From the category archives:


A day for veterans

by Philip Barron on November 11, 2008 · 3 comments

Thinking about soldiers makes my heart hurt, a little.
For the past three years, anything and everything having to do with the American military – especially the US Army – has been influenced by my understanding of the events surrounding the death in Iraq of Pfc. LaVena Johnson of Florissant, Missouri. The ruling of suicide as [...]

“Army Strong”

by Philip Barron on September 3, 2008 · 4 comments

You are doubtless familiar with the marketing slogan first announced by the United States Army in 2006: “There’s strong, and then there’s Army Strong.”
In its battle to win the hearts and minds of recruiting-age Americans, the Army is replacing its main ad slogan — “An Army of One” — with one it hopes will pack [...]

A reminder…

by Philip Barron on June 27, 2008 · 7 comments

Even though the petition to the Armed Services Committees of the Senate and the House closed on May 24, constituents of the members of the two committees can still lend their voices to the effort to prompt a new investigation of LaVena’s death by contacting those legislators directly. Reprised below is contact information for those [...]

When will Congress stand up for LaVena Johnson?

by Philip Barron on April 11, 2007 · 0 comments

From today’s Associated Press article on a U.S. House committee’s quest for honest answers for two military families:
“After successive failed Department of Defense and Army inquiries, only a comprehensive, unrelenting congressional investigation can do justice to Pat’s memory, and restore service members’ confidence in their chain of command,” said Rep. Mike Honda, a Democrat who [...]

The word continues to spread

by Philip Barron on March 26, 2007 · 0 comments

I tried last week to tally up all of the blogs, sites, and forums that have made a point of discussing the LaVena Johnson story or have linked to the petition website, but I soon realized that I’d never have time to count them all. The response to the story has been greatly encouraging, and [...]

Two soldiers, two families, and justice for one

by Philip Barron on March 24, 2007 · 0 comments

For service families searching for the truth of how loved ones died overseas, not even the seeming advantage of fame can push the military into a timely and decent response. It has taken the family of Army Ranger and former pro football player Cpl. Pat Tillman some three years to get to this point: the [...]