Sergeant earns hero’s salute from hometown
USAR SSG Virginia Caballero, 41 (Noonie Fortin)
Non Combat Deaths of Female Soldiers in the US Military (Other Areas)
Tribute to SSG Virginia Caballero from her Family
Abell Funeral Home Tribute to Virginia Caballero

Military Sexual Assault: Photojournalist Mary Calvert Documented Some of Their Stories | Cosmopolitan (August 26, 2014)

Mary Calvert

Mary Calvert

In Photos: The Epidemic of Military Sexual Assault

Some 26,000 women [and men] are sexually assaulted in the military every year. Photojournalist Mary Calvert documented some of their stories.

“Why is this happening? To answer that question, Mary Calvert met with survivors and went to congressional hearings on military sexual assault. The women she met connected her with more women, and she photographed them in their homes and communities. Through her work, she learned that just 1 in 7 victims of sexual assault in the military reported the attack; of those assaults that were reported, just 1 in 10 ever saw a trial.”

Read more from  Cosmopolitan here.

“I get emails, and comments from people saying, ‘I was sexually assaulted in the military and I’ve never told anybody and when I saw these pictures and read these stories I felt more courage to go out and get some help.'” -World Press Photo Foundation (May 18, 2017)

Related Links:
Mary F. Calvert Official Website
The Battle Within: Sexual Assault in America’s Military Part 1: The Hearings
The Battle Within: Sexual Assault in America’s Military Part 1: The Survivors
Missing in Action: Homeless Women Veterans
The Battle Within: Sexual Assault in America’s Military
Mary F. Calvert | John Simon Guggenheim Foundation
Surviving Rape in the Military – The New York Times
The New York Times Discusses Mary F. Calvert’s Photography on Sexual Assault in the Military
Thousands Are Sexually Assaulted In The U.S. Military Every Year. These Are Some Of Their Stories.
Photos: Women Who Risked Everything to Expose Sexual Assault in the Military
Haunting Photo Essay Illustrates the Real-Life Toll of Military Sexual Assault in America
Sexual Assault in America’s Military | Photographer: Mary F. Calvert
World Press Photo Winners: Mary F. Calvert and Military Sexual Assault
“It’s sad to think that this could become my life’s work”
Mary F. Calvert on Photographing Military Sexual Assault Without Adding to Her Subjects’ Suffering
The Battle Within: Sexual violence in America’s military laid bare as record numbers of women are raped
‘I just pulled up my pants and went back to work’: Women veterans reveal the shocking sexual and physical abuse they suffered in the US armed forces
The Battle Within: Sexual Assault in America’s Military | Visa pour l’image
Mary F. Calvert on ‘Sexual Assault in America’s Military’

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

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Inside Amy Schumer – A Very Realistic Military Game (YouTube)
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Prevent Sexual Assault, Rape, Suicide, and Murder in the Military

Military Sexual Assault

When I got involved in the ‘movement’ to end violence in the military, it was after serving fourteen years in the military. I went from one mission to another, and much like the military the purpose was clearly defined but those in charge swayed greatly from what was in writing. No matter what the job is whether it be in the military or in a movement, you need those in charge to be loyal to those who they are fighting for. Much like Community Planning, you need your ‘customer’ to have buy-in. Who are we fighting for? Our active duty military ultimately so we could prevent them from becoming disabled veterans.

I could have just walked away from the military and moved on with a happy, healthy life living with PTSD and on a fixed income BUT that is not who I am which is exactly what my point is. I reported violent crimes to prevent what happened to me from happening to anyone else. I stepped forward and spoke out publicly to do the same. In the meantime, we had all kinds of competing issues knocking us down or drowning us out. For example, despite being committed to preventing rape in the military, others were committed to promoting themselves, becoming famous, or maybe even ensuring women have access to the most dangerous job in America: combat.

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