Military

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

TEMPLE — The family of a Central Texas veteran who committed suicide is suing the Department of Veterans Affairs, claiming a VA hospital should have involuntarily held him for treatment.

The Austin American-Statesman reports that a March 12 lawsuit alleges Kevin Lee Hartbarger committed suicide in 2012 hours after seeking help at the Olin E. Teague Veterans Medical Center in Temple.

The complaint alleges staffers at the hospital failed to “timely diagnose suicidal behavior and obtain involuntary hold to allow for treatment” through a court order.

FORT HOOD — An Army officer admitted to a military tribunal Wednesday that he betrayed his role at Fort Hood as an advocate for victims of sexual abuse by organizing a prostitution ring at the sprawling Central Texas base.

Sgt. 1st Class Gregory McQueen, under questioning by a military judge, explained how he recruited three cash-strapped female soldiers to join the ring. One was told she could make plenty of money at “swinger parties, stripper parties,” the Austin American-Statesman reported.

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Wichita, Kan. — The highest U.S. military court’s reversal of a Kansas airman’s aggravated assault conviction for exposing multiple sex partners to HIV at swinger parties in Wichita will effectively end such prosecutions in the armed forces, his attorney said.

The Army has decided to award the victims of the 2009 Fort Hood shooting with a Purple Heart, Texas Rep. John Carter said in a statement.

The issue has always been contentious, because the Army has always maintained the incident, in which Maj. Nidal Hasan, an Army psychiatrist, opened fire and killed 13 people, amounted to workplace violence.

SAN ANTONIO  — A jury has found an Air Force sergeant guilty of twice raping a recruit he was training two decades ago at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland.

The San Antonio Express-News reported that the jury on Thursday also found Air Force Master Sgt. Michael Silva guilty in a February 2007 rape of a woman, another member of the military, in Wyoming. During sentencing, he could get up to life in prison without parole.

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