Environmental Press # 346

Subj: Petition for Circulation
Date: 12/4/2003 8:43:00 PM Eastern Standard Time
From: <advocate@militaryadvocacynetwork.com>
To: <verpaphila@aol.com>

Dear Friends and Advocates,

Just before Thanksgiving, seven military rape victims, a hazing victim, two parents and myself visited with several Senators and others in DC, asking for Congressional hearings regarding how the military shuts down and retaliates against those reporting crimes and abuses within the military. The trip was a resounding success, and the Victim-Survivors at times so compelling that entire Congressional staffs were left in tears. Their rapes and other abuses ranged as far back in time as 14 years, but also included were two active-duty Soldiers who have been recently raped overseas, and an active-duty Sailor. The young woman who was raped by a serial rapist at Dover AFB, and then further abused and dismissed under the command of Taco Gilbert in the months prior to his tenure at the AFA, also accompanied us on this trip.

We believe that Senator Saxby Chambliss came close to agreeing to hearings, but we also intend to invite the Committee on Veterans' Affairs and the Judiciary Committee into this dialogue and call for hearings and reforms, as the VA picks up the tab for these wrongdoings, and the Judiciary Committee is responsible for repealing Feres.

 

Upon my return from DC, I initiated a web site with a Petition to Congress, asking for hearings and reforms. The Open Letter to Congress, which was faxed to all just prior to the trip to DC, is also posted on the site. Further updates will be added in the days and weeks to come. For your convenience, both are also attached to this email as word docs.

I am asking you to sign the Petition; to provide a link to the Petition on your own web site; and to forward it to everyone you possibly can for additional signatures. I will be making this request to various advocacy groups, agencies and individuals, as well as media and Congress, on a national level through this coming week.

www.militaryadvocacynetwork.com

The site is not intended for direct advocacy requests, but rather as a central clearinghouse for military advocacy related issues, information and links. A secondary goal is to become an umbrella lobbying mechanism for various military advocacy groups, agencies and individuals to work together on common issues and goals, such as civilian oversight and repealing Feres. (ie: accountability which will bring reforms that affect all advocacy areas) Therefore, if you have content or link suggestions for the site, I hope you will feel free to forward them to me at

advocate@militaryadvocacynetwork.com

As seven of the AFA cadets will appear on ?Oprah? on Monday, 08 December, the timing for circulating this Petition is ideal, and your cooperation is much appreciated.

Thanks and Regards,

beth hills, Military Family advocate

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