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The parking lot suicides
Veterans are taking their own lives on VA hospital campuses, a desperate form of protest against a system that they feel hasn’t helped them.
Alissa Harrington took an audible breath as she slid open a closet door deep in her home office. This is where she displays what’s too painful, too raw to keep out in the open.
Framed photos of her younger brother, Justin Miller, a 33-year-old Marine Corps trumpet player and Iraq veteran. Blood-spattered safety glasses recovered from the snow-covered Nissan Frontier truck where his body was found. A phone filled with the last text messages from his father: “We love you. We miss you. Come home.”
Miller was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and suicidal thoughts when he checked into the Minneapolis Department of Veterans Affairs hospital in February 2018. After spending four days in the mental-health unit, Miller walked to his truck in VA’s parking lot and shot himself in the very place he went to find help.
“The fact that my brother, Justin, never left the VA parking lot — it’s infuriating,” said Harrington, 37. “He did the right thing; he went in for help. I just can’t get my head around it.”
Christian NCAA member Azusa Pacific bans all same-sex relationships
Azusa Pacific University, an NCAA Division II school with ties to the Christian church, has reinstated a previously suspended ban on same-sex relationships, sending LGBTQ students, student-athletes, members of the administration and advocates scrambling.
The school’s Board of Trustees late last week sent a notice returning the school’s policy to say “Students may not engage in a romanticized same-sex relationship.”
Some Christians have long held that the Bible bans sex between people of the same gender. This policy goes even further, banning all romantic same-sex relationships, even those that don’t include sex. The school’s policy already bans sex outside of wedlock, this policy simply specifically targets gay, lesbian, bisexual, trans and queer people.
God has yet to weigh in on the decision.
Obama Gave Us Gay Marriage, Trump The Honeymoon From Hell
Business owner says gay people “need to be called out.” Let’s see how he likes it.
Fox & Friends got upset about an LGBTQ Nation essay. Here are the messages their fans sent.
Trump’s Latest Attack On Same-Sex Couples Is Exactly What His Base Wants
US gay, lesbian and bi troops twice as likely to be sexually assaulted than non-LGBs
US troops who identify as LGB are twice as likely to experience sexual assault compared to straight service members, a new study finds.
32.7% of the lesbian, gay and bisexual population experienced some form of sexual assault while on active-duty. For comparison, only 16.4% of non-LGB personnel was a victim of sexual assault.
Gay Star News
Marines have way more sex than any other branch of the military, survey finds
This just in: A new report from the RAND Corp. has found that Marines have more sex than any other branch of the U.S. military.
Dude CEO of Feminist Apparel: Feminism Is Me Firing My Staff for Finding Out I Sexually Abused Women
Not that Bad Men posing as Great Women Defenders should come as any surprise whatsoever, but here’s a story for the books. The founder and CEO of a Feminist Apparel, an “independent clothing company dedicated to furthering the conversations, and empowering the people & organizations, that make up the intersectional feminist movement,” fired all nine of his employees after they discovered his social media posts publicly admitting to committing sexual abuse in the past.
2 Navy SEAL leaders relieved of duty after sexual misconduct allegations
The U.S. Army Is Quietly Discharging Immigrant Recruits
Some immigrant U.S. Army reservists and recruits who enlisted in the military with a promised path to citizenship are being abruptly discharged, the Associated Press has learned.
The AP was unable to quantify how many men and women who enlisted through the special recruitment program have been booted from the Army, but immigration attorneys say they know of more than 40 who have been discharged or whose status has become questionable, jeopardizing their futures.
3 Marines charged with rape in New Orleans, authorities say
Three US Marines have been charged with sexual assault in a case involving a Tulane University student and her friend in New Orleans, according to court documents from the Parish of Orleans in Louisiana.
Lance Corporal Alexander Davenport, 20, was charged with two counts of first-degree rape; Lance Corporal Jared Anderson, 18, was charged with one count of first-degree rape; and Private First Class Antonio Landrum, 18, was charged with one count of third-degree rape.
Texas Gunman Broke Skull of Infant Stepson in 2012 Assault
Before a gunman entered a rural Texas church with a ballistic vest and a military-style rifle, killing at least 26 people on Sunday, he was convicted of assaulting his wife and breaking his infant stepson’s skull.
In 2012, while stationed at Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico, Devin P. Kelley, 26, was charged with “assault on his spouse and assault on their child,” according to the Air Force.
“He assaulted his stepson severely enough that he fractured his skull, and he also assaulted his wife,” said Don Christensen, a retired colonel who was the chief prosecutor for the Air Force. “He pled to intentionally doing it.”
Gun violence: More complicated than a 'mental health problem'
CHAPLAIN SAYS CHRISTIAN SERVICE MEMBERS WHO TOLERATE OTHER RELIGIONS ARE “COUNTERFEIT CHRISTIANS” AND “SERVE SATAN”
Hernandez said those who tolerate people of other faiths are "grossly in error.” In his article for Barbwire, a right-wing website, the military chaplain described worshipers who put their faith in the U.S. Constitution as “counterfeit Christians.” The U.S. Constitution guarantees the religious freedom right over teachings by the church.
Hernandez wrote that any person who enlists in the U.S. armed forces is needed to swear the compulsory oath to support the Constitution and defend it against all kinds of enemies-both foreign and domestic. He went on to castigate Christian service members who support and profess rights of non-Christian worldviews like Buddhists and Muslims along with their religions have made errors in their lives and are deceived. The right-wing chaplain even said that Christians serving in the U.S. armed forces who have provided their support to accommodate non-Christian rights can be regarded as serving Satan.
World Religion News
Mattis freezes transgender policy; allows troops to continue serving, pending study
Defense Secretary Jim Mattis late Tuesday announced that transgender troops will be allowed to continue serving in the military pending the results of a study by experts.
The announcement follows an order from President Trump — first announced in a tweet — declaring that transgender service members can no longer serve in the military, effectively reversing an Obama administration policy. The order also affects the Department of Homeland Security, which houses the Coast Guard.
"Once the panel reports its recommendations and following my consultation with the secretary of Homeland Security, I will provide my advice to the president concerning implementation of his policy direction," Mattis said in the statement. "In the interim, current policy with respect to currently serving members will remain in place."
Gym owner makes no apologies for 'No Cops' sign
ATLANTA — A shocking and vulgar sign posted in front of a local business in Atlanta made it clear no cops are allowed inside.
11Alive's Faith Abubey talked to the owner of EAV Barbell Club in the East Atlanta Village neighborhood, who is not making any apologies for putting up the sign which has since been taken down.
"It was really just that the vulgarity in that sign, and that seems to bring it out for people," said Jim Chambers, owner of the gym.
While the sign is no longer plastered on the front door, Chambers said he plans to put up a new one without the foul language and still stands by the message it conveyed.
"We've had an explicitly stated 'No Cop' policy since we opened, and we also don't open membership to active members of the military," he said.
Deputy faces new charge in California police sex scandal
Transgender Soldiers Are Suing President Trump Over His Proposal to Ban Them From the Military
Five active-duty transgender military personnel are suing President Donald Trump over his proposal to ban transgender individuals from military service, two weeks after he announced the move on Twitter.
Plaintiffs in the lawsuit filed Wednesday include three Army soldiers, one Air Force airman and a Coast Guard member, have all come out to their commanding officers, Reuters reports. All five are anonymous in the lawsuit due to concerns that they may face retribution.
Donald Trump’s attacks on veterans tend to come back to haunt him
What we’re watching
Today: The danger for Trump in his personal attacks.
More: The city of Chicago is suing the president over his sanctuary cities policy.
Even more: The president’s approval rating has dropped, in one poll, to a third of all Americans.
Yes, more: The Trump administration may be suppressing a key climate change report.
Trump’s agenda today: Participating in a briefing on the opioid crisis with Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price.
Trump’s veteran bashing is doing him no favors
Americans don't trust Donald Trump. They never really have.
Joint Chiefs: 'No modifications' to transgender policy from Trump tweet
There will be “no modifications” to the military’s transgender policy as a result of President Donald Trump’s declared ban on transgender men and women on Twitter, the chairman of the joint chiefs said in a message to top military officers on Thursday — the latest sign of the disarray following the commander in chief's abrupt announcement.
Marine Gen. Joe Dunford also wrote in the message, which was sent to the chiefs of the military branches and senior enlisted leaders, that the military will continue to “treat all of our personnel with respect.”
Trump sold out transgender troops to win funding for a few miles of his border wall
Social media response to Trump’s ban on transgender individuals’ right to serve
Actual War Vet Explains That Gender Identity Doesn’t Matter When You’re Bleeding To Death