(Editor’s Note: The following is a copy of a letter that was sent to members of Congress and submitted for publication.)
Recently I watched a documentary on PBS, concerning rape in our military. The act is atrocious, the fact that few perpetrators are brought to justice is unforgivable.
As a veteran, (Vietnam 1967-68), a father, grandfather and an engaged citizen of this great nation, I am incensed beyond measure.
I insist that you do the right thing, address the issue of rape, and the fact that there is no accountability. The idea of having internal oversight on these issues (and any other for that matter) is beyond ridiculous. The proverbial saying, the fox guarding the henhouse, applies to this situation.
We need a policy change. I would strongly suggest that you, in concert with my other representatives, introduce legislation that protects men and women entering the military from rape. Furthermore, justice needs to be dealt with outside of military court systems. Most perpetrators are given a slap on the hand, and sometimes even promoted, to continue to prey on young men and women.
In a lawsuit brought to federal court on behalf of 18 men and women, the suit was dismissed in December 2011, ruling that rape is an occupational hazard of military service. How can we encourage our youth to join and protect us when they themselves are sold out? Does the military forewarn potential enlistees that rape is an occupational hazard of entering the military?
I will be proactive in my community, asking others to apply pressure on each of our state and national leaders (you). I voted for you and expect you to rise to the occasion.Change the rules, punish the guilty.
We all have family (sons and daughters). They inherit the system we leave them. They are our most important resource.
Thank you for your help and consideration in righting this wrong.