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Thursday, August 7, 2008

Now, the woman shown above is hardly an unknown. She is Sgt. Leigh Ann Hester, vehicle commander, 617th Military Police Company, Richmond, Ky., who was the first female soldier since WWII to receive the Silver Star when she did so in 2005.

But what of her sisters in the service? Sadly, their greatest valor may be needed to fight off their own fellow soldiers.

A TPM blogger brings the issue of rape in our military front and center:
No one knows exactly how many female veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have been sexually assaulted while on duty. That's because it is estimated that half of all sexual assaults go unreported.

As it is, 15% of female veterans have screened positive for Military Sexual Trauma. At a jaw-dropping estimate of 1 in 3, the rate of sexual assault victims in the military is twice that of the civilian population, an eerie echo of the doubled rate of suicide among veterans compared to civilians...

And imagine if the agency responsible for caring for your well-being refused to address this issue. Said Rep. Christopher Shays, R-Conn:

"Years of inaction at the DOD continue to speak volumes about senior leadership's commitment to our service members and civil servants. When it comes to sexual assault in the military, the DOD has absolutely no credibility."

Four years ago, the DOD was Congressionally mandated to establish a
special task force on the issue of sexual assault in the military. In
four years, this task force has yet to convene once. Not once.

A universal truth, from America's ghettos to its army camps: no problem can be solved when your government thinks you're invisible. Or treats you as such.


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