Showing posts with label sexual attacks. Show all posts
Showing posts with label sexual attacks. Show all posts

Tuesday, July 6, 2021

treat the whole person and to change the conversation

This is about Stellate Ganglion Block treatment. It works for some. This is not an endorcement of it. What is really important about this is the fact they acknowledge the need to treat the whole person and to change the conversation! Now that, I fully endorce!

The War Inside: Near death experience pushes veteran to search for help

CBS 21 News
by Michael Gorsegner
July 5th 2021

“It's not about treating the veteran, it’s about treating the person that is really in pain,” said Dr. Sean Mulvaney, Regenerative Medicine Specialist.
York, PA — Over the past several days, a significant step was taken in the post 9-11 conflicts as more American troops exit Afghanistan. However, the brave men and women who put their lives on the line for our country are facing an increase threat at home, suicide.

In the final story of a three-part series, CBS21’s Michael Gorsegner is pulling back the curtains on this growing epidemic and the push to expand a treatment that is saving lives. “I feel so fortunate,” said Robin Cody.

Nurse, mother, veteran, Robin Cody wears many hats. On the surface, this career woman is the face of success. But underneath was a deep dark struggle.

“The body and the mind don’t forget trauma even if you are trying to will yourself to forget it,” she said.
read more here

Friday, April 3, 2020

FBI and the Department of Veterans Affairs IG agents arrested ex-doctor for sexual assault on veteran patient

Former Veterans Affairs doctor in W.Va. accused of incapacitating, molesting patient

By WHSV newsroom
Apr 02, 2020

BECKLEY, W.Va. (WHSV) — A doctor who formerly worked at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Beckley, West Virginia, has been charged with depriving a veteran of his civil rights under the color of law.
Dr. Jonathan Yates, 51, was arrested on Thursday at his home by Special Agents of the FBI and the Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Inspector General, with the assistance of the Bluefield, Virginia Police Department.

That's according to the Department of Justice.

Federal prosecutors say the charge stems from an incident that happened while Dr. Yates was working at the VA in February 2019.

According to a criminal complaint, Yates sexually molested a patient during an exam.

The complaint says Yates also caused the veteran he was examining severe pain and numbness and temporarily incapacitated him by cracking the patient's neck after the patient explicitly requested him not to do so.

The complaint says while the patient was incapacitated, Yates sexually molested him again.
read it here

Saturday, December 14, 2019

Leavenworth VA Hospital sexually molested veterans win in court

U.S. Pays $7 Million To Veterans Who Were Sexually Molested At The Leavenworth VA Hospital

DEC 13, 2019
Dan Curry, a Kansas City lawyer who represented the veterans, said the $6.97 million settlement has been apportioned among the 82 plaintiffs. A former Jackson County judge, Jay Daugherty, determined how much each veteran received.

Eighty-two veterans who were sexually abused by a former physician assistant at the VA hospital in Leavenworth have settled their lawsuits against the government for nearly $7 million.
One of his earliest victims committed suicide not long after the VA police interviewed him about Mark Wisner. This was years before Wisner physically assaulted more than 90 veterans. Someone needed to connect the dots.”
Mark Wisner was convicted of sexual battery and sexual assault. CREDIT ATCHISON COUNTY DETENTION CENTER
The physician assistant, Mark Wisner, was convicted in 2017 of aggravated sexual battery and aggravated criminal sodomy and sentenced to 15 years and seven months in prison.

At his jury trial, four former patients at the Dwight D. Eisenhower Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center testified that Wisner had groped and molested them while giving them physical exams.

Dozens of lawsuits filed by his victims alleged the U.S. government, which operates the VA hospital, knew or should have known that Wisner was a danger to patients, had a history of providing improper medical care and had previously victimized patients.

One of those lawsuits said Wisner had been convicted of a sex-related crime in 1987 and had been reported for sexually inappropriate conduct by a Kansas nurse in 1999. It also said he was the subject of complaints by VA patients in 2011, 2012 and 2014.
read it here

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

VA Contractor charged with sexually assaulting 4 female patients

Prosecutor: Doc hired by VA sexually assaulted four female patients
San Diego Union Tribune
Carl Prine
June 18, 2018
Manzanera’s arrest came two days before one of his former patients filed a series of lawsuits in state and federal courts against the doctor, the VA and his former employer, QTC Medical Services.

Four female patients from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs were sexually assaulted by an Oceanside physician who was arrested on Wednesday, authorities say.

Out on a $150,000 bond, Dr. Edgar Manzanera is slated to be arraigned on Wednesday afternoon in California Superior Court’s North County Regional Center in Vista on four separate felony counts of sexually penetrating the women with a foreign object.

A physician contracted by VA to review pension disability claims, Manzanera also is accused of violating the state’s professional code for health providers by allegedly making sexual contact with his patients.

“If there are any other potential victims, please contact the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office,” said deputy prosecutor Dan Owens during a telephone interview on Monday.

Manzanera did not return a Union-Tribune message left with a woman at his home on Monday.
read more here

And about QTC Medical
DIAMOND BAR, Calif., Aug. 7, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- QTC Medical Services, Inc. (QTC), a Leidos (NYSE: LDOS) company, was awarded its second prime contract by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to continue to provide medical disability examinations for the Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA). The contract has a one-year base period of performance, four one-year options, and a total contract ceiling of $6.8 billion, if all options are exercised. This second award follows the initial award of VBA's only nationwide contract supporting disability examinations for separating and retiring Department of Defense servicemembers.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Wyoming woman overcomes struggles to become a face of the Navy

Wyoming woman overcomes struggles to become a face of the Navy
Published: Thursday, June 14, 2012
By Angie Jackson

WYOMING, MI -- A few years ago, Seaman Brittany VanWyck never dreamed she’d be in the military. Now, she’s one of the new faces of the Navy.

VanWyck was selected for a poster featured on the U.S. naval assault craft unit at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif. There's a chance the poster will also appear nationwide.

The 25-year-old Wyoming native and Godwin High School graduate was chosen based on her work ethic as an engineer on Assault Craft Unit 5, but she actually signed up for the Navy on a whim.

VanWyck was in a bad place. A sexual assault the summer before her senior year put two men behind bars, but left her defeated. She dropped out of Ferris State University after her freshman year and returned home, where she bounced between part-time jobs and hung around with the wrong crowd.
read more here

Monday, November 23, 2009

Woman awarded $3M in assault claim against KBR

Woman awarded $3M in assault claim against KBR
By JUAN A. LOZANO (AP) – 3 days ago

HOUSTON — A woman who claimed she was raped in 2005 while working in Iraq for a former Halliburton Co. subsidiary has been awarded nearly $3 million by an arbitrator to settle her case.

Tracy Barker had sued U.S. contractor KBR Inc, its former parent company Halliburton and several affiliates in May 2007, claiming she was sexually attacked by a State Department employee while working as a civilian contractor in the southern Iraqi city of Basra.

A federal judge in Houston had dismissed Barker's lawsuit in January 2008, ruling she had to abide by an employment agreement she signed that said any claims she made against the companies would have to be settled through arbitration and not the courts.

Court records filed this week show Barker was awarded a judgment of $2.93 million to settle her arbitration claim against KBR.

The Associated Press doesn't usually identify those who report they were sexually assaulted, but Barker made her identity public in her lawsuit.
go here for more
Woman awarded 3M in assault claim against KBR

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

DoD: Sexual assault reports increased in 2008

DoD: Sexual assault reports increased in 2008
Reports of sexual assaults involving military victims or perpetrators are on the rise — more than 8 percent over the previous fiscal year — and increased more than three times as much in Iraq and Afghanistan.
click link for more

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Words from a Woman Warrior on The Voice, Women at War

The following is an email I received about my video The Voice, Women at War. It is beautiful and powerful.

Not often do these eyes of mine “leak.”

This video did it. PLEASE pass it on far and wide.

It is an excellent video-

Kathie’s website-

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

Every 2 minutes, a woman in the U.S. is sexually assaulted. By the end of the video 18 women will have been sexually assaulted!!!

I am the voice that is calling you “To Arms!” (Was the Army OD color missed by anyone?)

If you do not think women are at War, then you need to change your definition of “war.”

Now is the time to pick up your {Sword, Pen, Gun, Voice, or Torch} and “Fight the Fight.”

You KNOW a woman who has been touched by war, assault or rape. Do you care? Are you part of the solution?

Do something… And, Do it NOW!


Retired, Disabled, Combat Veteran
Earned the Bronze Star w/ V Device, Desert Storm Veteran, former victim of rape
Women’s Self Defense Instructor

"The Voice"

I hear your voice on the wind
And I hear you call out my name
"Listen, my child," you say to me"
I am the voice of your history
Be not afraid, come follow me
Answer my call, and I'll set you free"
I am the voice in the wind and the pouring rain
I am the voice of your hunger and pain
I am the voice that always is calling you
I am the voice, I will remain
I am the voice in the fields when the summer's gone
The dance of the leaves when the autumn winds blow
Ne'er do I sleep thoughout all the cold winter long
I am the force that in springtime will grow
I am the voice of the past that will always be
Filled with my sorrow and blood in my fields
I am the voice of the future, bring me your peace
Bring me your peace, and my wounds, they will heal
I am the voice in the wind and the pouring rain
I am the voice of your hunger and pain
I am the voice that always is calling you
I am the voice
I am the voice of the past that will always be
I am the voice of your hunger and pain
I am the voice of the futureI am the voice,
I am the voice
I am the voice, I am the voice

Carly Simon Touched By The Sun Lyrics

If you want to be brave
And reach for the top of the sky
And the farthest point on the horizon
Do you know who you'll meet there
Great soldiers and seafarers, Artists and dreamers
Who need to be close, close to the light
They need to be in danger of burning by fire
And I, I want to get there I,
I want to be one One who is touched by the sun,
One who is touched by the sun
Often I want to walk The safe side of the street
And lull myself to sleep
And dull my pain
But deep down inside I know
I've got to learn from the greats,
Earn my right to be living,
Let my wings of desire Soar over the night
I need to let them say "She must have been mad"
And I, I want to get there I,
I want to be one One who is touched by the sun,
One who is touched by the sun
I've got to learn from the greats,
Earn my right to be living,
With every breath that I take,
Every heartbeat And I, I want to get there I,
I want to be one,
One who is touched by the sun,
One who is touched by the sun.

Do Not Stand At My Grave And Weep
- Mary Frye (1932)
Do not stand at my grave and weep,
I am not there, I do not sleep.
I am in a thousand winds that blow;
I am the softly falling snow.

I am the gentle showers of rain;
I am the fields of ripening grain.
I am in the morning hush;
I am in the graceful rush.

Of beautiful birds in circling flight,
I am the starshine of the night.
I am in the flowers that bloom,
I am in a quiet room.

I am the birds that sing,
I am in each lovely thing.
Do not stand at my grave and cry,
I am not there. I do not die.

In 2007, there were 248,300 victims of rape, attempted rape, or sexual assault.1 (These figures do not include victims 12 years old or younger.)

Every 2 minutes, someone in the U.S. is sexually assaulted. By the end of the video 18 women will have been sexually assaulted!!!
Victims of sexual assault are:7
3 times more likely to suffer from depression.
6 times more likely to suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder.
13 times more likely to abuse alcohol.
26 times more likely to abuse drugs.
4 times more likely to contemplate suicide.
1 out of every 6 American women have been the victims of an attempted or completed rape in their lifetime
17.7 million American women have been victims of attempted or completed rape. DO THE MATH!!!
15% of sexual assault and rape victims are under age 12.
Warlords gang-rape 12-year-old girl, her family threatens to commit mass suicide if justice is not done
Man, Friend Raped Girls, Police Say
china girl was raped on street ,nobody help her -
7 year old girl raped on school bus by teenager - (Rape, Abuse, & Incest national Network)

You can always reach your local rape crisis center directly by calling the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1.800.656.HOPE

Monday, August 25, 2008

Redeployed wounded, the part of the surge no one talks about

CHUCK CLAMON With a mix of medication prescribed after suffering head and spine injuries in Iraq, the sergeant first class says, I feel helpless. I could care less about actually leaving the house now. (Post Andy Cross )

DENNY NELSON The 19-year Army veteran and Bronze Star recipient was sent to Kuwait while he was still using crutches. (Post Andy Cross )

AMY DUERKSEN The 19-year-old s family calls her suicide in Iraq friendly fire - because they failed to take care of a fellow soldier. Her diary talks of her rape at a training session before being deployed.

The battle within
Soldiers who struggle with pained bodies or troubled minds still get deployed, sometimes on crutches or antidepressants, by an Army pressed to fill the ranks in Iraq and Afghanistan.
By Erin Emery and David Olinger
The Denver Post

In the weeks before Christmas last year, a brigade of battle-bruised soldiers left Colorado's Fort Carson for its third round of war in Iraq.

Sgt. Colin Barton was getting Botox shots in his forehead to kill the relentless pain from a brain injury. Army doctors said he should not wear a helmet — a safety requirement for the flight to Iraq. The Army sent him anyway.

Sgt. Joshua Rackley, recovering from his eighth knee surgery, was classified as permanently injured. The Army sent him anyway.

Master Sgt. Denny Nelson and Sgt. Joseph Smith didn't have time to recover from predeployment surgeries. Nelson hobbled with crutches; Smith wore a post-surgical boot. Sgt. Tim Graham brought a sleep-apnea machine. Sgt. 1st Class Walter Overton had a shoulder injury and couldn't lift his gear. Spec. Joseph Leon was popping morphine pills to dull the nerve damage to his groin.

The Army sent them too.

Five years into the war in Iraq and six years after the invasion of Afghanistan, the Army is sending soldiers with physical and mental injuries back to war, at times overruling physicians' classifications of soldiers as "nondeployable."

Facing demands unprecedented in the history of the all-volunteer force, the Army has deployed soldiers with slings and crutches and some who need machines to help keep them alive through the night. Thousands are taking pain, sleep or antidepressant medication, with sometimes deadly consequences.

The pressure to send marginal soldiers grew with the "surge" of troops to Iraq in January 2007, an effort that Army leaders say has succeeded in stabilizing the nation's government and reducing sectarian violence.

Yet from the onset of the Iraq war, deployment pressures have been evident. An Armed Forces Health Surveillance Center analysis shows that 43,000 service members — two-thirds of them in the Army or Army Reserve — were classified as nondeployable for medical reasons three months before they deployed.

Through May, about 206,000 soldiers, plus about 63,000 in the Army National Guard and Reserve, had gone to Iraq or Afghanistan at least twice, Army data show.

TRAVIS VIRGADAMO The night he was given back his gun in Iraq, he killed himself, his grandmother said. The teen was on Prozac when he was deployed and had been previously been on suicide watch, she said.
go here for more

Thursday, August 14, 2008

DOD:Dr. Kaye Whitley, expert on sexual attacks, will testify

DoD to let expert testify on sex assaults

By Rick Maze - Staff writer
Posted : Thursday Aug 14, 2008 8:50:47 EDT

The Defense Department has decided to make its top sexual assault expert, Dr. Kaye Whitley, available to testify before Congress.

Whitley, director of the office of sexual assault prevention and response, is now expected to appear at a Sept. 12 hearing of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee’s national security panel.

Whitley had been asked to appear at a July 31 hearing about military efforts to reduce sexual assault, but she did not appear after senior defense officials decided to have someone else testify.

The hearing featured testimony by a sexual assault victim and the mother of a service member who had been raped and murdered.
click post title for more

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Twice Betrayed: Women Veterans and Military Sexual Trauma

I started a group over on YouTube
Speaking out on PTSD
Videos: 16 Members: 6 0 Discussions
PTSD is a wound. No one would be ashamed of a bullet wound. Why be ashamed of this wound? End the silence and break the stigma.

The videos in this group are about PTSD with the bulk of them, PTSD from combat.

Two of the videos on this group are about women at war and afterwards.

The Voice Women At War09:49
From:NamGuardianAngelViews: 709

Women At War08:02
From:NamGuardianAngelViews: 8,838

I am what people call empathic because I can get into the pain others feel.
Main Entry: em·pa·thy
Function: noun
Pronunciation: 'em-p&-the
Etymology: Greek empatheia, literally, passion, from empathes emotional, from em- + pathos feelings, emotion -- more at PATHOS
1 : the imaginative projection of a subjective state into an object so that the object appears to be infused with it
2 : the action of understanding, being aware of, being sensitive to, and vicariously experiencing the feelings, thoughts, and experience of another of either the past or present without having the feelings, thoughts, and experience fully communicated in an objectively explicit manner ; also : the capacity for this

This annoyed the hell out of my husband until he finally got used to it. It came out one day early in our relationship. He got really angry "How dare you get into my world? You weren't there! I was!" I told him that he's the one who opened the door to let me in. I didn't ask to get into his world, into the pain, into the sadness any more than I asked for the rest of what came with entering.

For the following post from Lily over at Healing Combat Trauma to really sink in, just for this moment, try to be empathic. Close your eyes for a second and then pretend you were willing to die for the sake of your country. You trained to do the job you would need to do in Vietnam, in Kuwait, in Afghanistan or in Iraq. You live, eat, train with the men who were also willing to lay down their lives for the same country. The warrior ethos reverberates in your ears. You know you can trust those you serve with, with your life, but what you can't do is to trust them with your honor. You cannot trust them to not view you as an object. You know you can trust most of them but things have gotten so out of control, you wonder who is sizing you up next to other women so they can attack you and rape you.

This has been a problem in the military for a very long time. It's not just the attacks or the harassment a few in the military inflict, because of what is not reported in the media enough. Women stationed in Iraq and Afghanistan, in over 100 degrees of heat, stop drinking fluids early in the day. This damages their body as they dehydrate. Why are they doing this? To avoid having to go to the latrine in the middle of the night. They are that fearful of attacks. It's one thing to have to fear being attacked by the enemy or a roadside bomb. It's another to have to fear the others who have your life in their hands as well as weapons to use against you. This is a very serious problem and needs serious attention. Rape is a crime and should be treated like it but rape in the military should be treated as more severe than in civilian life. If you have any empathy in you at all, can picture yourself in the same position then pick up the phone and contact your congressman or congresswoman. They are all home now and need to hear from you.

August 07, 2008
Twice Betrayed: Women Veterans and Military Sexual Trauma
It's my deep-seated belief that women veterans who suffer military sexual trauma risk being twice betrayed: once by their perpetrator in uniform, once by the system itself, which should be doing a much better job of protecting them from a problem that's too apparent, widespread, and part of the actual culture to pretend that it doesn't exist.

See Jeff Benedict on this:
"But an occupation that thrives on a unique capacity for aggression among participants runs the risk of being a home for troubled men who cannot contain their rage against the opposite sex." -- Jeff Benedict, author of "Public Heroes, Private Felons"
Preventing Psychological Injury, Betrayal and Trauma: The Real “Costs” and “Treatment” of Military Sexual Trauma

Sometimes I think I miss the point on some of these blog posts: I’m too busy trying to set the stage and establish the “milieu” so that a thoughtful person can absorb it all and come away with a new outlook or two on a “same old” problem. But maybe I’m failing to come right out and say what I’m really thinking, and God knows enough people are floundering around on this topic who shouldn’t be, so maybe I just will. Here goes the suddenly editorial portion of our program:

We heard Jonathan Shay, M.D., Ph.D., pretty much the foremost expert nationally on veterans and PTSD, talk the other day about the “psychological injury” that troops are exposed to from lack of sleep, before and after combat, and how that sets them up for significant problems. True; agreed; understood. What we’re talking about here with women in the military and military sexual trauma is a similar thing: preventing and treating what is a grievous psychological injury – and one like what Shay talks about, something where the proverbial “ounce of prevention” is worth the “pound of cure.” Shay is remarkable: he’s one of a kind. There’s probably no better advocate for veterans in the country, although anyone who works with veterans from the heart is worthy of great honor. It’s a pretty much unsung, undervalued calling.
go here for more

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Rape in military and Pentagon cover-up

Rape in the Military: Members of Congress Accuse Pentagon of Cover-Up
Tala Dowlatshahi, American News Project
Reproductive Justice and Gender: Pentagon official doesn't show up at a hearing on sexual assault in the military despite a subpoena; Congressmembers accuse DoD of a cover-up.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

2,212 reports of military sexual assaults in 2007 alone

Lance Cpl. Maria Lauterbach said she was raped by a fellow Marine. A Marine has been charged in her death.

Attacker 'still comes after me in my dreams'
A lawmaker says she was shocked when told 4 in 10 women at a veterans hospital reported being sexually assaulted while in the military. "My jaw dropped," Rep. Jane Harman says. "We have an epidemic here." A government report indicates the numbers could be even higher. One woman today told a congressional panel: "I was raped while I slept." full story

Story Highlights
Official: "My jaw dropped" after women described rape, sex abuse in military

Hearing prompts allegations of "cover-up" after top Defense official doesn't show

Mom of slain pregnant soldier: Victim shouldn't have burden to "generate evidence"

Woman describes rape: "He still comes after me in my dreams"

In 2007, Harman said, only 181 out of 2,212 reports of military sexual assaults, or 8 percent, were referred to courts martial. By comparison, she said, 40 percent of those arrested in the civilian world on such charges are prosecuted.

Defense statistics show that military commanders took unspecified action, which can include anything from punishment to dismissal, in an additional 419 cases.

click above for more

Thursday, July 17, 2008

What is justice when they go AWOL?

What is the right kind of justice for these soldiers? The admission from the administration along with the evidence has shown there was no need to invade Iraq. With that in mind, it was allowed by the UN and the Congress. Granted, the evidence and claims made against Saddam turned out to be false and the facts were not presented to the Congress, but they did allow it. What is justice when others feel the same way but stay in, do their duty and still risk their lives? How can we judge when it is a matter of conscience? What about those who have other reasons? Sexual attacked? PTSD? What is justice for them?

These two soldiers made the news today

FORT KNOX, Ky. — A military judge at Fort Knox has sentenced a soldier who fled Iraq to six months in jail. The Courier-Journal reported that at his court-martial Wednesday, Pfc. James Burmeister pleaded guilty to being absent without leave.

BOISE, Idaho — An Army deserter from Idaho who was deported from Canada is being held in a county jail in Washington state pending a transfer to military custody.
Pvt. Robin Long, 25, of Boise, fled to Canada in 2005 to avoid serving in Iraq, but was deported this week after losing a court battle to stay in that country.

But there have been many more. These are just a few of them

OTTAWA (AFP) — Canada is set to deport in June the first of possibly hundreds of American soldiers who sought asylum to avoid military duty in Iraq, a group backing the US deserters said Wednesday.Corey Glass, 25, came to Canada in August 2006 after serving in Iraq as a military intelligence sergeant.

VILSECK, Germany — Deserting his unit the day before it deployed to Iraq earned a 2nd Cavalry (Stryker) Regiment soldier 11 months in jail and a bad-conduct discharge.Spc. Loren Barrett, of Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Squadron, 2nd Cavalry, pleaded guilty to two charges of being absent without leave but innocent to a desertion charge during the court-martial Tuesday.

BAUMHOLDER, Germany — Capt. Robert Przybylski, the Baumholder-based officer who was AWOL for a month, faces an Article 32 hearing for a charge of desertion, though a date is yet to be set.Przybylski, through his defense counsel, requested a delay in the proceeding, which had been scheduled for Dec. 14, according to V Corps.

LINCOLN CITY, Ore. — Missing Army Sgt. Julie Stendahl has returned to Fort Lewis, Wash.Stendahl was supposed to be deployed to Iraq at the end of October, but she went missing on the Oregon Coast.Lincoln City police say she turned herself in Monday morning.

FARGO, N.D. — A Michigan couple was sentenced Monday after driving a U-Haul truck through fields in an attempt to escape police Friday after not paying for gas.
Christopher Powell, 20, who is also being held for the Army on suspicion of being absent without leave, was sentenced to 90 days in jail Monday after pleading guilty to misdemeanor theft of property, criminal mischief and fleeing police.

LOS ANGELES - An Army medic who fled rather than serve a second tour in Iraq because he believes war is immoral turned himself in Tuesday to face a possible court-martial. Army Spec. Agustin Aguayo, 34, turned himself in around 6 p.m. at Fort Irwin, an Army base in the Mojave Desert northeast of Los Angeles, said Army spokesman Ken Drylie.,13319,114979,00.html

A soldier who served two combat tours in Iraq was arrested Wednesday for leaving the Army without permission more than a year ago to seek treatment for post traumatic stress disorder. Sgt. Brad Gaskins said he left the base in August 2006 because the Army wasn't providing effective treatment after he was diagnosed with PTSD and severe depression.

A 10th Mountain Division soldier who went AWOL claiming his commanding officers threatened to send him back to Iraq despite his listing as medically unfit for combat planned to surrender Friday to Fort Drum authorities and ask for an investigation into his treatment.Spc. Bryan Currie, 21, of Charleston, S.C., will ask Army Secretary Pete Geren to convene a court of inquiry — a rarely used administrative fact-finding process — to investigate top generals at Fort Carson, Colo.; Fort Drum, N.Y.; and Fort Hood, Texas, said Tod Ensign of the New York City-based veterans’ advocacy group CitizenSoldier. “Instead of prescribing one medication for PTSD, I was given a bag of medication and just told to take them all until I found one that works and just stick to that,” he said.

An Army reservist who checked himself into a civilian psychiatric hospital after being turned away from a military clinic should be court-martialed for being absent without leave, according to an Army report. First Lt. Jullian P. Goodrum, of Knoxville, Tenn., is a veteran of both U.S. wars in Iraq and is being treated for post-traumatic stress disorder at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. Goodrum was also suffering from the disorder last fall, the time of his alleged infraction.

There have been two who received more attention

Ehren Watada (born 1978) is a First Lieutenant (1LT) of the United States Army who in June 2006 refused to deploy to Iraq for his unit's assigned rotation to Operation Iraqi Freedom. Watada said he believed the war to be illegal and that, under the doctrine of command responsibility, it would make him party to war crimes. At the time, he was assigned to duty with the 5th Battalion, 20th Infantry Regiment, part of the 3rd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, as a Fire Support Officer. Watada is the first commissioned officer in the U.S. armed forces to publicly refuse to deploy to Iraq. Watada's February 2007 court-martial ended in a mistrial when he argued that his orders were unlawful, because Military Judge John Head ruled that question can not be resolved within the military justice system, saying the argument was thus reduced to an admission of guilt. A second court-martial was scheduled but was stayed in October, 2007 by U.S. District Judge Benjamin Settle, who issued an order stating that Watada's "double jeopardy claim is meritorious" and no evidence that it lacks merit was presented. The Army is challenging the injunction

Suzanne Swift (July 15, 1984 - ) is a Specialist in the United States Army. She is most noted for going AWOL from the Army when she received new orders to deploy to Iraq, after her charges of sexual assault from her first deployment had continued to go unanswered.

As of March 2007

NEW YORK: A total of 3,196 active-duty soldiers deserted the army last year, or 853 more than previously reported, according to revised figures from the U.S. army.
The new calculations by the army, which had about 500,000 active-duty troops at the end of 2006, significantly alter the annual desertion totals since the 2000 fiscal year.
In 2005, for example, the army now says 2,543 soldiers deserted, not the 2,011 it had reported. For some earlier years, the desertion numbers were revised downward.

Scotland has their own problems with this

Exclusive: Army crisis as 615 Scots soldiers go AWOL or off sick
Jul 11 2008 By Stephen Stewart
A SHOCKING 615 Scots soldiers, more than an entire battalion, are AWOL or off sick. The number of troops absent without leave or unfit to fight has soared by almost 25 per cent in just a year. The grim figures reveal the depth of the manpower crisis in the Royal Regiment of Scotland. And they add to growing fears that the pressure of manning two deadly fronts in Iraq and Afghanistan is pushing the Army to breaking point. The Daily Record used Freedom of Information laws to obtain the absence and sickness figures from the Ministry of Defence. We were told that 360 troops from Scotland's regiment were AWOL and 255 had been signed off by medics.

When AWOL comes with PTSD, what's the right answer and the right justice? There are so many questions the media could be asking, but no one is bothering. How can it be justice when a soldier is sexually assaulted and felt forced to avoid going back? How can it be justice when a soldier wounded by PTSD, seeks treatment and is then forced to go back into combat?

When stories make the news, like the two stories in the first part of this, come to the attention of the pubic, the stories are allowed to die from memory without any kind of investigation into the reasons behind these. Do we even care? Do we really care about any of them when no one is doing any follow ups, asking questions, interviewing the families, asking the military brass what they are doing about any of this? Don't they deserve more than just a few headlines? It's bad enough when a soldier reaches the point where they are willing to risk jail in order to not deploy, but when it comes to valid reasons behind it, especially when they have PTSD, it cannot be dismissed.

Female soldiers, like Suzanne Swift have reasons to not go back when they are sexually assaulted, yet the reports still come out this is still happening to female soldiers as well as citizen soldiers in the National Guards and Reserves. When it's gotten so bad that females deployed into Iraq and Afghanistan stop drinking fluids early in the day to avoid having to use the latrine at night, risking dehydration, to avoid being attacked by their own units, something has to be done. This cannot be allowed to drop from our own conscience and should not be dropped from reporting unless and until these problems are addressed. It's not justice. It's ambivalence.

Senior Chaplain Kathie Costos
"The willingness with which our young people are likely to serve in any war, no matter how justified, shall be directly proportional to how they perceive veterans of early wars were treated and appreciated by our nation." - George Washington

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Civilian sex assaults by Afghan soldiers ignored

Don't look, don't tell, troops told

Civilian sex assaults by Afghan soldiers ignored

Jun 16, 2008 04:30 AM
Rick Westhead
Staff Reporter

Canadian soldiers serving in Afghanistan have been ordered by commanding officers "to ignore" incidents of sexual assault among the civilian population, says a military chaplain who counsels troops returning home with post-traumatic stress disorder.

The chaplain, Jean Johns, says she recently counselled a Canadian soldier who said he witnessed a boy being raped by an Afghan soldier, then wrote a report on the allegation for her brigade chaplain.

In her March report, which she says should have been advanced "up the chain of command," Johns says the corporal told her that Canadian troops have been ordered by commanding officers "to ignore" incidents of sexual assault. Johns hasn't received a reply to the report.

While several Canadian Forces chaplains say other soldiers have made similar claims, Department of National Defence lawyers have argued Canada isn't obliged to investigate because none of the soldiers has made a formal complaint, says a senior Canadian officer familiar with the matter.

"It's ridiculous," the officer says. "We have an ethical and moral responsibility to pursue this, not to shut our eyes to it because it would make it more difficult to work with the Afghan government.

"We're supposed to be in Afghanistan to help people who are being victimized."
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Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Army tops all services for sexual assaults combined

Army sexual assaults top all services combined
An internal Army-wide message issued Tuesday by the Army chief of staff states that sexual assaults “continue to occur at an unacceptable rate” as the service in 2007 “accounted for more assaults than the Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force combined.”


One of the saddest realities I faced when my daughter joined the U.S. Army was that sexual abuse is an epidemic in our military. Both of my grandfather's were in the military, one being a Colonel and the other was a Sergeant, and both were good men. I heard the statistics, but thought I had raised a tough daughter, she could deal with anything they threw at her. I had no idea how many perpetrators and sex offenders lurk and hide in our military. I did not realize was that one out of every three women and one out of every five men in the U.S. Military are sexually assaulted. I still feel shocked by these numbers. And even worse is that it is rare that the perpetrator is prosecuted for the crime of rape/sexual assault.

There are some fundamental changes that need to change so that people can serve in our armed forces without fear of being sexually assaulted by their own fellow soldiers. One is hold the command responsible for any type of complaints that are generated. This means independent investigations into any type of complaint is absolutely crucial. All the policies and procedures and task forces in the world won't help iF the command is able to choose which one to enforce.

Informing young people before they sign away their rights about the statistics of rape in the military should be mandated. Informed and honest recruiting needs to be upheld and not a joke.

We must take a stand together to end the good ole' boy mentality of "boys will be boys" and demand a ZERO tolerance for sexual abuse in the military.
Peace~Sara Rich, M.S.W. and proud mom of Spc. Suzanne

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Women Warriors "What so proudly we hail"

While it appears the blog world is abuzz with either McCellan's tell all or McCain's invitation to Obama to go to Iraq, there is much that is being missed. The fact a VA psychiatrist came out saying that rapes and sexual assaults do not cause PTSD, has all but been avoided. Sure, there are a few hundred jumping on the rise in PTSD cases in the DOD but there has been really nothing new in news on that front. It's just and endless cycle of what we already knew was coming. Some may find it shattering, disgraceful, whatever, but to me it's just more of the same type of treatment the veterans and the troops have been receiving for far too long. It was to be expected, yet we should be grateful the media has finally paid all of this the attention it is due.

I want to go back on something that was said by McCain the other day when he was speaking out on being against women in combat. He actually said there is no history of women in combat. While I did a small post on this yesterday, today I was spending more time thinking about it because of the news the VA has a psychiatrist denying PTSD can be caused by sexual attacks. For Heaven's sake, the population of the world knows it can so how can someone supposedly listed as a professional in mental health within the VA does not seem to be clued in at all?

Women are just as human as males in the military, but women are more likely to be sexually assaulted than men are. Yes, there are some men who have been assaulted as well, but a tiny fraction. We cannot diminish their contribution to the nation. As such, here are just two more parts to what I began yesterday. When you read their names and some of their stories, think about if their lives are being honored when rapes and sexual assaults are passed off and ignored within the military and now a psychiatrist denies their wound from it all together.

So Proudly We Hail!
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
So Proudly We Hail! is a 1943 film made by Paramount Pictures, directed by Mark Sandrich, and starring Claudette Colbert, Paulette Goddard (who was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance), George Reeves and Veronica Lake.
An effective sample of wartime propaganda, the film follows a group of military nurses sent to the Philippines during the early days of World War II. The movie was based on a book written by nurse Juanita Hipps[1] a WWII nurse who served in Bataan and Corrigedor during the time when McArthur withdrew to Australia which ultimately led to the surrender of US and Philippine troops to Japan. Those prisoners of war were subjected to the infamous Bataan Death March. The movie was based on LTC Hipps' true story "I Served On Bataan."!

Commander Beatrice V. Ball, b. December 2, 1902. d. October 21, 1963. U.S. Coast Guard Reserve. She was a senior officer in SPARS (Women's Coast Guard unit) founded in World War II.

Lt. Ollie Josephine B. Bennett, b. March 27, 1874. d. February 4, 1953. Pioneer woman doctor in World War I.

Lt. Kara Spears Hultgreen, U.S. Navy -- Was the first female pilot killed after the Department of Defense Risk rule was rescinded. Lt. Hultgreen was one of the first U.S. Navy female combat pilots.

Commodore (Rear Adm.) Grace Murray Hopper - 1906-1992 U.S. Navy -- Was a mathematician, and a pioneer in data processing and computer science. Admiral Hopper invented COBOL and coined the term "bug" in computers. When she retired from the Navy in 1986, at the age of 80, she was the oldest officer on active duty.

Captain Winifred Love, USN, of Newport, Rhode Island, 1914-1999 In 1967, Captain Love, who was among the first group of Navy women officers selected to the permanent rank of Captain, reported to her last command as director of training publications for the operating Fleet. In 1973 she retired after 30 years of distinguished service to her country. Captain Love has awards and decorations that include the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal, the American Campaign Medal, World War II Victory Medal, and the National Defense Service Medal.

Maj. Marie Therese Rossi During Desert Storm the first woman pilot gave her life while flying in a combat zone. Major Marie T. Rossi died at age 32 on March 1, 1991, when the Chinook helicopter she was piloting crashed near her base in northern Saudia Arabia. The unit she commanded was among the very first American units to cross into enemy held territory flying fuel and ammunition to the rapidly advancing 101st and 82nd Airborne Divisions. Major Rossi is buried in Arlington Cemetery where her simple epitaph there reads "First Female Combat Commander To Fly into Battle."

Constance Bennett -- Acted in more than 50 films, including 1937 "Topper" married Brig. Gen. Coulter.

Jane Delano -- Second superintendent of Army Nurse Corps 1909-12, active with the Red Cross during World War I.

Ruth M. Gardiner, b. May 20, 1914. d. July 27, 1943. One of the first Army Nurses killed in WWII.

Lillian Harris, b. May 6, 1913. d. April 15, 1998. She was a member of the original WAC ( Women's Army Corps) and graduated in its first class. She served as an executive officer during World War II in North Africa. She retired in 1968, she was the recipient of the Bronze Star and Legion of Merit award.

Marguerite "Maggie" Higgins - 1920-1966 -- Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, only woman correspondent during the Korean Conflict. She also reported from the battlefields of WWII - where she witnessed the liberation of Dachau and covered the Nuremburg Trials.

Juanita Hipps -- Wrote I Served on Bataan, best seller in 1943 and basis for movie "So Proudly We Hail," World War II Army Nurse.

Juliet O. Hopkins -- "Florence Nightingale of South" during the Civil War.

Dr. Anita Newcomb Magee - 1864-1940 -- First woman Army surgeon in 1898, assigned to secure and train nurses for the Spanish American War. When the war ended she organized the Army Nurse Corps under the U.S. Surgeon General and served as its first director and the first woman assistant surgeon general.

Katherine Marshall -- Wrote Together, an autobiography about her life with Gen. George C. Marshall.

Anna C. Maxwell, Army Nurse Corps

Barbara Allen Rainey - 1948 - 1982 -- First woman pilot in the history of the U.S. Navy, earning her gold wins in 1974. She was killed while training another pilot, in an air accident at Middleton Field near Evergreen, Alabama.

Mary Randolph -- First person buried on grounds that became Arlington Cemetery, cousin of Mary Custis, wife of Gen. Robert E. Lee, wrote The Virginia Housewife, a best seller in late 1700s .

Vinnie Ream - 1847 - 1914 -- Sculpted Lincoln statue in Capitol at age 18. First woman artist to be commissioned by the government and last artist whom Lincoln sat for before his death; sculpted many other statues including Sappho, the poetess, above her grave.

Mary Roberts Rinehart - 1876-1958 -- America's first woman war correspondent during World War I for the Saturday Evening Post; wrote mystery novels, including The Circular Staircase and The Bat; in 1921 was referred to as "America's Mistress of Mystery."

Lt Commander Catherine Dodson "Cay" Callahan, US Navy (Ret) World War II veteran whose duties included service as a legislative liaison officer to the U.S. Congress. She began her naval career as a member of a graduating class of WAVE Midshipmen from Smith College in 1943. As a young communications officer, she served on the staff of Fleet Adm. Ernest J. King throughout World War II.

Fay Bainter -- Actress during silent films (wife of Lt. Cmdr. Reginald Venable).

Captain Winifred Quick Collins, USN. 1912-1999 Captain Collins served 20 years in the Navy, beginning in the early period of World War II. Most of her career was in personnel positions, related to the integration of women into the Navy. She served in Hawaii, San Francisco and Washington. Her decorations included a Bronze Star and the Navy Commendation Medal. After retiring from active duty, Captain Collins served as vice president and director of the National Navy League. She was the first woman to hold that position. In 1997, the University of North Texas published her book, "More Than a Uniform: A Navy Woman in a Navy Man's World."
Colonel Geraldine Pratt May, WAF Director, USAF. 1895-1997.

Col. May joined the newly formed Women's Army Auxiliary Corps in July 1942 to attend officer candidate school at Fort Des Moines, Iowa. May received her commission in August 1942 and the following March was among the first women officers assigned to the Army Air Forces where she served as WAC staff director of Air Transport Command, With the enactment of the Women's Armed Services Integration Act in June 1948, May received a reserve commission in the newly created Air Force. She was appointed director of Women in the Air Force with the rank of full colonel, the first woman in the Air Force to hold that rank and the first to hold this post. As WAF director, May advised the chief of staff and the Air Staff on the formulation of the plans and policies for integrating women into the regular and reserves of the Air Force.

Colonel (Retired) Bettie J. Morden died of breast cancer on Friday, October 12, 2001 at her home in Arlington, Virginia. She was a pioneer Army woman, acclaimed historian/writer and tireless supporter of the Women's Army Corps Museum (now the Army Women's Museum). Colonel Morden has been described by Army senior leaders past and present as the "best of the best". Funeral services were held at the Fort Myer Old Post Chapel on Monday, November 5, 2001 at 9 AM. She was buried with full military honors at Arlington National Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to the United States Army Women's Museum Foundation (formerly WAC Foundation), P.O. Box 5030, Fort Lee, Virginia 23801-0030 or to the Hospice of Northern Virginia, 6400 Arlington Boulevard, Suite 1000, Falls Church, Virginia 22042.
Capt. Helen Krystopik Garrison , is buried at Arlington. She was a Bellevue Nursing School graduate who served in England, and France during WWII, and later Norfolk, Virginia and Phoenixville, Pennsylvania, immediately after the war. She was buried in Arlington in 2001.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Twin Ports VA wants women to seek help

News From 91.3 KUWS
Twin Ports VA wants women to seek help
Story posted Tuesday at 6:22 p.m.


Veterans’ outreach workers are planning a workshop for women veterans. Danielle Kaeding reports services in the area are lacking for women in the military.

The Twin Ports VA Clinic in Superior sees 6000 veterans for care in the region. Jeff Hall is a retired major who served in the Persian Gulf and is now a social worker with the clinic. He helps women vets who were victims of sexual assault. “They generally come in for other reasons, seeking healthcare or something. The VA has computerized records, and, on the computerized records, there are assessments. You know, questions they’ve got to ask everybody: questions about depression, questions about PTSD, questions about military sexual trauma.
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Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Naval Academy student testifies she was raped in dorm

Mid testifies she was raped in dorm
At a preliminary hearing in Washington, defendant's lawyer calls charges 'incredible'
By Josh Mitchell | Sun reporter
7:26 PM EDT, April 22, 2008

WASHINGTON - A Naval Academy student testified in a military courtroom Tuesday that a fellow midshipman entered her dormitory room after a night of drinking last fall and raped her. But the defendant's attorney called the charges "incredible," pointing out that there was no DNA evidence to support the charge.

The testimony was part of the first hearing for Mark A. Calvanico, 21, of Secaucus, N.J., a junior charged with rape, indecent assault, indecent acts and conduct unbecoming an officer.

Tuesday's Article 32 hearing at the Washington Navy Yard was held to determine whether Calvanico should face a court-martial. An Article 32 hearing is similar to a grand jury proceeding. The investigating officer will make a recommendation to Vice. Adm. Jeffrey Fowler, the academy superintendent, who will decide whether the case goes to trial.

The academy has been criticized for its response to alleged sexual assaults and harassment, and the school, in Annapolis, recently began requiring that midshipmen receive more training about sexual misconduct.
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