Department of Defense
Department of Defense
Allow Transgender People Into the U.S. Military
On Wednesday, July 26, 2017, Donald Trump announced that transgender individuals would no longer be accepted or allowed into the U.S. Military because their cost is a "burden." This is extremely disgraceful and an insult to all those who have already given their lives for this country. This is not equality, and this is not "supporting the LGBT community," as he said he does. This is utterly transphobic. Many people who served are going to be left jobless, and many others will no longer be able to fulfill their dreams. This is not okay, and this should not be legal. Trans people are still people.
Join IAVA in Telling Uncle Sam to #PayThemBack by Veterans Day
In 2010, a federal investigation found that thousands of bonuses and student loan payments were given to California National Guardsmen who did not qualify for them. Instead of forgiving overpayments, the California Guard completed an audit in September 2016, requiring nearly 10,000 current and former guardsmen to repay all or part of the bonuses. It has also been reported that servicemembers and veterans in other states are faced with similar challenges. We call on the Department of Defense to forgive this error and reject the notion that any servicemember should have to pay the price for failures of their leaders. If the DoD fails to act, we expect Congress to step up. Join us in calling on the Administration and Congress to find a fix before Veterans Day, November 11, 2016 to stop Uncle Sam's collections immediately and #PayThemBack.
Help End Veteran Suicides As A Result Of Trauma Experienced During War Time
The current rate at which military veterans commit suicide is a staggering 22 per day. On Christmas Day, 2016, Joshua Miller became one of those 22. Josh was a beloved father, son, brother, partner, uncle, cousin, nephew, and friend. He was a visionary who wanted nothing more than to make the world a better place. Josh served in the Marine Corps from 2000-2004. The experience of the things he witnessed and had to do left him with scars that followed him through the remainder of his life. He battled his demons constantly until he could not stand the pain anymore and tragically ended his life on Christmas night. Unfortunately, Josh was not alone that day. 21 other veterans felt the same pain and chose the same path to end it all. Their pain so intense, the only option they felt they could do was to leave this world behind. Leaving behind grieving families, mothers, fathers, children, spouses, friends and other relatives. 22 veterans per day. That is 8,030 per year. This number is testament to the neglect our veterans experience from the very organizations who send them to fight and seemingly forget about them once the fighting is done. While 22 is a number, each represents a human being. A human being who signed up to sacrifice everything to fight for our freedoms. Many give their lives in this service. As the numbers show, many times their lives are taken long after they return home. Newly released statistics also show that more service members deployed overseas die by suicide than by terrorists. Our service members give their all for us. It is time to give back to them. They need us to be their voice so something can be done to help them through their suffering. They need more than what they receive to assist them in putting their demons to rest so they can have a happy, rewarding life once their service to our country is done. They deserve nothing less, and so much more. In light of this information, and the evidence that a change is drastically overdue, we are petitioning the Department of Defense and the Veteran's Administration to take action and implement changes that will save the lives of our nation's heroes. We ask that the following procedures be implemented as soon as possible: 1. As PTSD has been proven to cause physical changes in the brain, we are asking the DoD to preform a brain scan upon enlistment into the Armed Services, and again upon release so that scans can be compared and evaluated for potential damage. If damage is found, then appropriate services preformed to treat the condition. 2. A MANDATORY 3-4 week intensive program for all military members. This program should have a primary focus on results driven, evidence based therapy and curriculum to help veterans deal with the trauma that occurs while serving in the military. This program should be attended by all active duty service members who have served, prior to their release from active duty. 3. MANDATORY regular follow up after release from active duty with monthly check-ins for at least two years. Quarterly follow up for the next 3 years, and yearly follow up for the next 5 years. This time frame represents minimums, that can be increased upon recommendations of a psychologist or psychiatrist. 4. The DoD and the Veteran's Administration should allocate funding specifially for both the research and treatment of mental health issues that arise from serving in the military, and to implement the programs listed in this petition. 5. The DoD should implement mandatory therapy for all active duty service members to help alleviate the current stigma that exists regarding service members seeking help for mental health issues they may be experiencing. Service members should also be protected from discrimination and discharge as a result of said mental health needs, unless the symptoms clearly show that service member's ability to continue to perform their duties is compromised. Many active duty and veterans agree that not enough responsibility is being taken by the DoD and the VA in regards to mental health issues. Not enough help is available to them, and the effect of this is tragic. This leads to the 8,030 veterans taking their own lives each year. This is unacceptable and it is time to take action to change this. They are sent into battle armed and prepared to succeed. However, they fight another battle once they are home without any tools or support to help them win that battle. After all they have given to everyone in this country, let us help them get armed with everything they need to win their personal wars.
Reopen MAVNI Program FY-2017
The reason for this petition is to reopen MAVNI program which is under investigation and there are no sure shot deadlines as to when it will re-open again for FY-2017. Reopening of MAVNI program helps United States to recruit soldiers rapidly that possess foreign language skills. Not only this but also most of these people who are joining have bachelors or masters and don't even want to use GI bill or anything in return. They are super motivated just by the fact to be called an American Citizen and defend this country till their death. Shutting down of this program has been emotionally draining for those who want to be a part of this. America's whole immigration system needs reform and people who work with that understands. There is no logic but luck based. Take for instance, H1 B visa lottery. Lucky person would get picked over genuinely qualified person. However, this MAVNI program gives opportunity to those who have lived in USA for long long time on all kinds of visas/work permits and want to call this country home and want to be a soldier of US and defend this nation. Impact of this program on people: Maintaining legal status while waiting for this program to be opened which is very emotionally draining for them and their families. Call of action: Its our humble request to please please reopen MAVNI for FY 2017 at the earliest. We promise we wont let down the US army spirit. We are ready, prepared, this nation we will defend, we will aim high, fly, fight and win not for self but for this country of United States of America.
Health Benefits for Military Ex Wives who served over 20 years with Soldier husband.
This is for me and so many other people who spent years with husband serving the military, and after divorce loose all the benefits when soldier is retired for medical reason and after divorce. I spent 23 years married to an Army soldier, and after divorce I lost all my medical benefits and even his part of retirement. All DOD told me is that he was retired under medical reasons, so I was not entailed to any benefits even when the court stated that he was responsible for my health benefits for life and he never complied. Why is that?? I served with my ex husband and his Army carrier, and DOD did nothing. We served just like them!! some of us left everything to serve with soldiers and need security and health too.. I help my ex-husband to join the military and also help him getting his retirement due to health. Support his entire Military career and deployments, what happened to taking care of military families????
Stop the Destruction of Art at Guantánamo
Detainees at the United States military prison camp known as Guantánamo Bay began to make art as soon as they arrived. A current exhibit in New York City is displaying some of these evocative works, made by men held without trial, some for nearly 15 years, who paint the sea again and again although they cannot reach it. (Information taken from www.artfromguantanamo.com). Now, the Pentagon has declared that all Guantánamo-made art is “property of the U.S. government” and says that no more art can leave Guantánamo. If a detainee is released, his art will be burned. Current detainees will only be able to keep a limited number of artworks; whatever the guards deem to be “excess” will also be destroyed. (Information taken from http://www.miamiherald.com/news/nation-world/world/americas/guantanamo/article185088673.html). The exhibit includes artwork from both former and current detainees. The current detainees, most of whom have never had charges filed against them, much less fair trials, would be drastically affected by this policy. Taking away their ability to find and create beauty and communicate with the outside world through their paintings, drawings, and sculpture is both incredibly petty and incredibly cruel. Help us send a message to the Pentagon by signing this petition. Let them know that burning art is something done by fascist and terrorist regimes – but not by the American people.
Resist Trump's Ban on Transgender People Serving in the Military
On Wednesday, July 26th, President Trump made a policy announcement via Twitter that the US Government will no longer accept transgender people to serve "in any capacity in the U.S. Military." He claims that the cost and disruption of trans people in the military distract from the decisiveness and success of our armed forces. Donald Trump took a huge leap back into a dark place in history in his actions via Twitter today. In fact, President Harry Truman desegregated the armed forces on this exact day in 1948. Our President is not leading us forward, he is taking us miles behind the times. In 2016, the Pentagon conducted a study that found that health costs for transgender service members seeking hormone therapy or surgical treatment would make up 0.005–0.017% of the entire healthcare expenditures for the Department of Defense. Transgender service members are being told that their health care costs are a "burden" to the Department of Defense when the costs of their healthcare hardly make up 1% of the DoD's healthcare expenditures. There are an estimated 15,000+ transgender people in the U.S. Military. These courageous service members fight every day to protect our nation and are now being told that their bravery and sacrifice is invalid and unheard. Sign the petition to stand in solidarity with our transgender military service members and resist Trump's transphobic, bigoted ban. Thanks for your support, Equality Arizona Board Equality Arizona is the leading statewide LGBTQ advocacy organization for the State of Arizona. We work collaboratively to establish a comprehensive network of individuals and organizations to secure, protect, and defend the equal civil rights and welfare of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer people in Arizona.
Fix TRICARE Plus
I am a current active duty military service member with 15 years of active federal service to my country. I am also a mother, and a daughter. My 56 year old mother witnessed her husband, who was on a scooter, get hit and killed by a car in 2014. The horrific experience caused her to develop PTSD, depression, anxiety, sleep problems, and eventually alcoholism. She received a DUI last summer, which caused a domino effect of her losing her job, health insurance, and eventually, her home. I was able to have her move in with me and have her added as my dependent, which means she can live with and move with me. But unfortunately the only healthcare option that TRICARE provides for dependent parents is TRICARE Plus, which is basically just a supplemental coverage and doesn't even meet the minimum coverage requirements of the Affordable care act. She can only be seen at a military treatment facility (or MTF) and only on a space available basis. We currently live in South FL so the MTFs are all at least 2 hours away, and none of them accept dependent parents. In the meantime she desperately needs medical care! My hope is to get TRICARE to recognize dependent parents as equally eligible for the level of healthcare that military spouses and children receive. They should NOT be treated as second class citizens and pushed to the side. At the very least, TRICARE should authorize referrals to civilian providers for dependent parents, and cover the cost, so as not to take away MTF resources from service members. Please sign and share this petition! Thanks for your support!
Reef the fish & dive "Towers" off the coast of Collier and Florida Keys
It has been brought to our attention the decommissioned radio towers that offer irreplaceable fish havens are in the process of being removed or reefed. We, The Collier County Waterkeeper, numerous organizations from Sanibel to Key West and the signers of this petition ask you to consider the negative environmental & monetary impacts removing these amazing towers, instead of reefing them, will have on our fishing and tourism industry. Reefing the towers would continue to provide our fishery with the numerous towers' ability to attract fish. Recently, off the coast of Naples, 35 artificial reefs were sunk which have already proven their worth in attracting fish. These reefs will last a lifetime and were strategically positioned to attract fish. The Gulf is a thriving fish haven, one of the greatest in the world. Fish have relatively no structures to call home and The Towers are like an oasis that fish species are instinctively drawn to. Removing them would be a travesty to our local communities and an antithesis to the campaign for artificial reefs in our local waters. If you are big into fishing in the Florida Keys or Southwest Florida, you are familiar with the lure of the “Towers” off of the coast. These towers are proven to attract countless species of fish, corals and marine life. Many fishing trips offshore including charter captains, tourists, recreational & commercial fishermen depend on these towers for their livelihood and pursuit of happiness. The towers are an amazing SCUBA and freedive site as well. The Towers are home to goliath grouper which the city of Naples uses to determine species counts and breeding pattern annually. Please sign this petition to tell the Army Corps of Engineers and The Department Of Defense to reef, not remove, the towers off of our coast to ensure a lasting legacy of these towers. Locations of towers: http://www.floridagofishing.com/_images/charts-maps/radio-towers-sw-gulf-of-mexico.JPG
Justice for Kenneka Martin
With MILLIONS of views on social media, Kenneka Martin's death is STILL unsolved! Police corruption, racial segregation, and SECRETS are keeping this beautiful young women from being put to rest. HELP US SAVE HER MEMORY! HELP HER FAMILY GRIEVE! AND MOST OF ALL FIND JUSTICE FOR KENNEKA MARTIN! https://www.google.com/amp/www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/ct-kenneka-jenkins-rosemont-hotel-freezer-20170911-story,amp.html#ampshare=http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/ct-kenneka-jenkins-rosemont-hotel-freezer-20170911-story.html Kenneka's Story(via Chicago Tribune): Teresa Martin (mother of the victim) said her daughter's friends called her after 4 a.m. Saturday september 10,2017 to say they had lost track of Jenkins in the hotel and left after they were unable to find her. The friends said they were in the car Martin had lent her daughter for the night and they had Jenkins' cellphone, Martin said. Martin said she headed to the hotel around 5 a.m. Saturday to try to find her daughter. Hotel staff told her they needed a missing persons report from police before they could start reviewing surveillance video of the premises. Martin said she then called the Rosemont Police Department and was told to wait a few hours before filing the report to see if Jenkins turned up. Jenkins' older sister, Leonore Harris, filed a missing persons report with Rosemont police later that morning, Mack said. Authorities notified the hotel about the missing teen around 1:15 p.m. Saturday. The 11-hour search for Jenkins included all public areas and the ninth floor, where she was last seen by witnesses, Mack said. "The hotel staff and management (were) actively canvassing the area at that time," Mack said. Martin said around 3 or 4 p.m. Saturday, police viewed some of the hotel video footage and said they did not see Jenkins pictured. The family left and came back a third time around 6 p.m. Saturday, Martin said, at which point relatives started knocking on room doors to see if any guests knew anything. The hotel called the police to complain about the knocking, Martin said. One of those responding officers listened to the family's plight and agreed to view the video footage again, Martin said. Around 10 p.m. Saturday, police told Jenkins' relatives they had spotted her on video from about 3:20 a.m. that day, "staggering" drunk near the front desk, according to Martin. Martin said the family members stayed at the hotel until after 1 a.m. Sunday, when police informed them they had discovered Jenkins' body in the walk-in freezer. It was not clear who located Jenkins' body, but Mack said the hotel was doing some construction in the area where she was found. Martin said she was told the freezer Jenkins was in was turned on and cold but was not being used to store food. "I just happen to know there's work being done on some new facilities over there, so there is some construction activity where a new restaurant is being built, and (she was found) in that vicinity," Mack said. "This is not an area where anyone would typically be who was a guest in the hotel." It is not clear whether the construction area was blocked off in any way. Martin said Jenkins told her she was "going to the show and bowling" Friday. Martin said she only learned about the hotel party when Jenkins' friends called to say they couldn't find her and were heading back with the car. The friends told her the three were getting set to leave the party but realized Jenkins had left her phone and car keys back in the room. Jenkins stayed in the hallway while the friends said they retrieved her stuff. When they got back to the hall she was gone, Martin said they told her. But Martin said she questioned the friends' accounts, saying their "stories changed over and over." Martin also said she had a hard time believing the police account that Jenkins got into the freezer on her own, saying if her daughter was drunk she would have had difficulty opening the heavy freezer doors. Jenkins would have realized the freezer doors weren't the doors to an elevator or a hotel entrance, Martin said. "Those were double steel doors, she didn't just pop them open," she said. Martin was angry about what she said was hotel workers' lack of urgency in the face of her pleas for help finding her daughter Saturday morning, directing her to the police rather than immediately reviewing hotel footage. Daniel Pena, a manager at the hotel, referred questions about the incident to Rosemont police Sunday. "Anyone can understand how a parent can feel distraught over the loss of a child and feel the need to lash out due to the tremendous pain they're feeling, and we can certainly understand that," Mack said. "But people can rest assured Rosemont is one of the top, highest trained, most respected police departments in the state of Illinois and does a good job at what they do. "Every situation has a lot of variables, and certainly this one did," he said. "The hotel has probably never seen anything like this, either, I would imagine." Martin said she thought Rosemont police also failed to heed the family's frantic attempts to figure out what happened to Jenkins. "If they had taken me seriously and checked right away, they could have found my daughter much sooner and she might have been alive," Martin said.