As many of you already know, a magazine article about our son's death and the Army's use of "unit watch" on recruits has been "in the making" for over six months. It started out as an article by independent writer, Maximillian Potter, for Rolling Stone magazine. After several months there was a difference of opinion between the editors of Rolling Stone and writer over the intent of the article. Earlier this year Max took the position of executive editor of a Denver regional magazine, 5280. Named after the number of feet in mile-high Denver's elevation above sea level.
The article is finally finished and in print, available later this week in many Colorado grocery stores like Safeway and Albertson's. Some book and magazine stores also carry it. I already have two copies of the June/July issue with our story. Attached to this email is a picture of the cover to make it easy to locate on store shelves. Some of the quoted language is crude and not of my liking. Personal details about our family is uncomfortable to share with the public but the message is more important than any discomfort we may experience. Nolan's death three and a half years ago and the circumstance around it has devastated our lives. What happened to him should never happen to any young man or woman that volunteers to serve their country. I have dedicated myself to stop the abuse he and others have suffered over the years.
If you are outraged by what you read, I ask you to call your Congressman and Senator and express your feelings. I support VERPA which can be found online. Every bad law started off as someone's good idea. The Feres Doctrine is one of them. It is imperative that Officers and Medics in battle are protected against lawsuits from surviving families of loved ones lost to battle. That was the purpose of the Feres Doctrine, however, the government has misused the law since December 4, 1950 to deny surviving families redress in cases that has nothing to do with war. Lawsuits are a safety net to stop wrongdoing and the Federal government has placed itself above the law. All Tort claims by military personal and their surviving families are automatically denied by the government using the Feres Doctrine. Unit Watch couldn't exist without it!
Please contact me if you know about any abuses of soldiers, sailors, marines, and airmen on unit watch. It is sometimes referred to as "Suicide Watch," "Garrison Watch," "Crazy Horse Watch," "In line of Sight Watch" and the latest, "Command Interest Profile."
If you live outside the regional area of circulation for 5280, the story is available online. Go to www.5280.com. Look under Private Sites Should Have Been Saved by Maxillian Potter. Unfortunately the web site does not post all the pictures. If you want a magazine for yourself, contact me and I will make arrangements.
Richard Stites, aka. "Singe"