ARMY NURSE IN IRAQ HAS MENTAL BREAKDOWN
SNAPS UNDER PRESSURE - THREATENS ANOTHER
OFFICER WITH HANDGUN - SHOOTS HERSELF IN
ABDOMEN - LT ELIZABETH WHITESIDE DIAGNOSED
"SEVERE MENTAL CASE" BY SHRINK, BUT CRUEL
WALTER REED BRASS TRY TO COURT-MARTIAL
SICK WOMAN - WASHINGTON POST RENDERED
"SALUTE" FROM MILITARYCORRUPTION.COM FOR
EXPOSÉ OF ATTEMPTED RAILROAD JOB - ARMY
DOES "ABOUT-FACE" - REVERSES COLD-HEARTED
PLAN TO "PUNISH" OFFICER - POWER OF THE
PRESS PREVAILS - NURSE NO LONGER HAS TO
FEAR PRISON AND LOSS OF MEDICAL BENEFITS
A cruel attempt by cold-hearted officers at Walter Reed to court-martial an Army nurse who had a mental breakdown last year in Iraq and shot herself in the abdomen after a psychotic episode has been scuttled.
Thanks to publicity generated by an excellent article in the Washington POST, 25 year-old LT Elizabeth Whiteside, currently a psychiatric outpatient at the trouble-plagued medical center, doesn't have to worry anymore about being sent to prison and losing her medical and veteran's benefits.
MilitaryCorruption.com wishes to "salute" the superb job done by POST staff writers Dana Priest and Anne Hall. Without their compassionate and hard-hitting reporting, the Army could well have railroaded Whiteside into utter destruction.
Now they won't get the chance. Not that the bastards didn't try.
THIS CASE HAS BOTH "GOOD" AND "BAD" OFFICERS -
NOTE THEIR NAMES BELOW
Remember the names of these cretins in particular: COL Terrence J. McKenrick, commander of the Warrior Transition Brigade and "hit man" Army prosecutor MAJ Stefan Wolfe, who, if they'd had their way, would've sent Whiteside to prison or dumped her out of the Army with an "other than honorable" discharge
On the flip side, it is refreshing to know that decent men like investigating officer MAJ Mervin H. Steals, who conducted the preliminary hearing, still exist. He wrote: "The moral thing to do is dismiss these charges, to allow 1LT Whiteside to end her military service and receive the benefits she will desperately need for the remainder of her life."
Another brave officer is COL George Brandt, a senior psychiatrist at Walter Reed, who literally spat in Wolfe's "evil eye" when he angrily shouted at the preliminary hearing: "I'm not here to play games. I'm here out of genuine concern for a human being that's breaking and that is broken. She (LT Whiteside) has a severe and significant illness. Let's treat her like a human being, for Christ's sake!"
Wolfe, perhaps anticipating a promotion down the line if he succeeded in beating up on the obviously ill woman, put together a lengthy laundry list of charges that he hoped would put Whiteside under the floor. The accusations included assault of a superior commanding officer, aggravated assault, kidnapping, reckless endangerment, wrongful discharge of a firearm, communication of a threat and two attempts of intentional self-injury.
Maybe the prosecutor should have added "attempted destruction of government property" to the tab.
CAUSE AND EFFECT - HOW LT WHITESIDE "FLIPPED OUT" IN IRAQ
What led up to the tragic events that nearly cost nurse Whiteside her life and destroyed her military career? Well, here goes:
The highly-respected officer, who volunteered for Iraq and had an outstanding job performance record prior to her mental breakdown, "snapped" after months of petty harassment by a male superior officer who was determined to make Whiteside's daily existence a living hell.
We might note here, Army investigators found that this officer had created a "hostile work environment," constantly undercutting and harassing Whiteside, goading her to her final act of suicidal self-destruction. That officer - MCC has not been able to get ahold of his personnel file because of the Privacy Act - was, we are informed, given a letter of reprimand for "gender bias in assignment and use of intimidation, manipulation and hostility towards soldiers."
LT Whiteside has suffered enough. Her pent-up resentment towards her tormentor finally pushed her over the edge. The climax came a year ago this week at the 329th Medical Company (Ground Ambulance) at Camp Cropper detainee prison near the Baghdad International Airport.
A medic noticed LT Whiteside was "freaking out" and alerted head nurse, MAJ Ana Luisa Ramirez. When the major tried to talk to Whiteside, she found the young women mumbling incoherently to herself and acting like she was going into total mental breakdown.
Suddenly Whiteside pulled her sidearm and pointed it at her fellow nurse.
"She told me to move away, then closed the door," Ramirez wrote in her official statement. The older nurse entered the room and tried to wrestle the weapon away from Whiteside, but the agitated lieutenant fired twice into the ceiling and then retreated again behind the door.
When military police tried to rush and disarm her, Whiteside fired a shot into her abdomen. The bullet ripped through her liver, spleen and several other organs. Unconscious, Whiteside was air-evacuated to Walter Reed where doctors were able to save her life.
But within weeks, the CID sent over an agent to the lieutenant's hospital room and the effort to obliterate Whiteside had begun.
BAD PUBLICITY MAKES THE ARMY BRASS DECIDE IT BETTER TO "BACK OFF"
Now, in light of the bad publicity the Washington POST gave the Army, it would seem the top brass will decide maybe it's better to "back off" and let Whiteside leave the Army with her medical benefits intact with no "bad paper" discharge to destroy her chances of ever working in a decent job again.
Maj. Gen. Richard J. Rowe Jr., commander of the U.S. Army Military District of Washington, has final jurisdiction in the case. It will be his decision, not yet made, to either accept, modify or reject MAJ Steal's recommendation to show mercy to the emotionally-shattered nurse.
We can only hope the general will do the right thing. But we wonder if it weren't for the "bad press" the Army got when it was first exposed what they tried to do, would Whiteside have been drummed out of the Army and left in a ditch to die?
Her former co-workers at the 329th in Iraq let it be known what they thought of their former supervisor. In a package addressed to "Trauma Mama" (Whiteside's nickname in Iraq) and sent to Walter Reed, was a silver charm inscribed with the crew members' names and this message:
"Know that you are always loved by us. Never to be forgotten and dearly missed. Your trauma team."
[EDITORS'S NOTE: Some readers of MilitaryCorruption.com may feel we should have hammered Whiteside on the grounds she did violate regulations. Those same people just plain hate women in the military and are as bad as the people who "look the other way" when a talentless and deceitful female officer uses her "wiles" to get ahead instead of performing honorable service.
We will not hesitate to come down on those types, especially the false "sexual harassment" accusers, with both combat boots. Right on their necks! But the vast majority of women in uniform are a credit to the military.
Our editor-in-chief fondly and gratefully remembers the dedicated and selfless Army nurses that took care of him in a field Army hospital in Vietnam during the Tet Offensive. They were angels in uniform. But any one of them could have snapped under pressure and gone over the edge.
There but for the grace of God go we.
Those who would seek to arbitrarily punish and destroy LT Whiteside for her mental breakdown and bad decisions should get a life! They are beneath contempt.]