Category: Veterans
Sexual assault: What’s going on in the U.S. military?
worker | January 25, 2021 | 7:44 pm | Fascist terrorism, Veterans, Veterans issues | Comments closed–Xl36DKzYGY/index.html

Sexual assault: What’s going on in the U.S. military?

Sexual assault has long been a problem for the U.S. military.

Sexual assault takes many forms, such as rape, forcible sodomy, aggravated sexual contact and abusive sexual contact.

According to the U.S. Department of Defense’s official report in the fiscal year 2019, U.S. military services received 7,825 reports of sexual assault involving members of the armed forces as either victims or subjects.

The 4,834 completed investigations involved 5,245 victims and 5,140 subjects, the report says. The data shows that women comprise more than 80 percent of the victims, but about 1,000 men also reported sexual assaults.

study that was supported by the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs also shows that over 80 percent of LGBT service members experienced sexual harassment and a third of them have been stalked and sexually assaulted.

Is that all?

Sexual assault is often under-reported in all areas of society, including the military.

To get a sense of the total number of victims, including those who choose not to report, every two years, the U.S. Department of Defense estimates the number of sexual assault victims in the past year through an anonymous survey.

Not surprisingly, the total number is believed to be much higher than the reported one. In the official report conducted by the Pentagon in the fiscal year 2019, it shows that the latest survey conducted by the Pentagon for fiscal 2018 estimates that more than 20,000 military members experienced sexual assault, suggesting the reported incidents may account for only about 30 percent of the total.

Broken system

Martha McSally, as a veteran-senator who was the first female Air Force pilot to serve in combat, revealed in a congressional hearing on military sexual assault in 2019 that she was once preyed upon and then raped by a superior officer during her military serving.

“Like you, I’m also a military sexual assault survivor. But unlike many brave survivors, I didn’t report being sexually assaulted,” she said.

“I didn’t trust the system,” she further stressed, “like many victims, I felt like this system is raping me all over again.”

It was a relief for her to finally speak out. But many fellow serving officers with a similar experience didn’t survive.

Vanessa Guillen, a 20-year-old U.S. Army specialist, died last year after telling her mother she was sexually harassed by a sergeant. She didn’t report the incident to the authorities, saying “they won’t believe me,” her mother recalled.

What was keeping Guillen from reporting the incident?

Let’s see another story. If she had done so, wouldn’t she have got justice?

Kayla Kight is the one who did report after being sexually assaulted. In an interview with ABC News, she said that she was sexually assaulted in June 2013 while she was working as a U.S. Army nurse. Soon, in early August, she submitted an unrestricted report, which officially opened a criminal investigation.

However, in the following years, she was subjected to numerous transfers, a negative officer evaluation report, and the eventual dropping of the case.

Yes, she did report, but her life and career were never the same after that.

Many people did not speak up about sexual assault, like McSally, as they were so disillusioned with the military system and they chose to try to let time wash away the memories and pain.

Those who did report, like Kayla, had hoped for better.

The suffering is not limited to American soil. The same nightmare is shared by many current and former serving women and men in Canada, the United Kingdom, Israel, South Korea, and many other places.

When will justice come to them?

The internal system needs to be comprehensively reformed: adequate education and deterrent provisions to warn all; besides just encouraging victims to speak out, observing the abnormalities in their daily behavior; establishing a secure and private reporting system to prevent victims from being retaliated against; after the report, patient and continuous psychological counseling should be given; the investigation should go to the end, even if the person is no longer under the military’s jurisdiction, and be handed over to a civilian court.

Justice will come, the most disciplined places are expected to make such a commitment.

House Minority Leader: Republican Plan to Cut Healthcare Will Harm US Veterans
worker | November 9, 2017 | 7:36 pm | Analysis, Health Care, Veterans, Veterans issues | Comments closed

In this May 4, 2017, file photo, the U.S. flag flies in front of the Capitol dome on Capitol Hill in Washington

House Minority Leader: Republican Plan to Cut Healthcare Will Harm US Veterans

© AP Photo/ Susan Walsh, File


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The House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi told reporters on Thursday that the House Republican proposal to cut Medicare and Medicaid health insurance programs by $1.5 trillion will harm the elderly and US veterans who rely on the subsidies.

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The Republican budget blueprint, she added, would raise taxes for 38 million middle-income households while incentivizing corporations to ship jobs abroad by giving them large tax breaks.

“As we go into Veterans Day weekend, what’s really appalling about their budget is… that they call for cutting $1.5 trillion for medicare and medicaid,” Pelosi said. “Do they not know or do they not care that over a million veterans [are] on medicaid?”

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko attends a ceremony to hand over weapons and military vehicles to servicemen of the Ukrainian armed forces in Chuhuiv outside Kharkiv, Ukraine, October 15, 2016
© REUTERS/ Mikhail Palinchak/Ukrainian Presidential Press Service

Pelosi described the proposal as a giveaway to the rich at the expense of the middle class.Moreover, Pelosi said that the Republican leadership drafts the bill “in the dead of night” to rush it through Congress without public review and input from Democratic side. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer repeatedly slammed the process as well, saying that the bill is being drafted on sharp partisan basis.

Senate Republicans plan to unveil their own tax bill on Thursday as lawmakers race to get legislation passed before the end of the year. Reportedly, Senate tax plan will differ significantly from a House version, particularly by completely eliminating state and local tax deductions.

Majority of US Troops Discharged for Misconduct Diagnosed With Mental Illness
worker | May 17, 2017 | 8:01 pm | Health Care, political struggle, Veterans, Veterans issues | Comments closed
This photo from Saturday, May 17, 2014 shows the Department of Veterans Affairs in Phoenix

Majority of US Troops Discharged for Misconduct Diagnosed With Mental Illness

© AP Photo/ Matt York
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A majority of the soldiers discharged from the US armed services for misconduct over the last four years have some form of mental illness, according to the Government Accountability Office, news that’s likely to fuel scrutiny over whether the military is doing enough to support its troops.

In some cases, that mental illness may have occurred as a direct result of soldier duties.

Of 91,762 soldiers dismissed from service for misconduct in the time period examined, 62 percent had been diagnosed with traumatic brain injury (TBI) or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in the preceding 24 months, Business Insider observed.

A quarter of US soldiers relieved from service between 2011 and 2015 were tagged with “other than honorable” discharge, which jeopardizes veterans’ ability to get healthcare access through Veteran Affairs.

GAO recommended the Pentagon “increase its assurance” that troops are evaluated for PTSD and TBI before they get slapped with “other than honorable” discharge, particularly since these conditions might make it more likely that a soldier break with standard conduct. It also advises the Defense Secretary to actively monitor the implementation of policies relating to PTSD and TBI.

US Veterans Rally After Trump’s Remarks on Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
worker | October 4, 2016 | 7:55 pm | Analysis, Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, political struggle, Veterans, Veterans issues | Comments closed
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US military veterans are protesting outside Trump’s Tower in New York City on Tuesday after the remarks the Republican presidential nominee made about veterans a day earlier, a Sputnik correspondent reported from the scene.

NEW YORK (Sputnik) — During a campaign event in Virginia on Monday night, Donald Trump suggested that veterans who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are not strong enough and “can’t handle it” unlike other people. Members of the US military gathered on the sidewalk outside the Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue to voice their criticism and talk about their experiences with PTSD. They told Sputnik that Trump’s comments were “outrageous” and “insulting.” “Veterans are not props for hate” and “Vets Against Trump” were among the signs carried by the protesters. The controversial comments have summoned a quick response from Vice President Joe Biden, speaking at a separate Clinton campaign event in Florida on Monday. Remembering his own son’s combat experience, Biden condemned Trump’s remarks as ignorant, stating that the Republican nominee was “not mean, just misinformed.”

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Dilma Testifies: ‘I am Afraid for the Death of Democracy’
worker | August 31, 2016 | 9:46 pm | Analysis, Bernie Sanders, Brazil, political struggle, Veterans, Veterans issues | Comments closed
07:04 30.08.2016(updated 14:05 30.08.2016)
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On today’s episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker is joined by Brazilian journalist Pepe Escobar to discuss the speech of Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff at her impeachment trial. Dilma struck a combative tone as she addressed the Senate, speaking of proceedings against her as a coup and questioning the rationale for putting her on trial when so many members of the House are implicated in a corruption scandal. Was her speech her last address as President, or can she overcome the slow motion coup against her government? The former chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee faces a primary challenge today, but will the DNC email scandal continue to follow Debbie Wasserman Schultz whether she wins or loses? Becker is joined by YahNe Ndgo of Revolt Against Plutocracy to talk about the struggle within the Democratic Party and if the progressive spirit of the Bernie Sanders campaign is to be found in Schutz’s challenger Tim Canova. John McCain is embroiled in a bitter primary fight as voters go to the polls in the Republican primary in Arizona today. McCain is hailed in the mainstream press as a moderate, but his record as an extreme war monger suggests otherwise. Becker is joined by Margaret Stevens, who is on the advisory board of Veterans for Peace and a history professor at Essex County College, and by Ben Becker, co-editor of Liberation News.

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US Presidential Election 2016: Winners and Losers

By James Thompson


The handwriting is on the wall. Both the Democratic and Republican party conventions have concluded. The working class has a lot of information to digest and from which to draw conclusions. It is definitely not too early to project the winners and losers in the upcoming election.


After a chaotic electoral struggle with a great deal of bombastic buffoonery on both sides, the two| bourgeois political parties have made their nominations for POTUS. The Democratic Party has nominated Big Sister. The Republican Party has nominated Big Brother. Who are these people and who do they represent?


The answer is easy. Both candidates represent the most reactionary sector of the bourgeois class. Both candidates will uphold the interests of the bourgeoisie “by any means necessary.” Both are authoritarian and the US public can be assured that a major assault on the civil rights of citizens in the US will occur in the near future.


So who are the winners and losers? Again, the answer is clear.


The winners will be the bourgeoisie and their hangers on. The winners will be the 1%. The winners will be the owners of the means of production. The winners will be the hyper militaristic Hawks. The winners will be the military-industrial complex and all of its parasites. The winners will be reactionaries and fascists. The winners will be the advocates of nuclear war. The winners will be racists, xenophobes, misogynists, anti-communists and pro-war lunatics. The winners will be people who want less democracy.


The losers will be the working class, first and foremost. The losers will be trade unionists, progressives, and peace lovers. The losers will be the 99%. The losers will be children who need to be educated. The losers will be people who need healthcare. The losers will be elders who need Social Security benefits and a stable social network. The losers will be veterans who need healthcare benefits. The losers will be people who need mental health care. The losers will be people seeking to get a college education. The losers will be people who need jobs. The losers will be people who want more democracy. The losers will be people who want to fight racism, xenophobia, and misogyny as well as anti-communism.


There is only one way that working people can avoid a catastrophe for the working class. That is to unite now to oppose the draconian policies to come. That is to unite to oppose nuclear war. That is to unite to oppose war with Russia and China. That is to unite to oppose imperialism. That is to unite to demand the expansion of Social Security. That is to unite to demand free education and healthcare for all. That is to unite to demand a roll back of the vast amounts of money spent on the military. That is to unite to demand fair treatment of veterans. That is to unite to fight racism, sexism, xenophobia and boundless authoritarianism. That is to unite to fight for the rights of working people and their children.


US Veteran Petitions to Send Trump into Combat to Follow His ‘Dreams’
worker | August 9, 2016 | 7:55 pm | Analysis, Donald Trump, political struggle, Veterans, Veterans issues | Comments closed


06:03 09.08.2016(updated 06:04 09.08.2016) Get short URL


A US veteran, insulted by Donald Trump’s comments after the latter received a Purple Heart medal as a gift, has launched a petition to send the Republican presidential candidate to war, to earn what he was given.

Trump recently received a Purple Heart medal from Lieutenant Colonel Louis Dorfman. The soldier stated that he had “so much confidence” in the candidate that he was willing to give him his decoration, earned for being injured in combat. Trump seemed touched by the gesture, but his subsequent remarks made one veteran angry enough to start a GoFundMe petition.

Not Welcome! Philippines Considers Permanent Ban on Donald Trump

“I’ve always wanted to get a Purple Heart. This was much easier,” Mr Trump said to the crowd.

The offhand remark came a few days after the Republican candidate was accused of verbally attacking the family of a fallen Muslim soldier. Trump was criticized for being disrespectful to those of the Islamic faith as well as being callous toward the sacrifice of the deceased soldier and his parents.

Decorated Army veteran Cameron Kerr, who was seriously injured in the Afghanistan War, judged that a few days in a war zone would help the real estate speculator understand the price of military honour and the reality behind it.

“As with seemingly everything else in his life, Mr Trump got one handed to him instead of earning it,” Kerr wrote.

“That being said, as a Purple Heart recipient who earned one the old-fashioned way by returning from Afghanistan one leg lighter, I fully endorse his desire to earn one and would happily oblige his interest in doing so, by being one of the first to chip in to fly him to the conflict zone of his choosing. After all, you’re never too old to follow your dreams.”

Although tens of thousands dollars have been collected through the petition, Kerr is fully aware that the move is unlikely to cause Trump to understand the realities and consequences of combat. Nevertheless, he hopes to turn Trump’s “bigotry into something positive.”

Trump: ‘A Vote for Clinton is Also a Vote for TPP Betrayal’

According to Kerr, all money raised will be given to organizations working directly with refugees from Syria, “who were unfortunate enough to be in one of these regions when everything around them collapsed, and whom Trump has broadly categorized as likely terrorists unworthy of resettlement.”

The International Rescue Committee, the Syrian American Medical Society and Refugees Welcome International were listed among organizations that will benefit from the effort.

Social network users immediately took to their favorite platforms to support the initiative, using the #PurpleTrumpsOrange hashtag.

​Dorfman, however, insisted that Trump’s comments were taken out of context and noted that the mogul acknowledged the honor backstage.

“I think he would make a good commander in chief,” Dorfman said, cited by Fox News. “I was very proud to give him that medal, not just for myself… this is about all the veterans that are carrying the wounds of these wars that we’re in and past wars.