The Silence of Our Friends

Monday, March 26, 2007

Women Soldiers

Hope Springs A Turtle gave me a little poke in comments to drop by her place to read about LaVena Johnson a soldier who was found in her tent dead by a gunshot wound to the head which was ruled a suicide. She also had a broken nose, dislocated shoulder, two loose teeth, and her lips were so badly mangled the mortician had to reconstruct them, and there was a blood trail leading outside her tent. Odd way to commit suicide. She had recently been tested for STD's and her father suspects she had been raped and reported it, and that she was murdered to silence her. Hope links to a post at Les Enrages with all the details and a plea to sign a petition to reopen the investigation into LaVena's death.

Hope has been writing a series of posts about Women Soldiers in Iraq and the dangers they face, not from Iraqis or terrorists, but from American men, their male counterparts and contractors. Recommended reading: The Women Soldiers and Women in Uniform. I noticed the link to the NYT Magazine story isn't working in her post, you will find it here: The Women's War.

7 comment(s):

Thanks Donna for the linky-love. I know your readers, of which I am one, speak out with such clear, powerful voices that this issue may get the attention it deserves. Thanks again.

By Blogger HopeSpringsATurtle, at 3/26/2007 5:44 PM  

Also, thanks for the link correction. There is an updateon that NYT magazine story at the end of the article by the author.

By Blogger HopeSpringsATurtle, at 3/26/2007 5:51 PM  

I have weighed in as well, if that helps at all...

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3/27/2007 7:55 PM  


I think this was in the news a while back and, of course, the Army had investigated and issued the "Move along, nothing to see here, move along!" statement. I, not being a foresnic pathologist, can't address the issue of the injuries that you cataloged, but it sounds like b.s. to me. The military has an extreme double standard about most everything else that has to do with women in uniform, so why wouldn't they employ one in their investigation of death that doesn't look like a suicide from this end.

By Blogger democommie, at 3/27/2007 11:41 PM  

It's an important story and unbelievable that "support the troops" might mean, cover up their cause of death, and protect their murderer, for our women soldiers. I'm glad you sent me over to find out about it, Hope, and glad that Eli is joining in to see if we can't get justice for this woman and her family.

democommie, we already know this isn't the first cover up. By reading Hope's series we also know that women were dying from dehydration. They were so afraid of being raped on the way to the latrine they didn't drink enough water. The military coroners were told NOT to list dehydration as the cause of death. It makes you wonder how many other deaths were embarrassing to the military and have been covered up to the detriment of our soldiers and to young men and women considering a career in the military. You know that if women knew they were in more danger from male American soldiers than "the enemy" they would be impossible to recruit.

By Blogger Donna, at 3/28/2007 12:51 PM  

That is beyond repulsive.

You don't have to be a mortician to know that she didn't break her own nose, dislocate her own bones, mangle her own body.

Thank you for being one of the many people bringing attention to the issue, otherwise I doubt I would have even known.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3/30/2007 5:32 PM  

The credit goes to Hope. She's been picking up articles and posts about women soldiers for some time now. I don't think I or many people would have known about LaVena without people like Hope getting word out since it has only been covered locally.

By Blogger Donna, at 3/30/2007 9:27 PM  

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