October 2009

Feeding Athena to the Wolves – the Rape of our Warriors


The opinions expressed herein are those of the author, Catherine Scali, and not necessarily those of The New Agenda where the article first appeared.

Catherine Scali
The New Agenda
October 17, 2009

Military rape awareness week went by with little fan fare or media coverage.  The nonprofit group, Veterans for Peace staged a protest at the army recruiting center on Times Square – nothing much was said about it.  The same week, we discussed plans to ship 60,000 soldiers to Afghanistan.  More troop deployments from a military that relies on volunteers. 

Volunteers who may not know that a recent survey of veterans seeking medical care from the VA  reported that 1 in 3 female vets had been raped.  Even more startling is the fact that 1 in 7 women in the military report that they have been sexually assaulted. What has happened to the honor and dignity of our military?  Are we throwing Athena to the wolves?

To read all of Catherine Scali’s opinion piece at The New Agenda web site, click here.

Marine Corps to Ban Recruits with Prior Sex Offenses


By Dan Lamothe
Marine Corps Times
October 15, 2009

With the expansion to 202,000 active-duty Marines now complete, the Corps will cut recruiters in the coming year and ban anyone with a past sex offense from joining the service, Recruiting Command’s top officer said.

Maj. Gen. Robert Milstead said in early October that the Corps will no longer allow anyone with a felony or misdemeanor sexual offense to enlist, even if there are extenuating circumstances, and will admit far fewer recruits who perform poorly on the Armed Services Vocational Battery test.

“We’ve tightened up for this year. We just won’t take them,” Milstead said of those with a previous sex offense. “It’s just not worth the churn. Even if it’s a great guy, it’s just not worth it on this playing field with the media. We just don’t need it.””

To read the full story in the  Marine Corps Times, click here.


Realities of War:
Testimonies from the Frontline

November 8, 2009
11:00 am until 4:30 pm
Sponsored by the Human and Earth Rights Organization (HERO)
UC San Diego
Student Services Center – Multi-Purpose Room

What do you really know about war? Hear from the people who have been there: Iraq, Afghanistan, GI Resistance, Women in the Military, Homeless Veterans, Military Families. Featuring Rep. Bob Filner, Chairman of Veteran Affairs. Highlights from “Arlington West” by Peter Dudar & Sally Marr. Music by Kevin “Mac Mac” McCoy

This is a full day event where you will have the rare opportunity to get a firsthand reality-check about the impact of war, particularly on those who serve. Be sure to register before November 4th for a free lunch ticket.

The full schedule of events is available online at the Human and Earth Rights Organization (HERO) web site. Of interest to usmvaw.com readers, is a panel at 2:30 pm on Women in the Military. University of California at Irvine Professor Carol Burke will discuss her work with women in the military who have been sexually assaulted and battered by men in the military. The usmvaw.com project team will join project director, California State University San Marcos Professor Linda Pershing to present information about the U. S. Military Violence Against Women web site.

Following the program we will walk to North Torrey Pines Road for a silent, sunset vigil honoring our fallen troops from 5:00 to 6:00 PM.

For more information about Realities of War: Testimonies from the Frontline, visit the Human and Earth Rights Organization (HERO) web site here or call 858-534-2457.


Bring Their Buddies Home Vigil: An Act of Art
La Jolla, CA

Stand in silence along North Torrey Pines Road (North and South of Muir College Drive) for a Sunset Vigil to honor those who have died in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq Bring Their Buddies Home will provide each participant with a memorial page to wear bearing the name of a fallen soldier. There are complete details of the logistics of the event on their web site including what to wear and how to get to the event site.

For more information about An Act of Art, visit the Bring Their Buddies Home web site here or call 858-534-2457.

On October 14, 2009, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA), the nation’s first and largest non-partisan, nonprofit organization representing veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, released its new issue report, “Women Warriors: Supporting She ‘Who Has Borne the Battle,'” on the unique service and homecoming challenges facing female troops and veterans. The report is the cornerstone of IAVA’s first annual “Week of the Women Warriors,” a multi-faceted effort to honor the courage and sacrifice of female servicemembers.

IAVA’s newly released report explores a wide range of issues, including:

Sexual Assault, Harassment and Military Sexual Trauma (MST): Women in the military have been coping with significant and underreported sexual assault and harassment for decades. The report examines the statistics behind this prevalent issue, the measures that are currently in place and steps that must be taken to aggressively address this systematic problem.

To read the full press release and the report “Women Warriors: Supporting She ‘Who Has Borne the Battle,'” visit the IAVA web site here. The new IAVA Women Warrior Center can be found here.

Col. Ann Wright (ret.) speaking at the Veterans for Peace – Military Rape Awareness Action on October 13, 2009 at the military recruiting station at New York’s Times Square.


And here is the story of Staff Sgt. Sandra Lee told for the first time…




Department Of Defense Federal Globe


P.O. Box 16784
San Diego, CA

Email: http://www.dodfedglobe.com/Contact_Us.html

Website: http://www.dodfedglobe.com/Home_Page.html

This Organization fully supports the rights of the LGBT community in the Armed forces. They work in accordance with the LGBT community to combat the discrimination that continues to be inflicted on service members who either are perceived as or identify as gay or lesbian.  Committed to repealing the policy Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, DOD FED GLOBE offers its web viewers updated news on legislation as well as networking options.

Additional resources and organizations can be found on our web site. To visit the USMVAW Resource and Links page click here.

GI Rights HotlineGI Rights Hotline:

Military Discharges and Military Counseling



General Phone: 877-447-4487 (local numbers on website)

Website: www.girightshotline.org

Email: girights@girightshotline.org

If you are an active duty service member, prospective military service member, veteran, or a family member of anyone in the preceding categories who would like to receive truthful and trustworthy information about military regulations and how such regulations are enforced, the GI Rights Hotline is a toll-free counseling resource available to you. Since 1994, the GI Rights Hotline has been dedicated to providing accurate and unbiased information from professional, civilian counselors, many of whom are veterans. As a team of professionals from across the United States and Germany, the counselors offer information and guidance on a variety of subjects, ranging from harassment to absences to medical and other forms of discharge.

As a non-profit organization, GI Rights Hotline is committed to providing accommodating services for their callers, where every conversation is not only confidential, but also, free of charge. Additionally, services are available in English and Spanish. Local counselors may be able to provide additional language services. For more information, please visit www.girightshotline.org.

Additional resources and organizations can be found on our web site. To visit the USMVAW Resource and Links page click here.

Eve Ensler   Author, Activist, and Playwright

Eve Ensler

Eve Ensler  author, activist, and playwright of the Vagina Monologues, creator of V-day and tireless advocate of women of the Congo raped in war, will speak at the press conference for Military Rape Awareness Week at the Times Square military recruiting station, Tuesday, October 13, 2009 at 10:30am.

Eve created a special monologue for women raped in the military for the Vagina Monologues presented in Austin, Texas, in February, 2008.

For more information about Eve Ensler’s activism, please click here.

For more information on Military Rape Awareness Week, view our Events page, or visit the Veterans for Peace web site by clicking here.

Amendment Passes in Senate!!!


Senate Amendment 2588 that will prohibit defense contractors from requiring arbitration in cases of rape or sexual harassment PASSED the Senate by a vote of 68-30.

To read the complete story about this amendment on the Stop Family Violence web site, click here.

UPDATE: To read more about the THIRTY Senators who voted to defend U.S. contractor rape and sexual harassment, follow the story links below.

Alternet.org 30 GOP Senators

Minnpost.com Senate passes Franken amendment aimed at defense contractors 

Gender Disparity Shown in ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ Policy


Women are far more likely than men to be kicked out of the military under the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy against gays in uniform, according to government figures released Thursday. Critics of the policy said the disparity reflects deep-seated sexism in the armed forces.

Women accounted for 15% of all active-duty and reserve members of the military but more than a third of the 619 people discharged last year because of their sexual orientation.

To read the full story at The Los Angeles Times, click here.

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