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8/11/08

Pfc. LaVena Johnson

In case you haven't yet heard about the sad fate of LaVena Johnson...(please note that the details of this maybe upsetting &/or triggering to some)

Private First Class LaVena Johnson was serving in the United States Army, in Iraq, in July 2005 when she mysteriously died. Her death was ruled a suicide by the army (she had a bullet entry wound on the left side of her head, though she was right handed, from an M-16 rifle), though she had clear signs of abuse. Her body was cut and bruised, her teeth loose, nose broken and there were acid burns on her hands (which had her white military gloves glued to them) and genitals.

The working theory of her family and their supporters is that she may have been raped (possibly by multiple assailants), beaten and murdered. The army refused to give a thorough investigation or autopsy, which makes the family suspect that the perpetrators were also military personnel.

Rape of females in the military by their colleagues has become increasingly common. (Some statistics state that the odds of being raped jump from 1 in 4 in civilians to 1 in 3 while serving). Many women who have come forward have often been ignored, or directly threaten by their superior officers. Stories & articles about this incidences in the mainstream media are rare and often buried.

Is it too much to ask that females serving in the army feel safe amongst their allies, fighting together and not brutalizing each other? Shouldn't a soldier be given the same respect in death, regardless of gender?

Please sign the petition at colorofchange.org to help the Johnsons get the justice they deserved. It's not much, but it's a start.

Personally, I would vote for whichever candidate has the guts to bring up this issue while running for president. (Wanna take bets to see if anyone does?)
Read more: http://www.blogdoctor.me/2007/02/expandable-post-summaries.html#ixzz1Ygp5vxLJ

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