Military

Army Cassion Platoon
7:55 am
Tue February 5, 2013

Army North Caisson Featured In Western Heritage Parade

U.S. Army North's Caisson team Sept. 10, 2012, for the interment of retired Lt. Gen. Johnny Johnston at the Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery.
Staff Sgt. Keith Anderson, Army North PAO US Army

It’s a tradition for the solemn U.S. Army Caisson Platoon to march in local events, even ones as festive as the parade that signals the beginning of rodeo season in San Antonio.

Lt. Col. Wayne Shanks at Fort Sam Houston said the platoon’s appearance helps keep the Army connected to the community.

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Military Benefits
6:46 am
Fri February 1, 2013

New Bill Extends Benefits For Spouses Of Military Members Killed In Action

The state capitol has been busy in the new legislative session.
Flickr user TN Drum Guy cc

State Senator Leticia Van de Putte has introduced a bill to extend homeowner tax exemptions to spouses of military members killed in action.

If it is approved and becomes a law, it would be considered a constitutional amendment for voters to decide.

In 2009, legislation was passed allowing veterans who are fully disabled to get a property tax exemption. In 2011, legislation was passed allowing that exemption to be passed on to surviving spouses if that veteran passed away.

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Lackland Courts-Martial
5:45 pm
Thu January 31, 2013

Acquitted Air Force Instructor Gets Bad Conduct Discharge

The headquarters to the 37th Training Wing at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland where the base's legal offices and courtroom are housed.
Ryan Loyd Texas Public Radio

On Wednesday, Staff Sgt. Donald Davis was found not guilty of abusive sexual contact with a trainee, but after submitting its acquittal, the military jury learned that Davis pled guilty to having an unprofessional sexual relationship with a technical trainee prior to the start of the court-martial.

On Thursday the jury deliberated for about two hours before returning with a three-pronged sentence: A reduction in rank to E-3, three months’ hard labor and a bad conduct discharge. He could have received a prison sentence instead of the discharge.

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Lackland Courts-Martial
9:42 am
Thu January 31, 2013

Lackland Instructor Acquitted On Reasonable Doubt

The sex scandal has rocked Lackland, and now lists 32 suspects and 59 alleged victims.
Eileen Pace TPR News

Staff Sgt. Donald Davis was charged with abusive sexual contact by touching a trainee and placing her in fear of her military career through the abuse of his authority. However, the defense argued the jury could not convict if there was reasonable doubt that the events occurred.

The military jury vote in the seventh court-martial indicated that the government had not met its burden of proof in the case.

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Lackland Investigation
7:24 am
Wed January 30, 2013

Court-Martial Testimony: Culture Of Power Kept Trainee Silent

The headquarters to the 37th Training Wing at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland where the base's legal offices and courtroom are housed.
Ryan Loyd Texas Public Radio

A witness in the latest court-martial of a Lackland Air Force Base training instructor told a jury Tuesday that she was afraid to tell the instructor to stop touching her because he was her superior.

The command-directed investigation last fall found that command failures and gaps in institutional safeguards allowed a culture of abuse and secrecy to grow at Lackland.

Staff Sgt. Donald Davis is the seventh MTI to go to trial in the growing sex scandal at the nation’s Air Force boot camp training facility.

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Women In Combat
4:27 pm
Tue January 29, 2013

DOD Decision 'One More Opportunity' For Women In Uniform

Air Force recruiters are not sure how the DOD decision will affect military recruiting efforts.
Eileen Pace TPR

The Air Force is now working on implementing the policy change by the Department of Defense allowing women into combat roles. Coincidentally, 2013 marks the 20th anniversary of women being able to become combat pilots for the Air Force.

Christa D'Andrea is the chief of public affairs for the Air Force Recruiting Service at Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph and served on active-duty for 11 years. She said the integration of women in these roles is the next logical step in the military.

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7:07 am
Mon January 28, 2013

Van de Putte Leads Charge On Veteran Issues In 83rd Legislative Session

Lead in text: 
While most of the focus on the legislature thus far has been on issues like education funding, gun control and women's rights, Texas is also faced with the growing needs of veterans who return home; the two most vital being employment and medical care.
State legislators intend to lay out their bills for the 83rd legislative session over the coming months. Veteran's organizations will be waiting to see if they are part of lawmaker's plans. Most notably they'll look for legislation that works on reducing the disability claims backlogs that are continuing to rise in Texas.
Lackland Investigation
12:03 pm
Thu January 24, 2013

Congressional Panel Hears Differing Opinions In Air Force Sex Scandal

Gen. Edward Rice testifies in front of the House Armed Services Committee
C-SPAN

Air Force Top brass told a Congressional committee Wednesday that they had failed in their responsibility to maintain order and discipline among Lackland basic training instructors.

Veterans who were sexual assault victims told the committee that the culture of power abuse is the same today as it was decades ago when they served in the Air Force.

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Lackland Investigation
9:16 am
Wed January 16, 2013

Investigation Reveals Possible Male Victims, Female Suspect At Lackland

The latest batch of basic training recruits wait for transport to Lackland after arriving at San Antonio International Airport on Jan. 15, 2013.
Eileen Pace TPR

The Air Force is releasing details of the first male victims in its widening investigation of the sex scandal at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland.

Air Force officials said late Tuesday that a female instructor is now under investigation for having an alleged unprofessional relationship with a male technical trainee.

In addition, another male instructor has been identified as part of the Air Force probe, suspected of abusive sexual contact of two male trainees.

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Lackland Article 32 Hearing
12:22 pm
Mon January 14, 2013

Recruiter Faces Likely Court-Martial After Article 32 Hearing

Tech. Sgt. Jaime Rodriguez
U.S. Air Force

Eighteen women have testified or given written statements that an Air Force recruiter committed sex crimes against them in an Article 32 evidentiary hearing at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland.

Some of the women said the events caused them to give up on their dreams of joining the Air Force.

A recruiter’s assistant testified in the final day of the hearing that she tried to push him away, but that Tech. Sgt. Jaime Rodriguez sodomized and raped her in a back room of the recruiting office he ran near Houston.

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