Saturday, December 03, 2011

The Shameful Way the Military Handles Non-Combat Deaths

Little or no information is given to families

What drove 1st Lieutenant Debra Banaszak of the Missouri National Guard over the edge?
It is a question her family tried to answer for a year after she committed suicide in Kuwait in 2005. Her family simply could not believe this loving mother and police officer who also had served 17 years with the Army National Guard would take her own life.

The family tried to pry more information out of the military, but what they were getting in return did not give them closure.

To this day, the Missouri National Guard still offers a press release dated October 31, 2005 — which is just three days after Banaszak was found dead — as the only information they can provide regarding her death. The release simply states that Banaszak “died of a non-combat related injury” on Oct. 28 in Kuwait.

“I’ve given you all the information I can on this,” said Major Tamara Spicer, public affairs officer for the Missouri National Guard, just recently to this reporter.
When pressed for anything more concrete than the 2005 press release, she continues to repeat herself and says nothing more: “I’ve given you all the information I can on this.”
Because of the military’s lax response, the Banaszak family told this reporter they have had to put the death of Debra behind them, or continue to suffer.

Read the entire story here.

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