We the People

Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty. Politics and civil commentary with community columnist John Eyster.

Gazette delivers shocking report about sexual assault in military

Comments Comments Print Print
John W. Eyster
Tuesday, September 10, 2013

The first feature I read when opening my Janesville Gazette whether online (Electronic-edition) or hardcopy (Print-edition) is “Between the Lines” the outstanding feature column by ANNA MARIE LUX. I KNOW that every feature she develops is just plain outstanding! Well written! Relevant! Meaningful! Challenging/Inspiring! IF you were to ask me for ONE KEY REASON I subscribe to The Janesville Gazette, it is ANNA MARIE LUX's “Between the Lines”! What are YOUR comments about Anna Marie Lux's journalism?

TODAY's “Between the Lines,” "Veteran speaks out against sexual assault in the military," is Unusually significant, relevant, challenging/inspiring! If this were an academic class, I would make this column a REQUIRED READ with specific notation that it would be on a study/reading quiz.

The reality of this feature about RACHEL BEAUCHENE's experience of sexual assault in our US military. Let Anna Marie Lux introduce the feature, “Rachel Beauchene proudly entered the U.S. Army at 18 to see the world and to honor her World War II veteran grandfather.

“She learned hand-to-hand combat to fight the enemy.

“She also learned how to look out for her battle buddy.

“But no one ever told her what to do when the bad guys are on her side.

“Only months after finishing basic training in November 2004, a fellow soldier sexually assaulted Beauchene.

“'You sign up to defend your battle buddy,' Beauchene said. 'But what do you do when you are being assaulted by your battle buddy?'”

What is YOUR comment?

Anna Marie Lux's column announces the special program at Blackhawk Technical College this coming Thursday, September 12 from Noon to 3:30 pm. Anna Marie Lux provides the basic information in the box, “IF YOU GO”

What: Academy Award-nominated documentary, “The Invisible War,” about sexual assault in the Armed Forces followed by a discussion with Rachel Beauchene of La Crosse. Program sponsored by Wisconsin Coalition Against Sexual Assault.

When: Noon-3:30 p.m. Thursday.

Where: Room 1400A, Blackhawk Technical College, 6004 S. County G, between Beloit and Janesville.

Details: The event is free, but people are asked to register in advance with Stephanie Williams by emailing swilliams60@blackhawk.edu by calling 608-757-7702; or by signing up online at eventbrite.com/event/7969536097.

I urge you to read the whole “Between the Lines” column. I was shocked by the report as to how the military brass treated Beauchene.

Beauchene will talk about her experience after the showing of a powerful documentary, “The Invisible War,” at Blackhawk Technical College on Thursday. The film discusses sexual assault in the armed forces and is being shown as part of a free program by the Wisconsin Coalition Against Sexual Assault.

Beauchene states her goal to be, “I want to open people's eyes to this issue for many reasons. First, rapists don't stop raping when they get out of the military. When they get into the community, people don't have a clue about what they've done. Even if they are punished in the military, they are not on any sex-offender registry.”

Beauchene began talking about her assault after watching “The Invisible War.” She reports, “It made me realize how big a problem sexual assault in the armed forces is. I realized I am not the only one who had this happen and then had it covered up. I cried my eyes out. I was shaking. I didn't realize how high the statistics are and how many have been assaulted.”

I would have this program on my HIGH PRIORITY list if I were going to be home. I have a trip to Viterbo University in LaCrosse to meet and hear the author of one of the textbooks, SOUL OF A CITIZEN, for the seminar I am teaching online this semester, PAUL LOEB. I'll follow-up to post on my WE THE PEOPLE blog about Paul Loeb and his book after my visit to Viterbo University at the end of this week. I hope YOU have opportunity to see the film, “The Invisible War” and hear RACHEL BEAUCHENE's testimony and responses to questions on Thursday. Hope you will share your comments after that special program if you attend, please. I will be much interested.

Here we go…

REMINDER: Tonight at 8 pm (WI TIME) President Obama is addressing the nation on the Syrian Crisis. I KNOW this is an assignment for my “American Government & Politics” class, including me. JWE

John W. Eyster lives in the Edgerton area. He is an adjunct professor assigned with the online/distance education faculty of Viterbo University, LaCrosse. He continues his personal mission supporting democracy/civics education in Wisconsin K-12 schools through Project Citizen, We the People, Discovering Democracy (Milton HS). John is a community blogger and is not a part of The Gazette staff or management.

Comments Comments Print Print