Tag: Lt. Elizabeth Whiteside

Lt. Whiteside: Army Moving toward Common Sense

In today’s WaPo Dana Priest and Anne Hull provide followup coverage on the Army’s effort to court-martial Lt. Elizabeth Whiteside for her psychological breakdown while serving in Baghdad: “Leniency Suggested for Officer Who Shot Herself.” The original investigative piece was published on December 2nd: “A Soldier’s Officer.”

Maj. Mervin H. Steals, the investigative officer in charge of the preliminary hearing, forwarded the following recommendation up his chain of command:

One of the Army values is integrity, which is defined as doing what is right, legally and morally. The moral thing to do is dismiss these charges, to allow 1LT Whiteside to end her military service and receive the benefits that she will desperately need for the remainder of her life.

The commander of the U.S. Army Military District of Washington, Maj. Gen. Richard J. Rowe, Jr., is responsible for a final command decision in this case, but it now appears as though the Army is moving toward resolving this case in a sensible, medically appropriate, rather than medieval, way.

Below the break are some additional insights directly from the Whiteside family, as well as my own question on the difference between us and the “Greatest Generation.”

(Will X-post at Daily Kos and Raising Kaine.)

Action Alert: U.S. Army Lt. Elizabeth Whiteside

For those who are inclined to take action as a result of the excellent Daily Kos diaries of gchaucer2 and BlueTape on the effort by some Army apparatchiks to intimidate and crush the unfortunate U.S. Army Lt. Elizabeth Whiteside, below the break is a listing of contact names, links, addresses, and phone numbers for directing your comments.

Lt. Whiteside, who suffered a breakdown while serving in Iraq, has spent the past year undergoing multiple surgeries and undergoing psychiatric care at Walter Reed. The Army is threatening to court-martial Lt. Whiteside, who has refused to resign and waive a veteran’s rights to ongoing medical care. The case encapsulates the Army bureaucracy’s cavalier, dismissive treatment of soldiers suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) resulting from the stresses and trauma of serving in Iraq.

I managed to track down the Whiteside family yesterday and spoke by phone for several minutes with Elizabeth’s father, a former Marine officer who served in Vietnam. I brought gchaucer2’s excellent diary to Thomas Whiteside’s attention, and he called back to praise gchaucer2’s excellent summary of the initial powerful investigative piece, ‘A Soldier’s Officer,’ by Dana Priest and Anne Hull in the WaPo on December 2nd.

As gchaucer2 noted yesterday, this is a case that compels not just passive outrage, but action.

Below the jump are key contacts, as well as the connecting of a few related dots.

(Previously posted version at Daily Kos.)