“WHAT HAVE THEY DONE TO MY SON?”
CRIES WIFE OF AIR FORCE MASTER SGT
(RET) AFTER TRAVIS COPS CUFF AND
DETAIN HUSBAND IN FRONT OF SEVEN
YEAR-OLD BOY – “MY FREE SPEECH
VIOLATED,” SAYS RICH GIDDENS – “COL.
ANDERSON RETALIATING ON ME” FOR
“What have they done to my son?” cried Mrs. Rich Giddens, as she told MilitaryCorruption.com how “traumatized” seven year-old Ronald was after seeing cops detain, handcuff and take away the little boy’s “daddy,” a retired Air Force master sergeant.
The incident, first reported on this web site last Tuesday [see story below], took place Monday, March 29, when military police at the main gate of Travis AFB arbitrarily pulled Gidden’s vehicle over and took him into custody.
The retired NCO, whose SUV has a MilitaryCorruption.com sticker affixed to the top of the rear window, politely asked “on whose orders and under what charge” was he being arrested. He later was told the outgoing base commander, Gen. Bradley Baker, had approved the harassment.
The sergeant also suspects the base’s staff judge advocate, Col. Andrea Anderson, was also behind his humiliation. More about Anderson, later in our story.
FREEDOM OF SPEECH NOT ASSURED AT TRAVIS AFB
Giddens said he received a WARNING LETTER from the base leadership threatening him with “loss of base privileges” and worse if he ever created a “disturbance” again. The alleged “disturbance” was a few days earlier when Giddens, now a civilian protected by the U.S. Constitution and First Amendment (Free Speech), rolled down the window of his truck on base and shouted to assembled newsmen standing nearby, they should read the ever-popular MilitaryCorruption.com web site if they wanted to know “all the truth about what’s going on at Travis AFB.”
The 23-year Air Force veteran told us he “used no curse words” and said “nothing” that could be misconstrued as “anti-government” or liable to create anarchy on the California military installation.
“But Baker and Col. Anderson don’t like me telling it like it is. That embarrasses them, so they sought to intimidate and muzzle me,” Giddens said. “They fear MilitaryCorruption.com because of its vast readership within the Air Force in CONUS and overseas, as well as at the Pentagon. Anderson’s retaliating on me. Because I openly support that web site with a sticker on the back of my truck. She thought she’d teach me a lesson. Well, I know my Constitutional rights, and I will not be bullied by her, the general, or anyone else!”
M/Sgt. Giddens doesn’t hold a grudge against the cops who cuffed him. “They were just following orders,” he said, “and later, they personally apologized to me when they returned me to my vehicle. It’s certain people here that need to be fired or reprimanded.”
Ironically, the SUV was parked near the main gate for the two hours Giddens was detained, with the rear window facing all incoming traffic. “MilitaryCorruption.com got even more publicity after that! Loads of people saw it, many more than would have if they’d just let me drive my son to school and then leave. What a mistake!” Giddens laughed.
But the retired sergeant and his wife are angry when they talk about the trauma little Ronald was put through. [See our allied site, www.gringoman.us, for their take on this deplorable incident.]
FIRST PERSON ACCOUNT OF THE INCIDENT
“After I was released, I drove immediately to Ronald’s school at Travis to check on him. I explained to school authorities that Gen. Baker had ordered me detained because of my speaking to reporters on base.
“Ronald walked into the office and without speaking, walked right past me! I had to physically stop him and see if he was OK. He wouldn’t speak and went straight to his room. He got in bed and just laid there, and despite our attempts to console him, he remained sullen and morose.
“At dinner Ronald just picked at his food. My wife became upset and asked me what they’d done to him for him to act this way.
“Later, as I tucked him into bed for the night, Ronald started to cry. But he still wouldn’t tell me what was wrong.
“I found out what it was the following day when I took him back to school. As we approached the main gate of Travis, my son started to whimper and become agitated.
“I had to almost pull my vehicle off the road to reassure him that the airmen and soldiers weren’t ‘going to take daddy away again.’ When nothing happened to me that time, Ronald calmed down.
“He’s better now, but it’s not right he had to go through the fear and trauma of the day before. Why didn’t the police just wait for me to deliver my son to school and then take me into custody when I was by myself? Doesn’t that make sense? Why did Ronald have to see what they did to me?”
A PLEA FOR JUSTICE AND FAIR PLAY
“My son attends school on base. I’m a disabled veteran, and as a retired NCO, I’m authorized and need use of all facilities, including the hospital. Why should I be threatened with loss of base privileges just because I spoke the truth? What’s the brass at Travis afraid of?”
“I feel (SJA) Anderson has it out for me,” Giddens told MilitaryCorruption.com. “I think she should be made to answer for her actions. Those who are sworn to uphold the law should always obey it.”
We at MilitaryCorruption.com are “big boys,” combat veterans mostly, and whatever “cheap shots” the military brass take at us, we can handle. But for the Air Force to hurt a little boy, an innocent seven year-old child, who likely will remember for the rest of his life the fearful sight of his father being hauled off in handcuffs – THAT is outrageous!
When is Air Force Secretary James “Bullfrog” Roche and the so-called “leadership” at Travis Air Force Base going to publicly “apologize” to this retired NCO, his wife and their small son? They better hurry up and do it soon, if they know what’s good for them!
Never underestimate the power of the press and media in this country once people become aware of such a reprehensible act!
Freedom of speech still exists in America, despite what some people may think. And as long as the Constitution of the United States is in effect, people like M/Sgt. Giddens, who honorably and faithfully served this country for nearly a quarter century, should be able to exercise responsible opinion, as he did that day in March at Travis AFB.
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