Showing posts with label Texas. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Texas. Show all posts

Wednesday, June 8, 2022

45 rounds a minute hitting kids is something to debate? Seriously?

Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
June 8, 2022

This is from The Guardian
Miah was joined by other families affected by gun violence, including Felix and Kimberly Rubio, whose daughter Lexi died in Uvalde, and Zeneta Everhart, whose son Zaire Goodman was injured in Buffalo. Ten people were killed there, in a supermarket by another gunman with an AR-15-style rifle.

“We don’t want you to think of Lexi as just a number,” Rubio told the committee. “She was intelligent, compassionate and athletic. So today we stand for Lexi, and as her voice we demand action.”

But the emotional and searing testimony did not stop Republicans on the committee rehashing talking points about why they oppose gun restrictions.

“Kneejerk reactions to impose gun control policies that seek to curtail our constitutional right to bear arms are not the answer,” said James Comer, the Republican ranking member.
A "kneejerk reaction? Well, he got the "jerk" part right. Who could listen to testimony after testimony from survivors and families of kids slaughtered and come out with something like that? How many more kids have to die just because they went to school on the day a murderer decided to load AR15s and use them as target practice? How many more people have to die while going food shopping in the wrong store at the wrong time? How many have to die for going to a concert to enjoy some great music and be laid to rest with sad songs because someone decided they were going to make sure a lot of people didn't go back home? How many have to die because someone doesn't like their choice of lifestyle and obliterates as many as possible at a nightclub? While all of the weapons used were not all AR15s, not all of the shooters were younger than 21, but they were armed with weapons intended to kill as many people as possible. 

How many more times will we have to tolerate the sound of elected officials' voices showing more contempt toward people trying to stop the slaughtering of more people, than they show to those who committed the crimes? How many more times will we have to hear them defend these guns being allowed to be purchased by anyone who wants them, because, they like to shoot critters with them?

This is from TIME when they had a chance to do something about all this and used that same excuse for allowing them to get into the hands of anyone. It was after the PULSE massacre!
In interviews with TIME, leaders of 15 state shooting groups said semiautomatic rifles are popular with hunters in their states. Hunters say they favor the gun for its versatility, accuracy and customizable features for shooting animals. The semiautomatic feature, which allows these guns to shoot up to 45 rounds a minute, is not always necessary, but useful in some situations, hunters say.

“It’s the most capable tool for the job at this time,” said Eric Mayer, who runs “Bar none. Period. It is.”

The thing is, it is a capable tool for killing. So why would anyone want everyone to be able to get as many of them as they wanted? When will they ever learn?

The kids and families will be suffering for the rest of their lives, just like all the others who were in the wrong place at the right time to be murdered! If you think #PTSD is an epidemic already, wait until it happens again if nothing is done again and members of the GOP in Congress defend the means of mass murder, instead of the life they claim to be so "pro" for!

Saturday, April 11, 2020

Veteran with cancer cannot get treatment from VA because of state borders and COVID-19

Veteran and family plead for hospitals to treat his stage 4 cancer

Apr 10, 2020
"I was informed that my father had no scheduled appointment. Even all of the CT scans, his chemo, everything had been canceled, but no one had contacted us," said Barron who's been trying to contact the VA Hospital in Shreveport to see if her father's treatments could be moved to that location.
BENTLEY, La. (KALB)- 64-year-old Byron Walters has been to Vietnam and back, serving his country in the United States Army.

He's currently battling the COVID-19 pandemic with the rest of Louisiana on top of stage 4 cancer.

"I have prostate cancer, lung cancer, bladder cancer and liver cancer," said Walters as he explained that he's due for his fourth round of chemotherapy.

The VA Hospital in Houston, Texas has been treating him since he found out about his cancer and that's where he was scheduled to travel for his next appointment this month. He's been told that his treatments should be done no more than 3 weeks apart.
read it here

Thursday, March 12, 2020

Soldiers given housing rights after deplorable living conditions

DoD adds key provisions to tenant bill of rights

Army News Service
By Devon Suits
March 12, 2020
The tenant bill of rights included inputs from close to 200,000 households. Within the original provisions, Soldiers are given the right to reside in a house and community that meets health and environmental standards.
The Military Housing Privatization Initiative Tenant Bill of Rights was signed by DoD senior leaders on Feb. 25, ensuring that service members and their families receive fair treatment. The bill of rights may soon include three more key provisions to help rebuild trust about privatized housing, officials told the House Appropriations Committee. Sentinel file photo

WASHINGTON — The tenant bill of rights, signed by Department of Defense senior leaders last week, may soon include three more key provisions to help rebuild trust about privatized housing, officials said March 3.

The document has 15 provisions to ensure service members and their families receive fair treatment under the Military Housing Privatization Initiative. It was signed Feb. 25 by Secretary of Defense Mark Esper, Secretary of the Army Ryan McCarthy and the other service secretaries.

The three additional provisions propose to provide military tenants a dispute resolution process, the right to withhold rent until a dispute is resolved, and access to a building’s maintenance history before the move-in date, officials told the House Committee on Appropriations’ Military Subcommittee.

“Since early last year, the DoD has been working to address the concerns of our military families,” said Pete Potochney, the acting assistant secretary of defense for sustainment, in written testimony to the Capitol Hill hearing.

“We recognize and acknowledge that our oversight of the program had not been up to the standards established at the outset,” which includes leadership engagement, he added.
read it here

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Suicidal Veteran called crisis line from Texas...Police dispatched to veteran in Maine?

I-Team: Suicidal Texas veteran left waiting as crews are dispatched to a house in Maine

by Jon Chrisos
February 24th 2020
In this case, the text actually came from someone in Texas who's now using the number Greg used when he lived in El Paso years ago.
NATIONWIDE (WGME) - The I-Team discovers a nationwide problem with the suicide hotline intended to help our heroes and their families when they're in crisis.

Every day hundreds of veterans call or text the Veterans Crisis Line.

VCL is a key piece of the federal government's suicide prevention efforts, but when minutes matter we found a flaw leaving emergency responders struggling to find the person crying out for help.

"It was just before midnight, we were in bed sleeping," said Rebecca Cumming's who got a terrifying wake-up call when two police officers showed up at her home in Windham.

Cummings is a former solder, Army wife, and now military mom.

"I honestly thought they were here to talk about my son who's away at basic training. If the police are at your door in the middle of the night and you didn't call them and there's nothing going on it's usually pretty bad news," she said.

But instead, according to a police report obtained by the I-Team, police were dispatched to the home by the Veterans Crisis Line "for the report of a suicide attempt."

The text to the hotline suggested "the person was feeling suicidal, had a plan, and wanted to act on that plan tonight."
read it here

Friday, September 20, 2019

Shifty contractor took off with Vietnam veteran's insurance money leaving him homeless

Veteran left homeless after contractor allegedly takes insurance money, leaves home gutted

By Bob Hallmark
September 18, 2019

KILGORE, Texas (KLTV) - An East Texas veteran says he’s in a no-win situation in trying to repair his home after a contractor left him high and dry.

Back in March, the south side of Kilgore was hit by a massive storm damaging hundreds of homes.

The victim in this case, a Vietnam veteran, says he relied on his insurance to rebuild his shattered home. But instead, what happened in the months that followed left him homeless.

Most of the homes in south Kilgore along Layton Street that were damaged in the March storms have been repaired, except one, belonging to Vietnam veteran Don Greathouse home for 42 years.

Going through his insurance company, Greathouse hired a contractor, Preston McGinnis, to rebuild. But then things began to go wrong.

“He had promised me that he’d have it back up in two months. I have emailed him and called him since the middle of April. Got no response and he vanished,” Greathouse says.

"The house has been totally taken down to studs by the contractor we had," says daughter Renee Stevens.
Preston McGinnis was arrested and taken to Gregg County Jail. (Source: Gregg County Jail)
read it here

Saturday, August 31, 2019

5 dead, 21 others shot in Texas...will the Senate ever do anything?


Odessa news station evacuated mid-broadcast due to shooting Odessa, Texas, CNN affiliate KOSA-TV was forced to evacuate their studio in the middle of a live broadcast due to their proximity to the shooting that left at least five people dead.Source: CNN

update Hero cop shot multiple times in Texas rampage

One of the three law enforcement heroes injured in Saturday’s mass shooting in Texas was identified late Saturday on GoFundMe — Midland Police Officer Zack Owens.

Shooter killed in West Texas after 5 people died, at least 21 injured, police say

By Ed Lavandera and Ralph Ellis
August 31, 2019
(CNN)A gunman in West Texas who killed five people while firing from his vehicle and then from a hijacked mail truck was fatally shot by police in a gun battle in a movie theater parking lot, authorities said Saturday.

At least 21 people were injured, including some who were wounded by the shooter, Odessa Police Chief Michael Gerke said at a news conference. Gerke said three law enforcement officers were injured: one from the Department of Public Safety, one officer from the Midland Police Department and one officer from Odessa Police Department. Gerke said the shooter was identified as a white male in his 30's. His name and a motive were not given. Midland Mayor Jerry Morales told CNN the chain of events began when a Department of Public Safety officer pulled over a vehicle on an interstate highway Saturday.

"That's when he shot the officer and then took off and started shooting randomly," Morales said. "Everything happened after that."

At one point, the shooter ditched his vehicle and hijacked a US Postal Service truck, authorities said. Law enforcement officers "trapped him in the parking lot of the Cinergy theater, and that's when they were able to engage him," Morales said.
read it here

Mitch McConnell is the head of the Senate and has blocked anything that the people of this country have been begging for! When he took over the Senate, he gleefully stated that the "number one priority was to make Obama a one term president, even if that meant everything else could go to hell.
While McConnell did not achieve that goal, he saw gains with the Republican takeover of the House in 2010. Two years later, despite the Democrats’ push for gun control legislation after the December 2012 Sandy Hook massacre, McConnell voted against a 2013 bill that would have expanded background checks for gun purchases.
So who is Mitch McConnell working for?

Sunday, August 25, 2019

Missing Fort Hood Soldier month away from discharge listed as AWOL

Family and friends searching for missing Fort Hood soldier

By Brandon Hamilton
Aug 24, 2019

FORT HOOD, Texas (KWTX) Family and friends of a missing Fort Hood soldier are actively searching, hoping for his safe return.

Gregory Wedel-Morales, according to his family, was last seen Monday night.

His family says they have filed missing persons reports with Fort Hood and the Killeen Police Department.

Fort Hood confirmed to News 10 that Morales has been placed on Absent Without Leave status since Aug. 20.

"His chain of command is in touch with his family seeking his whereabouts," officials said.

His mother, Kim Wedel, posted on Facebook that he just purchased a black 2018 Kia Rio.

"He is scheduled to process out of the military in September so going AWOL just doesn’t make sense," she said.

Anyone with information is asked to contact local authorities.
get updates here

Monday, August 12, 2019

Vietnam veteran forced to fight another battle...with the government over spiders

Army veteran fighting government for regulating part of his farm to protect spiders

WZTV Staff
August 9th 2019

WILLIAMSON COUNTY, Texas (WZTV) – An Army veteran who served his country in the Vietnam War is suing the federal government for regulating part of his family farm over spiders.

John Yearwood runs a small business and lives on the family farm which has been in the family since 1871, nearly 150 years. Spanning 865 acres in Williamson County, Texas, Yearwood is faced with being unable to use part of his land because of a tiny spider he's never seen.

In a lawsuit filed by the non-profit American Stewards of Liberty on behalf of Yearwood, the suit claims the U.S. Department of the Interior is using the Interstate Commerce Clause to keep him from using part of the land due to an obscure cave spider species.

According to the lawsuit, the government is using the clause to protect the Bone Cave Harvestman, a tiny spider which only exists in underground caves in two central Texas counties. It is believed this species of spider lives on Yearwood's family land. The spider is considered endangered, thus protected under the Endangered Species Act.

Due to the endangered designation, Yearwood would be committing a federal crime if he did anything to harm or disturb the habitat of the Bone Cave Havestman spiders. The situation has put Yearwood's family in a tight position according to the American Stewards of Liberty. The organization states Yearwood has used the land for community benefit, allowing church groups, youth groups, and 4-H clubs to use the property for camping. However, the best part of their land for camping is also home to where the spiders are believed to live underground.
read it here

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Will new Secretary of Defense fix mold in military housing?

Mold Displaces 200 and Counting at Joint Base San Antonio

Stars and Stripes
By Rose L. Thayer
29 Jul 2019

About one week ago, photos began surfacing on "Air Force amn/nco/snco," a Facebook group page popular with enlisted Air Force personnel. More than 290,000 people follow the page.

AUSTIN, Texas -- Mold in dorms forced about 200 airmen into new housing over the weekend at Joint Base San Antonio in Texas, after online scrutiny of living conditions triggered base leadership to conduct a full review of all facilities. As inspections continue at the Air Force's largest dormitory program, officials anticipate the number of displaced airmen to grow.

The base commander ordered Wednesday a full review of dormitories within 24 hours. Now, follow-up inspections continue, and some remediation has begun in those rooms where mold was found to be a severe problem, Brig. Gen. Laura Lenderman, 502nd Air Base Wing and Joint Base San Antonio commander, said in a statement released Monday.
read it here

Saturday, July 27, 2019

Missing veteran with PTSD found dead in Texas cemetery

Missing East Texas veteran found dead in Beaumont

CBS 19 News
Author: Matthew Copeland
July 26, 2019
Martin served abroad with the United States Army and suffered from PTSD, according to family.
BEAUMONT, Texas — A East Texas veteran who has been missing for more than two weeks was found dead Thursday afternoon in Beaumont.
Terrell Martin was first reported missing on July 11.

According to the Beaumont Police Department, officers responded Forrest Lawn Cemetery where a vehicle had been crashed in the back of the property.
read it here

Friday, July 12, 2019

Disabled veteran left with nasty note for parking in handicap spot


"You may not physically see their disability. But everyone wears their scars differently. You just have to simply go back to the Golden Rule: treating people how you want to be treated," Marqueena said.
Two veterans are speaking out after they discovered a racist note left on their car following a trip to the grocery store.
Kenneth and Marquenna Moore, both former military veterans who were injured in service, returned to their car to find a note telling them not to park in a handicap space, despite their car having a license plate that says they are disabled military veterans. KHOU

The incident occurred in Cypress, Texas when Kenneth and Marquenna Moore parking in a handicap space during their trip to H-E-B. The couple, who have been married for 15 years, returned to their car afterward to reportedly find a note that read, "just because you are black and have a nice car does not make you handicapped ;)," KHOU reports.

"(I was) Shocked. Then actually angry, because I'm like, the plates are right there! How do you not see?," Marquenna told KHOU.

The couple's car does not have a hangtag to designate their car as one for disabled persons, but the license plates — required by Texas law to be placed on the front and back of all vehicles — indicates that the car is registered to a disabled veteran. According to KHOU, the designation is noticeable by the "Disabled Veteran U.S. Armed Forces" text printed along the bottom of the plate.

Both Kenneth and Marqueena were injured while serving in the U.S. Military, they told the tv station. Both were stationed with the U.S. Navy and met while serving in Japan, Kenneth served for 12 years and Marqueena for eight.

Kenneth told KHOU that his time serving was "amazing" but added that "it does take a toll on your body mentally and physically."

Kenneth's injuries include a traumatic brain injury which created a stutter. Both say they suffer from PTSD.
read it here

Friday, May 24, 2019

Texans closer to medical pot...but not veterans with PTSD?

Former Dallas Cowboy Jay Novacek, Wife Advocate For Medical Marijuana Law: ‘We Want To Save Our Son’s Life’

By Andrea Lucia
May 23, 2019

NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – More than one million Texans could be eligible to access medical marijuana through the Texas Compassionate Use program, after state senators unanimously approved a bill expanding the list of qualifying conditions on Wednesday.

Jay and Amy Novacek (CBS 11)
The bill is more narrow than one passed by the House earlier this month, but would allow patients with medical seizure disorders, multiple sclerosis, spasticity, terminal cancer, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Huntington’s, autism and ALS to obtain medical cannabis with up to .5% THC from a state-licensed dispensary.

“We’re just like everybody there, desperate. We want to save our son’s life,” said Amy Novacek.
She and her husband, former Dallas Cowboys tight end Jay Novacek, never expected they would be advocating for anything related to marijuana.

“Everybody I grew up with.. there was no drinking, no drugs. I was na├»ve to all that in small town Nebraska,” said Jay Novacek.
Joshua Raines, an Army veteran and Purple Heart recipient, has plead with lawmakers for years to extend medical marijuana access to veterans suffering from PTSD.

“I’ve lost more friends to suicide than I have to combat,” he said.
read more here

Saturday, April 20, 2019

Spc. Kamisha Block's family did not settle for what military told them

Army reopens case of 2007 murder-suicide that was originally called 'friendly fire'

Published: April 19, 2019

AUSTIN, Texas – One gunshot wound to the chest from friendly fire — that’s the story Spc. Kamisha Block’s family was told about her death in Iraq.
Spc. Kamisha Block was buried in her hometown of Vidor, Texas. Twelve years after she was murdered by a fellow soldier at Camp Liberty, Iraq, the Army has reopened the investigation into her death. Rose L. Thayer/Stars and Stripes

Her family had no reason not believe the two soldiers who arrived at their home in Vidor, Texas in August 2007 to break the bad news to them.

But when Block’s body arrived at their local funeral home with five gunshot wounds, including one in the head, her family started asking questions.

“It’s just lie after lie after lie after lie!” Shonta Block

Shonta Block said family members have questioned the Army about her sister, waiting six months to get the report on her Aug. 16, 2007 noncombat death. The family learned while she was deployed at Camp Liberty, Iraq, the 20-year-old soldier was shot to death by her 30-year-old boyfriend, Staff Sgt. Paul Brandon Norris, who then turned his weapon on himself.

In August, Shonta Block, who works with a remodeling company, said they finally got a glimmer of hope when a phone call from the Inspector General of the Army Criminal Investigation Command informed her that the investigation into her sister’s death was reopened.

“I was on a job painting a door,” Shonta Block said about the call. “I said, ‘Oh my God, thank you.’ I couldn’t stop saying it. I just kept saying thank you.”
read more here

Friday, March 15, 2019

Gary Sinise Foundation gave Veteran and family new place to be welcomed home

Wounded North Texas Army Veteran, Family Get Free Home: ‘I Can’t Say Enough How Great This Place Is’

CBS 11 News
By J.D. Miles
March 14, 2019

ARGYLE, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – There were tears of gratitude in Argyle where a wounded veteran and his family moved into a new home.
It was donated by the Gary Sinise Foundation which creates more accessible homes for deserving veterans and first responders.

A parade of veterans led the escort to where Jake Murphy and his wife raised the American flag outside their new home.

“As years pass I’ll be able to live comfortably in a place that is customized to my specific needs,” said Ret. Army Captain Jake Murphy.

Murphy lost both of his legs in an explosion while serving in Afghanistan more than seven years ago.

His previous home was inaccessible for a wheelchair which he sometimes uses.
The new home has wider doorways, lower racks and faucets as well has tablet controlled lights and other home environment functions. “I can’t say enough how great this place is for me, Lisa and our children,” he said. The home is one of 71 gifted to wounded heroes across the country through the Gary Sinise Foundation. read more here

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Community searches for missing woman, husband arrested

60+ volunteers help search for Andreen McDonald

Strangers brave cold, rugged terrain to find missing 29-year-old mother
By Katrina Webber - Crime Fighters Reporter
March 05, 2019

SAN ANTONIO - Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salazar put out an appeal for help in the search for a missing mother. The response, though, surprised even him.

More than 160 people gathered Tuesday morning in a parking lot on Overlook Parkway, volunteering to try to find Andreen McDonald, 29.
Missing woman described as fitness fanatic, motivator "This is great to see. Community policing at its best right here," Salazar said, visually taking in the huge crowd. "This is giving us the capabilities that now we can start expanding our horizons a little bit more."
Sheriff's deputies on Monday were mostly on their own, as they searched a wooded area about a quarter-mile from the North Bexar County home that McDonald shared with her husband and daughter.

The mother and businesswoman was reported missing Friday under what turned out to be suspicious circumstances.

Evidence found inside her home led sheriff's investigators to suspect foul play.

Salazar later referred to her husband, Andre McDonald, 40, as a suspect in the case.

The U.S. Air Force reservist was arrested on a charge of tampering with evidence and remains in jail.

According to Salazar, Andre McDonald has not expressed any concern for his missing wife or offered any assistance in locating her.
read more here

Saturday, March 2, 2019

Texas executed Vietnam veteran with PTSD?

Texas death row inmate's son arrested for outburst during father's execution

The Chronicle
By Keri Blakinger
February 28, 2019

Billie Wayne Coble's son pounded on the execution chamber windows, cursing and shouting "no" as he watched his father die.
It was just after 6:20 p.m., and the 70-year-old triple killer was about to become the oldest Texan executed in the modern era of capital punishment.

The aging Vietnam veteran who murdered his in-laws in an apparent rash of vengeance offered a only a short final statement before he was pronounced dead, according to the Texas Department of Criminal
It was a dramatic and unexpected end to a decades-long saga.

Back in the summer of 1989, Coble was distraught over the disintegration of his third marriage when he kidnapped his estranged wife and killed her parents and brother before attempting to kill himself.

But the Waco man, now 70, had no priors and, as he racked up years of good behavior in prison, his attorneys argued that a pair of experts for the state got it wrong at trial when they offered testimony claiming he'd be a future danger even behind bars.

"That Coble will be executed on such discredited testimony is unconscionable," Brian Stull, an ACLU attorney who previously handled the case, wrote two days before the execution. "The example of his case already shows all who are willing to look why the death penalty is never justice, and why it should be abolished once and for all."

Raised in an orphanage, Coble went on to serve in Vietnam as a machine gunner involved in combat. Afterward, his sister said he came back "different," according to court records, and he was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress and bipolar disorder.
read more here

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Mass shooting survivor wishes shooter was saved

Shooting victim donates to veterans organization

Houston Chronicle
Samantha Ketterer
February 23, 2019
Foster, also a founder of Combined Arms, said that while PTSD is a real issue among veterans, mental health-related, violent incidents reinforce a stereotype of a veteran that’s difficult to undo.
Denise Slaughter believes that the man who nearly killed her three years ago slipped through the cracks.

He was a veteran who suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder; a loving person who snapped, his parents said. He ultimately opened fire for 55 terrifying minutes on a west Houston neighborhood, firing at unsuspecting passers-by with a pistol and an AR-15. At the end of the rampage, he and one other person were dead. Six more were injured.
Denise Slaughter, survivor of a 2016 shooting, has helped the veterans organization Combined Arms equip a weight room with a donation that is also helping to build accessible bathrooms and showers. Slaughter believes that the shooter who wounded her could have been saved before he died in a standoff with police in 2016. The shooter, a veteran who reportedly had post-traumatic stress disorder, opened fire for about an hour on a west Houston neighborhood, killing one and injuring six. Two years after the shooting, Slaughter donated money to Combined Arms, an organization that helps veterans find resources they need once they return home. Photo: Brett Coomer, Houston Chronicle / Staff photographer

Slaughter could have been angry. Instead, her family foundation donated thousands of dollars to a Houston veterans organization, hoping to prevent other service members from ending up in a situation like the man who almost took her life.

“I think he could have been saved,” she said.
read more here

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

31 law enforcement officers have taken their own lives since 1-1-19

Local deputy's death sparks conversation about police suicides

KWTX 10 News
By Rissa Shaw
Feb 12, 2019
So far in 2019, at least 31 law enforcement officers have taken their own lives, including a young McLennan County jail deputy who graduated from the police academy less than a year ago.
WACO, Texas (KWTX) The recent death of a McLennan County deputy is creating awareness about police suicide.

"We deal with quite a few suicides in the county, but it's very different when one of your own people takes their own life," said Sheriff Parnell McNamara. "It's always a very sad thing when you lose one of your own."

For the third year in a row, police suicides have outnumbered line of duty deaths, according Blue H.E.L.P., a non-profit run by active and retired officers advocating for greater mental health resources for law enforcement.

"The heart of an officer is to do what is right by everyone and to do the best job that we can, and sometimes, we need help," said Lydia Alvarado, Chief of Police for the City of Bellmead.

Alvarado, who's been teaching mental health peace officer certification courses since 2003 and critical incident training (CIT) since 2005, is considered a local expert in mental health as it relates to law enforcement.
read more here

Saturday, February 2, 2019

Director of VA "Center of Excellence" investigated for misconduct

Complaint lodged against director of Waco VA Center for Excellence

Waco Herald Tribune
Tommy Witherspoon
February 1, 2019

A high-ranking research center official at the Doris Miller Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Waco is under investigation after a VA psychologist lodged a formal complaint against him.
VA officials have reassigned Dr. Michael Russell, director of the Center of Excellence for Research on Returning War Veterans, for at least 120 days while authorities investigate misconduct complaints against him by psychologist Bryann DeBeer, a Waco-based VA investigator and researcher in the fields of suicide prevention and post-traumatic stress disorder.

DeBeer hired Waco attorney David Schleicher to document her complaints in a nine-page letter to top VA officials dated Jan. 17. General allegations of misconduct in the letter include abuses of authority, misuse of resources, Hatch Act violations, violations of hiring procedures and gender discrimination, which DeBeer claims has driven away female employees.

Russell, a clinical neuro- psychologist who retired as a lieutenant colonel after 24 years in the Army, said Friday he is precluded by VA policy from discussing the complaint and deferred comment to his attorney, Jon Ker, who also is a longtime Army veteran and retired colonel.

Ker said Russell denies the allegations in Schleicher’s letter and warned others not to rush to judgment or read too much into the fact that Russell has been reassigned during the investigation.
read more here

Friday, February 1, 2019

Historical flights and the woman who inspired them

The Navy's first all-female flyover will honor a woman who helped make it possible

Lauren M. Johnson
January 31, 2019
"She not only kicked doors open, she put a doorstop in the door and told others behind her to go through. Her mentorship was legendary," said Katherine Sharp Landdeck, a history professor at Texas Women's University who studied under Mariner at the University of Tennessee.

Rosemary Mariner in the 1990s, when she was commanding officer of a Naval squadron in California.
(CNN)The first woman to fly a tactical fighter jet in the US Navy opened the door for more than just women in combat. She also helped them with the transition to civilian life.

Now, at her funeral, retired Navy Captain Rosemary Mariner will receive the first-ever all-female flyover.

The special tribute, officially (and datedly) named the "Missing Man Flyover," honors aviators who have died serving their country. It features four jets flying above a funeral service in formation before one of the aircraft peels away and climbs into the sky.

Mariner died January 24 after a long battle with ovarian cancer. She was 65. Mariner was the Navy's first female jet pilot and the "first female military aviator to achieve command of an operational air squadron," according to a Navy statement.
read more here