Tag: US Army

On Asking And Telling, Or, 115,000 LBGT Troops? How Many Is That, Exactly?

I took a couple of weeks off, as Thanksgiving and snow came around (a subject we’ll address in a day or so), but we are all again occupied as lots of things we’ve been talking about  either will or won’t come to pass, and it seems like all that’s happening all at once.

Today we’ll take on “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT); this because the Pentagon’s top leadership just came out and reported that revocation of the policy, following a period of preparation, would be their preferred way to go.

There will be lots of others who will take on the question of what’s right and wrong here, and exactly how implementation might occur; my interest is, instead, to focus on one little fact that makes all teh rest of the conversation a lot more relevant.

That is the fact that about 70,000 LBGT troops serve in the military today, DADT notwithstanding, and, that if it wasn’t for DADT, almost 45,000 more troops would be serving that aren’t today.

And that one little fact leads to today’s Great Big Question: exactly how much military would 115,000 troops be, exactly?

On “Military Endorsements”, Or, Another Weird Christine O’Donnell Story

I have a ton of things on the desk at the moment, and I don’t have the time to really run out this story before Election Day, but I want to bring to your attention something very strange that I found on the 2008 “Christine O’Donnell for Senate” MySpace page.

What it basically comes down to is that the United States Marine Corps and the United States Army are “Christine O’Donnell for Senate” MySpace friends, or that there are persons who have created United States Army and USMC MySpace pages that purport to be official that have “befriended” her candidacy. There’s also a Navy page that appears to emanate from a US Navy recruiting office in California on her ’08 campaign’s “friends” list.

At a minimum, all of this would seem to be a combination of inappropriate behavior and poor management of social media; at worst, you have activity that is “some kind of unlawful”, either on an administrative or civil level.

I’ll make this fast…but I’ll also make it interesting.

Follow along, and you’ll see what I mean.

Lies, Damned Lies, and Damnation

According to the U.S. Army, Private First Class LaVena L. Johnson was killed by a self-inflicted gunshot wound from a rifle on July 19, 2005.  

She was found in the tent of a military contractor.  She had been beaten, burned badly on one side of her body, her nose had been broken, and someone had poured lye on her vagina.  The crime scene sketch showed her rifle was several feet away, on the other side of a cot.

This 5’1″ woman, who volunteered to serve in our Armed Forces, serving in a war zone, was beaten, raped, murdered and set on fire.  Our government concealed this from her family.  Our government concealed this from the public.  The Army rewarded her for her service by promoting her posthumously to Private First Class and giving her a medal for Good Conduct and the Army Commendation Medal.  They rewarded her father, himself an Army veteran, by refusing to give him any details of his daughter’s death until after Missouri Rep. William Lacy Clay Jr. (D) made hay of it during the Pat Tillman-Jessica Lynch hearings.  Afterward, they sent him a CD-ROM of color photos of his daughter’s body.

The theme for the Republican National Convention this week is “Country First”.  Sen. John McCain claims to believe in that principle.  PFC Johnson did as well; she honored her family tradition of putting her country first.

Consider, for just one moment, what our country seems to think of PFC Johnson.  What her worth was to the armed forces.

Ask yourself, do the people who concealed and lied about these events “share your values”?