July 15, 2008

Justice for LaVena Johnson * We Must Contact Congress!

The 3-year anniversary of LaVena Johnson's murder occurs this week. LaVena was only 19-years old when she died in Iraq on July 19, 2005. The Army first ruled her cause of death as self-inflicted, non-combat wounds that were not from a suicide.

That first ruling made sense as the bullet wound to her head did not match her M-16 and was on the wrong side of her head for someone that was right handed. Her additional injuries included a broken nose, a busted lip that covered two loose teeth and acid burns to her genital region (perhaps to cover-up DNA evidence from a rape?).

A few days later the Army changed the official cause of death to 'suicide'. You can see the full story here.

Danielle Vyas launched a new petition, Justice for LaVena Johnson is addressed to both houses of Congress and President Bush. The count is up to 607 with a goal of 1,000 signatures.

Villagers, I encourage you to do more than just sign the online petition. The only people that can make this right are the members of Congress. What About Our Daughters blog provides some excellent advice that I share with you: You and I need to reach out to both of our U.S. Senators and our House of Representatives member:
  1. Go to the website of all three congressional representative
  2. Click on constituent services and have them open a case for you.
  3. Fill out a privacy release form giving permission for your congressional representative to make inquiries on your behalf.
Villagers, make the inquiry to all three of your elected congressional representatives! When you make your official request for assistance, you should give some background of the LaVena Johnson story.

Tell them that you are concerned about LaVena. You may also want to ask about allegations that a disproportionate number of servicewomen who are raped and subsequently murdered are being classified as having committed suicide. If these allegations are true, you want to know. If these allegations are false, you want to know. If they don't know whether the allegations are true or false, you want to know why they don't know.

I pledge to contact each of my three congressional represenatives (Sherrod Brown, George Voinovich and Jean Schmidt)!

Will you join me in making this pledge to support LaVena Johnson and her family?


clnmike said...

Pfc Johnson was one of my first posts when I started blogging. I still have the link to the old petition on my blog, I'll upadte it.

It is disappointing the treatment of this case by the army and really women in general.

I know a couple of women who have gone to Iraq who say that they fear the men in their own unit than they do the enemy.

That is sad.

Is the link working right? It is taking for ever to send the signature.

Villager said...

Mike - I must have been asleep when it was first being publicized as this is the first week that I became aware of her situation. I recall that the football player ... Tillman ... had much publicity over his death by friendly fire. I don't recall Pfc. Johnson getting the same coverage...

Anyhow, I am glad to be part of the effort now. I'm going to contact my congressional reps this week. Have you done so already?

clnmike said...

Yeah way back but never did get a response.

Villager said...

Mike - I sense we can get some traction this time around. I encourage you to share information about this case with your blog readers again this week ... also please consider reaching out to your congressional representatives again if you have time or inclination...

Torrance Stephens - All-Mi-T said...

thats a shame

Invisible Woman said...

clnmike; thank you bro.

I will do this not only because it's right, but I would want someone to do this for me--you know what's surrounding this sister is BS.

Villager said...

Torrance & Invisible Woman - We are getting close to our goal of 1,000 signatures on the online petition. Share the information with your blog readers if you have time or inclination. We need to get justice for this sista!

LADY ROOTS said...

I posted the information with associatd links on my blog on the 3rd anniversary of LaVena's murder.

I will continue to encourage my readers to sign the petition to have the investigation reopened.

Thank you, EV, for all you do to keep us informed.

Bless Up,
Lady Roots

Villager said...

Lady Roots - I'm grateful to you for passing along this information to your blog readers. Hopefully we can make a difference...