Department of Defense
Department of Defense
Reopen LaVena Johnson’s Case!
U.S. Army Private LaVena Johnson was found shot to death inside a burning tent with a broken nose, black eyes, broken teeth and acid burns on her genitals in July 2005, on Balad Military Base in Iraq. The U.S. Army investigated this case and ruled her death as a suicide by gunfire from an M-16. Her father disagreed, particularly after seeing her body in the funeral home. It is believed that the acid burns were created to hide evidence of sexual assault. She was 19 years old. There is a clear trend of sexual assault victims in the military being harmed or otherwise convinced not to speak out about what they have suffered. LaVena did not get the justice she deserves. In a time where we are fighting racial injustices around the world, it is important to include black women in the search for fair trials. Consider signing this petition to get the case re-opened and investigated by either the United States Army of the Cold Case Investigations Research Institute of Philadelphia. The previous petition for the reinvestigation of LaVena’s case closed with 37,000 signatures. Let’s make this petition as high profile as the others so that it can be seen by the Department of Defense. At the very least, this case should be reported on by major news sources who have previously backed away from reports on the case.For more information, consider watching the documentary from Midtown films, called "LaVena Johnson-The Silent Truth" it was screened at Webster University in St. Louis MO (2010).
Allow Transgender People Into the U.S. Military
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.
Declare the KKK a terrorist organization
The original petition was closed at 100,932 signatures with a 200,000 goal. There are 331,002,651 people on the United States. That means there are plenty of adults, of clear mind and conscience, who can sign and help dismantle the KKK. So lets try this again! For generations, the Ku Klux Klan has been persecuting black people. Though-out American history, they have murdered innocents, lynched thousands, and terrorized many more. And surprisingly, this group still exists. They promote a spirit of aggression and hatred towards African Americans and people of color. They encourage violent and hateful behavior, which is especially dangerous to young, impressionable minds. The KKK is a terrorist organization protected by the first amendment. It is a travesty to allow such an organization to function under the law in a generation that abhors racism, sexism, homophobia, etc. What kind of message is the government spreading by allowing the KKK to function? That it's okay to be racist? Because it isn't. Think about the pain African Americans endure every single day for the color of their skin. Think about how hard it must be for them to know that they can be murdered by a cop no matter their innocence, but a group that is inherently violent and racist is allowed to exist. It is dishonoring our black citizens by allowing a group that has tortured them from the very start to still exist. Abolish this hateful group that is carrying on a history of abuse, racism, and murder. Abolish the KKK.
United Airlines, please help military families ship their big dogs!
United Airlines has been the industry leader in shipping animals globally. They recently restructured their service in response to safety issues, and have announced their new policies to improve safety. It was courageous for them to still be willing to offer any pet shipping service, that frankly speaking, can generate massive negative PR when it goes wrong, and provides only a tiny fraction of the company's total revenue. Thanks United for coming back, sincerely. However, within this change, they have implemented a new pet travel policy that bans large dogs, due to the maximum height for kennels being set at 30 inches. Labrador, Golden Retriever, Husky, Sheepdog, etc. will no longer be accepted . Also affected are Pit Bulls, Mastiffs, Malinois, and other dogs deemed to be "Strong jawed". This affects Military and State Department families stationed outside the USA, as they now have no way that fits their budgets to bring their pets home when they receive orders for Permanent Change of Station. Historically, United has been the only affordable option for big dogs, as other airlines cost up to 3-4 times as much. For example, sending a Golden Retriever from Seoul, Korea to San Francisco in a "700" crate used to be about $850 on United. Other Airlines cost is about $2,200 (After all additional fees are added). We are asking United to make an EXCEPTION for United States Military families, Department of Defense Civilian families, and State Department families that are being stationed abroad or back Stateside. This petition serves to show solidarity with the families affected, as we ask United to see how deeply appreciated their previous service shipping large pets was, and how desperately they are needed. Without this change, Military and State Department families face some very difficult choices, that could have painful consequences.For years United PetSafe has been a trusted way to move animals around the world, and I personally hope that they continue to serve the public with their excellent standards. US Service members and their families deserve better! United announcement: https://www.united.com/ual/en/us/fly/travel/animals/petsafe.html#petsafetable My in-depth analysis: https://www.facebook.com/Shindogsair/posts/1001768046647319
Reopen the investigation of LaVena Johnson's death
LaVena Johnson was a 19-year-old U.S. Army Private deployed in Iraq when she was tortured, raped, and murdered by her fellow soldiers. The U.S. Department of Defense ruled her death a suicide, but provided no explanations for her physical wounds: deep bite marks, loose teeth, a black eye, scratch marks on her neck, a broken nose, third-degree burns on her hands that were covered by glued-on white gloves, acid poured on her vagina, a bullet wound in her head, and more. The military's autopsy only reported injuries to her lip and teeth and scratch marks on her neck. A second autopsy paid for by CBS revealed that "LaVena's neck was broken. Parts of her vagina, tongue, and anus had been removed." The Army said LaVena shot herself in the head with a government-issued M16 rifle, which was more than 3 feet long. LaVena was 5'1". The bullet wound was on the left side of her head and she was right-handed. The bullet wound looked more consistent with one caused by a 9 mm, and the bullet "was never found." Residue tests conducted by the military suggest no evidence of LaVena actually touching the M16, and there was a trail of blood outside her tent. There have been multiple articles, podcasts, and documentaries about LaVena and her death, but the military still has not reopened her case. Because this is a presumed violent murder and sexual assault, there is no statute of limitations applied to LaVena's death. We can still get justice for LaVena and prosecute her murderers if we reopen her case and demand further investigation into this obvious foul play.
To classify the Ku Klux Klan as a domestic terrorist organization.
The Ku Klux Klan is a white supremacist organization based in the United States that outwardly opposes civil rights (including the Civil Rights Act of 1964) and desegregation, specifically targeting Black or African-American citizens and non-citizens. The modern Klan has committed dozens of acts of violence including multiple mass murders (such as the Greensboro Massacres and the Chattanooga Shooting). If these acts had been committed by an organization outside of the United States with the threat of more violence, that organization would be classified as a foreign terrorist organization. The same standard should apply under a new category of threat: domestic terrorist organizations. The KKK instills fear across the country as there are dozens of chapters and thousands of members still active. The group's entire purpose is the genocide of non-White individuals and to dismantle the United States's goals of equality and justice for people of all races and ethnicities. The Klan is a threat to American citizens and residents and is, therefore, a direct threat to the United States of America's national security. We want the federal government to officially create a categorization of national security threats entitled, "Domestic Terrorist Organizations," and to classify the Ku Klux Klan as a domestic terrorist organization.
Citizens Against Contaminated Water for Service Members and their Families
Residents of JBLM are experiencing brown water and have for years. Within the last year, the brown water issue has greatly affected residence’s abilities to bathe, complete simple daily tasks such as laundry, running a dish washer or simply washing their hands. This brown water has been deemed “safe” to drink and bathe in, despite multiple residences experiencing serious skin allergic reactions, and even hospitalization. Though it has been recognized by Department of Public Works, Joint Base Lewis McChord Communities, and the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense, it continues to be a daily struggle for residents to believe and trust that their water is safe. They have been told the water is "safe to drink" despite the color and foul smell. Joint Base Lewis-McChord Communities takes no responsibility regarding the water quality issue and directs all residents to Department of Public Works, who claims the routine hydrant flushes “do nothing” about the water quality. A recent report was released from the Department of Defense that states the water at or around at least 126 military installations contains potentially harmful levels of perfluorinated compounds. These contaminants have been linked to cancers and developmental delays for fetuses and infants. These chemicals are man-made and found in firefighting foam used by the DoD. This has residents at JBLM and several other military bases in the CONUS very concerned. Despite the closure of 3 wells on JBLM, the problem is still on-going. Residents have been urged to contact the proper channels when experiencing these issues and nothing continues to be done. Water that reeks of chlorine, has sediment and an orange tinge is NOT safe to consume and residents deserve clean drinking water and a safe living environment. Meanwhile, houses on base are being renovated and updated, and age old pipes that cause these water issues are ignored. Join us to fight this cause.
Have Fort Hood investigated for the sex based crimes and disappearances of soldiers.
I am creating this petition in light of United States Army Private First Vanessa Guillen’s body possibly being found pending identification. Vanessa Guillen, a 20-year-old soldier, was last seen on April 22 in a parking lot on the Fort Hood Army Base in central Texas. Three weeks before her disappearance, Vanessa Guillen told her mother that she was being sexually harassed and followed by an Army sergeant, but was afraid to report him. Recently another soldier, Gregory Wedel-Morales, was found in the same area that Vanessa’s body may have been found. Morales disappeared in August 2019 and the army listed him as deserted. Morales had 2 weeks left of his contract. Isn’t it odd that within less than a year, Fort Hood has 2 soldiers who mysteriously disappeared and were found deceased in the same area? With that being said I want to share PFC LaVena Lynn Johnson’s story even if it was not in Texas . United States Army Private First Class LaVena Lynn Johnson was murdered, raped, tortured, and ruled a suicide in 2005. PFC LaVena Johnson was only 19 years old. 15 years later, many victims in the military are still being raped, murdered, officially covered up, and ruled a suicide. Our soldiers deserved to be safe and respected while being on duty. It’s time that many of these crimes are brought to light. It’s time for a full and thorough investigation into what really happened and hold those who committed these crimes against these service men and women accountable. If our government leaders say they care so much about our military, then it’s time they showed us by using their positions to make a difference, to bring justice. They protect us, who will protect them? sign my petition, bring justice to our troops.
Allow military members to decide if they want to pay for a meal card or not
Our great men and women of the military deserve the right to choose how their money is spent. Currently, troops living in the barracks are forced to pay $370 a month for a meal card to eat at the chow hall. Chow hall hours don’t line up with everybody’s schedule, and often times, people are forced to spend extra money on food. On weekends, the chow halls are only open for 2 meals a day. From a financial standpoint, it is easily possible to buy a months worth of food for less than what comes out for BAS. Our military gets paid little as it is, they should be afforded the right to decide on how they pay for their food.
Equal Rights for Remote Combat Veterans
As a medically retired active duty service member after 10 years of service, I now have seen the red tape affecting veterans and receiving benefits that they should have. I served as an intelligence operations supervisor in the MQ-9 community ("drones") engaged in remote combat in the CENTCOM AOR. I was stateside conducting intelligence gathering and battle damage assessment of missions and airstrikes happening overseas. In May 2020, due to work events and stress I attempted suicide as a husband and father of two children under 5 from an inability to cope with the combat exposure and realities of still living at home and not in a deployed environment. When I was diagnosed with PTSD, MDD and insomnia, my medical team documented that it was induced due to events experienced over a long period of time involving remote combat operations. However, when I received my medical retirement declaration from the US Air Force, they determined that my medical conditions were not combat related according to 26 USC 104. In that law, because remote combat is not listed, any mental health injury induced from involvement in remote combat operations will never be considered "combat related". Due to this law, myself and thousands of other veterans are not entitled to apply for Combat Related Special Compensation, and therefore are required to forfeit our retirement pay from the Department of Defense in order to receive disability payment from the VA. If you support equal rights for remote combat veterans, like myself, please sign this petition and share it for the addition of "remote combat" to 26 USC 104. The USAF has approved the Remote Combat Effects Campaign Medal, of which I have two. This should serve as a template for adding language to the law. Also, encourage your state congress to continue to push HR. 303 into law this year in Washington so that ALL medically retired veterans are entitled to their hard earned retirement pensions calculated based on time in service or retired pay grade and DoD disability rating. Thank you for your time, Bennett Miller, TSgt, USAF