Wednesday, February 29, 2012

PVT Danny Chen- What You Can Do To Help

Dear Members and Supporters:

 We have received an outpouring of support and offers to help seek justice for Private Danny Chen and his family and to stop hazing in the military.  Below is a list of action items you can do to help.
Sign OCA-NY's petition demanding that the court martials be convened in the U.S. (click here)
Spread the word about this petition.

Contact OCA-NY, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , with stories about hazing in the U.S. military

If you belong to an organization, let OCA-NY know if you can commit to sending one person to observe the court martials, which if held in the U.S. will likely take place in Fort Wainwright, Alaska, the location from which Danny's unit was dispatched to Afghanistan.

If you know of families or churches in Alaska who could house people attending the court martials, please let OCA-NY know.

Hold a teach-in at your home, church, school, or organization about Danny Chen's case and hazing in the army.  Outreach to our youth is critical-they must be informed.  OCA-NY can help provide suggested speakers.

Write or call your local city council person to introduce a resolution calling for reforms in the army dealing with hazing and effective diversity training. Currently, New York City's Councilwoman Margaret Chin introduced a resolution calling for reforms of the military's diversity training. (click here)

Write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper or online publication to call for a greater awareness about Pvt. Danny Chen's case.

Write songs, poetry, plays, or other creative works to help spread the word about Danny's case.
Let OCA-NY know of interested persons who would like to be added to our listserves to receive updates on Danny Chen's case.

Join OCA-NY as a member, see to download our membership form or join a local OCA chapter in your area, see for more information.

Please stay tuned. We will be announcing more public awareness projects in coming weeks that will need your input and suppport, particularly what you can do on a federal level to help push reforms in the military. If you have additional ideas on how people can help, please let OCA-NY know.

Thank you,

Liz Ou Yang, President OCA-NY

--submitted by Bonnie Palecco

Discord delays Va. war dead memorial

The issue is whether the monument should list only battle casualties, or others as well.

Rick Schumann, a constituent of Miller's, was likewise let down. He has been lobbying since 2008 to get his son, Lance Cpl. Darrell Schumann, and other noncombat casualties of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars memorialized. The younger Schumann was one of 31 Marines killed when a military transport helicopter crashed in the Iraq desert in 2005.

"I'm more frustrated than you can believe," Schumann said after the vote. "This is driving me insane."

Read the entire article here.

Monday, February 27, 2012

David Sharrett’s family still wants justice for friendly fire death in Iraq

Dave Sharrett Sr. still sees his son in his dreams.

In one, the son is home on leave from Iraq, a warrior, a man. His boots are caked in mud. His fatigues are dirty. “And as we talk,” Sharrett says, “I realize I have to tell him that I know how he is going to die.”

Four years after Pfc. David H. Sharrett II of Oakton bled to death near a clump of scrub trees in Balad, Iraq, the father finally knows how the son was killed: shot by his own lieutenant in a case of “friendly fire.” But he still doesn’t know why.

Read the entire story here.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Semper Fi Airs Tonight on MSNBC

Tonight at 10 PM EST, Our documentary will air on MSNBC for the first time on network TV. It will not be the full version of the film, as it had to be shortened to fit the one hour time slot allowed by the Lawerence O'Donnell show. The CBS Evening news is planning to run a story tonight about Camp Lejeune as well. Please take the time to thank Lawrence O'Donnell on his Facebook Page at the end of the showing tonight.

Information about Semper Fi Documentary on MSNBC

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Army Releases January Suicide Data

The Army released suicide data today for the month of January. During January, among active-duty soldiers, there were 16 potential suicides: five have been confirmed as suicide and 11 remain under investigation. For December, the Army reported 11 potential suicides among active-duty soldiers. Since the release of that report, eight have been confirmed as a suicide and three remain under investigation.
During January, among reserve component soldiers who were not on active duty, there were six potential suicides (five Army National Guard and one Army Reserve): none have been confirmed as suicide and six remain under investigation. For December, among that same group, the Army reported five potential suicides. Since the release of that report, one case has been added for a total of six cases (four Army National Guard and two Army Reserve). Six were confirmed as suicides and none remain under investigation.
“With our Army in significant transition, our leadership at all levels is engaged to synchronize our efforts to improve the health and discipline of the force and the well-being of our Army families,” said Lt. Gen. Thomas P. Bostick, the Army deputy chief of staff, G-1. “I am encouraged by the 2011 Army suicide data that reflects a slight decrease in suicides from the record year experienced in 2010 and a halting of the dramatic increases experienced between 2006 and 2009; however, many challenges lie ahead, which we must tackle together.” Bostick urges leaders and soldiers to read, digest and apply the principles and lessons learned reflected in the “Gold Book” as it continues and expands the dialogue on health promotion and risk reduction. “The ‘Gold Book’ will help leaders at all levels continue the face to face conversations that are focused on reducing the stigma associated with help-seeking behavior. Our Army family deserves our very best effort and that is what they will receive!”
Soldiers and families in need of crisis assistance can contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Trained consultants are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year and can be contacted by dialing 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or by visiting their website at .
Army leaders can access current health promotion guidance in newly revised Army Regulation 600-63 (Health Promotion) at: and Army Pamphlet 600-24 (Health Promotion, Risk Reduction and Suicide Prevention) at .
The Army's comprehensive list of Suicide Prevention Program information is located at .
Suicide prevention training resources for Army families can be accessed at (requires Army Knowledge Online access to download materials).
Information about Military OneSource is located at or by dialing the toll-free number 1-800-342-9647 for those residing in the continental United States. Overseas personnel should refer to the Military OneSource website for dialing instructions for their specific location.
Information about the Army’s Comprehensive Soldier Fitness Program is located at .
The Defense Center for Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury (DCoE) Outreach Center can be contacted at 1-866-966-1020, via electronic mail at and at .
The website for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention is , and the Suicide Prevention Resource Council site is found at .

Source:  Department of Defense

Monday, February 20, 2012

Military, police square off over Marine's death

For the Marines who served with Sgt. Manuel Loggins Jr., it would have been an injustice to stay quiet.

So in a move that broke with the military's tradition, Loggins' commanding officer at California's Camp Pendleton publicly rebuked civilian authorities in neighboring Orange County for their handling of the investigation into the fatal Feb. 7 shooting by a deputy of the highly esteemed Marine.

Read the entire story here.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Death Memorial

2 Lt. Kirk Charles Vanderbur
December 28, 1967 – February 16, 1992

Kirk was shot in 2 places, in the stomach with his shotgun and in the head with his rifle. There were two different weapons. A Spas 12 was discharged into the abdomen at an upward angle and a Ruger-Mini 14 rifle with a bullpup stock (.223) shot between the eyes.

There was no gunshot residue on his hands but it was said that both shots were at close range. Both weapons were 10 feet apart. There was no homicide investigation. Yet it got tagged with suicide as the cause of death.

The scene at the time of death was located at a shooting range at Hubert, NC; therefore the first investigation was done outside the military installation where he was stationed. Because of the inconsistencies in both the NCIS and Sheriff Ed Brown investigations, the Vanderbur’s asked the help of a Doctor Thomas L. Bennett, their home State of Iowa Medical Examiner. Bennett had originally agreed to do a second autopsy for Gene and Lois; however, Kirk’s body was released without an examination.

Since these sites are public by virtue of the fact that they are on the Internet to be accessed by those people who need them, as is our site, we have provided them for your further study of injustice at work and for your further finding that the death of Kirk Charles Vanderbur was not in vain.
We asked Lois if she would be willing to submit the story of her son Kirk. Her reply was that the story has already been written and she gave us permission to use the information that has been written as the basis for this story.

By now you will have read the story in our History pages about how Untill We Have Answers was started and that Lois Vanderbur was a hard working member of that group. Her devastation, frustration and motivation came from having been notified that her son, Kirk had committed suicide while stationed at Camp Lejeune NC and she and her husband always knew this was not the truth! Lois turned around that black mark on her heart – and her son’s integrity. She and Kirk served as a major cornerstone to the legislation that came out of what she and other members of UWHA made happen. Thanks for the following legislations: 1185, 2187 and 5505.10.

Kirk’s death ended up being a double loss for he had wanted to be an organ donor.

If you have any information about this case, please contact me through this website.


I am writing to ask that you please take 2 minutes of your time to review a petition about contractor accountability I have generated at We The People. If you agree then by all means please sign.

I'm NOT anti contractor. Quite the contrary, I am very pro defense contractor. What I would like to see is more Defense Department oversight and more penalties on corrupt contractors so more honest contractors have a chance to compete.

The title of the petition is:
Enforce the law by prosecuting the corporations & criminals who have stolen $60 billion from the U.S. taxpayer

If you already have an account at We The People just sign in at the bottom of the page and sign the petition. If you don't, you will need to register, that takes about 2 minutes. Simple as that.

The petition needs 150 signatures before it will show publicly on the site. It will need 25,000 before it will be addressed by the White House.

Feel free to forward, tweet, post to facebook or post to a blog.

Please let your signature be one of many.

aka Ms Sparky

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Marine’s suicide is only start of family’s struggle

For most of his 26 years in the military, Maj. Jeff Hackett was a standout Marine. Two tours in Iraq destroyed him.

Home from combat, he drank too much, suffered public breakdowns and was hospitalized for panic attacks. In June 2010, he killed himself.

Hackett’s suicide deeply troubled Gen. James Amos, the commandant of the Marine Corps. Hackett had been plucked from the enlisted ranks to lead Marines as an officer. He left behind a widow, four sons and more than $460,000 in debts. To Amos, Hackett was a casualty of war — surely the family deserved some compensation from the federal government.

Read the entire story here.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Victims of military rape deserve justice

(CNN) -- Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta has announced new initiatives to curtail what he calls "the epidemic" of rape and sexual assaults in our armed forces. In 2010, an estimated 19,000 service members were raped or sexually assaulted by other service members. Clearly, more resources devoted to counseling for victims and training for prosecutors and judges will help.

But the incidence of unpunished rapes will continue and so will the damaging effects these illegal acts have on troop morale and preparedness. This epidemic requires an overhaul of the military justice system.

The military's chain of command structure keeps most cases of rape and sexual assault from reaching the prosecution level. According to a Defense Department study, only 8% of sexual assailants are referred to military court, compared with 40% of similar offenders prosecuted in the civilian court system. The case of Army Spc. Andrea Neutzling of Ohio is a sad testimony to a justice system gone wrong.

Read the entire story here.

Saturday, February 04, 2012

Army interrogates crime lab workers after critical news reports

WASHINGTON — Stung by critical stories about their crime laboratory, officials at Army Criminal Investigation Command recently questioned lab employees for hours and scrutinized personal phone records looking for contacts with reporters.

The inquiry was launched after a McClatchy reporter asked questions late last year about the lab losing evidence. A command spokesman characterized the investigation as looking into violations of privacy law, but the investigation report, which McClatchy obtained, shows that the command was interested primarily in whether employees had provided information that resulted in a story about lab problems.

"This investigation was aimed at rooting out anyone even remotely critical of the lab," charged Peter Lown, an attorney for one of the employees questioned in the probe. "The lab's management doesn't want any more critical stories."

Read the entire story here.

Quietly, U.S. Moves to Block Lawsuits by Military Families

Politicians and bureaucrats of all persuasions typically trip over themselves when it comes to praising the values and virtues, the courage and the sacrifice, of America's military families. East Coast. West Coast. Red State. Blue State. Democrats. Republicans. It doesn't matter. Everyone wants to stand up in public and say that brave and stoic military families should get the best that America can offer (cue the applause). Take the First Lady herself, Michelle Obama, who has worked consistently with and for these families since 2009.

Commemorating the 10th anniversary of the terror attacks on America, Mrs. Obama wrote in USA Today:

As we reaffirm our commitment to hold dear the heroism, strength and compassion we saw on Sept. 11, let's also pledge to keep our military families in our hearts long after this anniversary has passed. These men, women and children have served valiantly in the decade since that fateful day. Now it's up to us to serve them as well.

Amen. But while public officials are out waving the flag toward these families, federal lawyers in court are now quietly trying to expand the U.S. government's legal immunity from exposure to medical malpractice claims brought by those very same military folks. Now, the feds want the courts to recognize a bold application of an old doctrine -- an already heavily criticized old doctrine -- that would bar many plaintiffs, whose loved ones serve their country, from exercising the right merely to be able to present the substance of their claims at trial.

Worse, Congress has consistently refused over the past 60 years to ensure that courthouse doors remain open to military personnel and their families. In one recent iteration of this battle, in 2009, it was reported that Congressional Republicans refused to go along because doing so it would allow more malpractice cases to get to trial, a goal many of those very same Republicans find contrary to their so-called "tort reform" agenda. It's a legal issue, it's a political issue, and its a moral one: How much do we really care about these families?

Read the entire story here.

-- submitted by Pam Baragona Robinson

Friday, February 03, 2012

Marine Fights Conviction for Suicide Attempt

HAGERSTOWN, Md. -- A discharged Marine private who slit his wrists in a suicide attempt is fighting his military conviction for deliberately injuring himself, arguing the punishment is inconsistent with the armed forces' efforts to battle a rise in suicides during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Read the entire story here.

Widow of Marine Corps Launches Campaign to Prove Her Husband Was Murdered

Widow of Marine Corps Colonel Involded in Haditha Trials Launches Campaign to Prove Her Husband Was Murdered

Military widows join forces to raise awareness of non-hostile military deaths.

Marine Corps Colonel Michael Stahlman was an investigating officer in the case against Lt. Andrew Grayson, an intelligence officer charged with making false statements, attempting fraudulent discharge, and obstructing justice, in connection to the deaths of 24 Iraqi civilians in the city of Haditha.

Colonel Stahlman was vocal in his disappointment with the manner in which the entire Haditha matter was handled by the Marine Corps hierarchy and recommended that charges against Grayson be dropped. The recommendation was rejected by prosecutors and Grayson eventually was cleared of all charges in June 2008.

At the time of Grayson’s acquittal, Colonel Stahlman was serving as the Rule of Law Coordinator at Camp Ramadi Iraq, where he was found unconscious with a gunshot wound to the left side of his head on July 31, 2008. Never regaining consciousness, he died months later on October 5, 2008 at Bethesda Naval Hospital.

His shooting was immediately suspicious to his widow Kimberly. Despite the fact that Colonel Stahlman was right-handed and had no history of depression, the Naval Criminal Investigative Services and the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology apparently labeled his shooting a suicide within hours of the incident without performing all available evidence testing.

Read the entire story here.

Bizarre, Unexplained Marine Colonel 'Suicides'
What the Hell's Going on?

Take the case of Marine Colonel Michael Stahlman who you might say was the ultimate Marine officer. Enrolled in Marine military school from the age of 14, Col Stahlman's father was one of the founding members of President Kennedy's Peace Corps. After becoming an officer in 1985, Michael Stahlman went to flight school and became qualified to fly the F-4 Phantom jet fighter. Then his career took a turn and he became increasingly involved in the legal aspects of the United States Marines. Along the way he became parachute qualified and as a result, his uniform bears both the wings of a Naval Aviator, and the jump wings synonymous with the legendary Marine Corps Force Recon Battalions. Those two areas, aviation and infantry, could not be any farther apart in the Corps.

At the age of 45, this Marine Colonel was about to begin a new life as a civilian with his wife and daughters who he always stayed in touch with via email and phone, according to Cilla McCain, author of Murder in Baker Company: How Four American Soldiers Killed One of Their Own. She's researching the story behind Col Stahlman's death and talked about her work in a recent interview with an Encino, California radio station.

This Marine officer was preparing to head home on leave, and he was close to retiring from his career in the military, according to author Celia McCain, when his untimely death came out of nowhere on 31 July 2008. Oh, and it was also a 'suicide' the Marines said. It happened at Camp Ramadi in Iraq's Anbar province, a place I flew into as a reporter covering the Iraq war about a month after the Colonel's death.

McCain explains that right-handed Stahlman suffered a gunshot wound to left side of head. His wife just never believed that it was suicide, and she was given the standard regard, and treated as a 'widow in denial' by a government content to view this warrior's death simply as a result of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. His wife and McCain both seem to believe there is quite a bit more to it.

Read the entire story here.

--submitted by Cilla McCain


You Too Will Need Treatment & Pre-Treatment for Your Mental Illness

February 2, 2012

By Fred A. Baughman Jr., MD, Neurologist

The Surgeon General of the Army, Eric B. Schoomaker, MD and the Senate and House Armed Services and Veterans Affairs Committees and many, many more throughout government and the military know, full-well, that they are killing service members with psychiatric drug cocktails of no possible therapeutic value, and have been doing so for the past ten years.

Over the past 3 years we have urged them to stop the poisoning (these drugs—antipsychotics mainly--target no actual disease while bearing monstrous ill-effects), but they have remained silent, not even acknowledging the hundreds of unprecedented, sudden, deaths of young soldiers and veterans that we have ‘Googled’ and shown them—allowing the deaths to continue to the present day—their payback to Astra-Zeneca Ltd. and the rest of the almighty, now-in-charge-of-our-lives, world-wide pharmaceutical industry.

Our young men and women serving in the military—and veterans too—have been ceded by our government to Big Pharma—another captive population for labeling and drugging just like the 6 to 7 million schoolchildren called “ADHD,” on “speed” called “”treatment,” and foster children, with nobody watching, given 5 to 10 labels and 10 to 20 drugs (each), and teens in the ‘juvenile justice” system, and prisoners and anyone, today with a so-called ‘mental illness,’ ‘sickness,’ a ‘chemical imbalance’ or ‘shy’. ‘depressed,’ or ‘greiving’ or any of psychiatry’s estimated fifty percent of all of us they say are will one day get a mental illness and sure to need ‘pre-treatment’—their latest ‘gig’.

Stand back! Surely they have a label or labels for you courtesy of the U.S. House, Senate or Judiciary, c/o CPS--child protective services. And you will wear your label. And you will take your pill, or your shot. The newer depotshots make self-control unnecessary for months at a time. No hospitalization needed. You can live on the streets. How about that!

And, how about this (c/o Bob Brewin In a May 2010 report of its Pain Management Task Force, the Army endorsed Seroquel in 25- or 50-milligram doses as a 'sleep aid.' Over the past decade, $717 million was spent for Risperdal and $846 million for Seroquel for a mind-blowing total of $1.5 billion when neither Risperdal nor Seroquel have been proven safe or effective for PTSD or sleep disorders. Ironically, yet not surprisingly, pay-to-play in Washington becomes more egregious every day. Heather Bresch, daughter of U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, (D-WV) was recently named CEO of WV drug-maker Mylan Inc., that recently contracted with the DoD for over 20 million doses of Seroquel. Defense Department Health Advisory Group chair, Charles Fogelman, warned: "DoD currently lacks a unified pharmacy database that reflects medication use across pre-deployment, deployment and post-deployment settings." In essence, through a premeditated lack of record keeping, mandated by law at any other pharmacy or medical office to track potential fatal reactions to mixing prescription drugs, the military is willfully preempting all investigations into the injuries and deaths due to psychiatric drugs.”

Thursday, February 02, 2012

Death Memorial

Seaman Adam Palecco, Camp Hansen, Okinawa. ” Seaman Adam Palecco, USN, 21, of New Jersey was brutally murdered on February 2, 2005, by three service members who had been falsely told that Adam was going to testify against them regarding their participation in a theft ring. This false information was made up by a military officer who has yet to be held responsible, despite all the family’s efforts for accountability by the military.”

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

A father’s anguish: Military killed my son with prescription pad

A father who has lost two sons to war told The Daily Caller that the U.S. Central Command’s policy of allowing troops to deploy with a 180-day supply of the antipsychotic Seroquel has contributed to the deaths of troops and veterans. Seroquel, he said, has tragic side effects that military leaders have ignored in their quest to combat insomnia and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) among fighting men and women.

Read the entire story here.