Memorial Day Amnesia? Rachel Maddow Has the Cure


Memorial Day build-up is in full swing across the nation, as we prepare for barbequing, beach-going or simply sleeping in. Alas, few of these preparations involve remembering we are a nation perpetually at war. As with many other national holidays (Mother’s Day being a prime example), the intent of the day has been lost to […]

New Lawsuit Filed Against Military Rape


Back in December of last year, a federal judge in Virginia dismissed a landmark case filed by Washington, D.C. attorney Susan Burke in which 28 plaintiffs had alleged that they were sexually assaulted while in the military. But that hasn’t stopped Burke, nor the brave military women who are speaking out, in her quest for […]

Still Fighting for Women in Combat


The Department of Defense released a long-awaited report yesterday updating its controversial 1994 ban on women in combat. The DoD recommends that women be allowed to serve closer to the front lines in units that “co-locate” with ground combat forces. However, it still advises that women be barred from ground combat. Unless Congress raises objections, […]

The Invisible War of Military Women

invisible war

On Sunday I attended the Sundance premiere of The Invisible War, Kirby Dick’s heartbreaking documentary about sexual assault in the military. The 90-minute documentary opens with vintage military recruitment ads aimed at women from as early as the 1940s. They’re followed by clips of women military members talking about what drew them to a career in […]

If You Were Raped in the Military, Would You Turn to a Fundamentalist Chaplain for Help?


The cliché tells us that war is hell, but for female enlistees, the war on the domestic front—within their units—trumps that of the battlefield. In fact, a recent Veteran’s Administration survey revealed statistics that should have turned the military on its warmongering head: 30 percent of female vets told the interviewers that they had been […]

New Act Could Fix the Military’s Fatally Flawed Handling of Sexual Assault


One of the most pernicious aspects of rape in the military is the prevailing culture of blaming the victim. Victims are treated as whiners, liars, seducers, and traitors–as everything a soldier should never be. They are mocked, ostracized and even punished for trying to seek justice. As a result, fewer than 20 percent of military […]

This Veterans Day, Honor the Sexually Assaulted Service Members Who Have Been Silenced


Every year, thousands of service men and women are sexually assaulted, and the vast majority does not report it. Victims fear reprisals and retaliation and suspect that their confidentiality will be violated. This Veterans Day, it is important to shed light on these individuals silenced for fear not of the enemy but of their fellow […]

Military Men Speak Out About the End of DADT

Marine Times

As of September 20, if you’re in the U.S. military and an officer asks if you’re lesbian or gay, you can say, “Yep, I am.” And the next day, you’ll still be an honorable member of the service. Hell, you can say, “I’m here, I’m queer, get used to it!” (But I wouldn’t recommend it.) […]

Veterans Affairs Office Decides To Trust Women About PTSD


A woman in the military is more likely to be raped by a fellow soldier than killed by enemy fire. One in 5 women who seek veterans’ health care say they experienced sexual trauma during their service. We’ve known these shocking statistics for years now. Less discussed is the Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) afflicting many […]

Honoring Real Heroes on Memorial Day

Pat Tillman

If you want to honor soldiers and their families this Memorial Day, watch The Tillman Story. I caught it the other night “on demand” from my cable TV system. It’s mesmerizing, horrifying and, in some ways, inspiring. You probably already know the outlines of the much-reported story: Professional football player Pat Tillman decided to chuck the […]