Opinion

Sexual assaults dishonor US military

A Gazette editorial from the Charleston Gazette-Mail 

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A Department of Defense investigation of a West Virginia National Guard case spotlights the sordid problem of sexual assaults in the U.S. military. Here’s the mess, as outlined by reporter David Gutman:

A female officer, Lt. Col. Teresa James of St. Albans, was assaulted by a fellow West Virginia officer in 2006 at an Arkansas training base. At first, she kept the attack secret, because she knew that reporting it would hurt her Guard career.

However, after she served a tour in Iraq, other female soldiers told her of abuse by the same male officer, so Col. James finally reported it in 2010. Subsequently, two DOD investigations substantiated the sexual assault and found that the male officer “used gender epithets, engaged in physical assault on three other service members, and may have treated female soldiers disparately.”

National military investigators wrote that the second-in-command of West Virginia’s National Guard, Brig. Gen. Charles Veit, knew of these findings…

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