I’ve been long aware of the military’s problem of sexual assault, and the culture (including rampant sexual harassment and homophobia, among other things) that encourages it. I was a woman in the military for six years, and for two of them I was a victim advocate. But this? This is…

Heartbreaking.

And sadly, I don’t doubt that every word of it is true. This sort of behavior in the ranks, and even worse, the blatant disregard for good order and discipline by the chain of command, is not rare. Because the people that did this are still out there, some of them, probably still wearing the uniform. Because that’s how they roll.

No one deserves this. No family deserves to lose their child like this. As citizens of this country, we should not, in good conscience, accept this travesty of justice and the devastation it has caused this family.

Nothing short of heartbreaking.

The MadMan Chronicles

Have you heard of the story of LaVena Johnson?

levana-johnson-silent-truthLaVena Johnson was a soldier who enlisted in the Army in 2003. She was the first woman from Missouri to die in Iraq. What happened to this young black woman was appalling.  She was found in her tent with a gunshot wound to the head, a broken nose, black eye, loose teeth, acid burns on her genitals, and a trail of blood leading away from her tent.  What’s even more appalling is the Department of Defense has officially ruled her death a suicide.

The autopsy report and photographs revealed that her death was inconsistent with a suicide, and looked consistent with a rape-murder, but as far as the U.S. Criminal Investigative Command for the Army is concerned the case remains closed.  Her father became suspicious when he saw her body in the funeral home and decided to investigate.  At first the…

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