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New novel by Army veteran shares story of childhood sexual trauma survivor

Chandra Moyer was raised in a military family. The daughter of a career Air Force father, she moved with her family to various stations throughout her childhood from the 1950s to the 1970s. After college Army ROTC, she became a commissioned Army second lieutenant in 1978. Moyer met her husband, a fellow Army officer, while…

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New novel by Army veteran shares story of childhood sexual trauma survivor

Chandra Moyer was raised in a military family. The daughter of a career Air Force father, she moved with her family to various stations throughout her childhood from the 1950s to the 1970s. After college Army ROTC, she became a commissioned Army second lieutenant in 1978. Moyer met her husband, a fellow Army officer, while serving. But challenges in getting stationed with or near her husband led her to leave her uniformed career behind to raise a family, still part of the military community. The couple had two children but decided they wanted to grow their family and began by fostering two young children they intended to adopt. A few months into that process, in 1990, Moyer noticed what she later learned might be signs of abuse in one of the children. The young parents sought therapy for the child but met stiff resistance from foster care officials. Eventually both children were taken back into the foster care system. That experience opened up painful, long-buried memories of her own childhood and led her on a path that resulted in years of nonprofit work, graduate school research and, most recently, publishing a very personal novel that tells both her story and those of the children she lost. She told her husband and others she thought something horrible had happened to her as a child but she simply couldn’t remember. What emerged over the ensuing years, through terrifying flashbacks and pieces of conversations with relatives, revealed that she had been sexually abused for years by a family member. Decades later, after journaling about her pain and ongoing recovery, she turned to fiction, writing the recently published novel, “I Met Her Before.” Sign up for the Army Times Daily News Roundup Don’t miss the top Army stories, delivered each afternoon (please select a country)United StatesUnited KingdomAfghanistanAlbaniaAlgeriaAmerican SamoaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBoliviaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of TheCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’ivoireCroatiaCubaCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuamGuatemalaGuineaGuinea-bissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMarshall IslandsMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMicronesia, Federated States ofMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNetherlands AntillesNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorthern Mariana IslandsNorwayOmanPakistanPalauPalestinian Territory, OccupiedPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalPuerto RicoQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRwandaSaint HelenaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and The GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbia and MontenegroSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and The South Sandwich IslandsSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwan, Province of ChinaTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-lesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUnited States Minor Outlying IslandsUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuelaViet NamVirgin Islands, BritishVirgin Islands, U.S.Wallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabwe Subscribe × By giving us your email, you are opting in to the Army Times Daily News Roundup. The book is a fictionalized account that mirrors some of Moyer’s experiences both as a survivor of childhood sexual trauma and a foster parent who suspected the same abuse had happened to her young foster child. The Q&A section below has been edited for space and clarity. Q: What brought back the memories of your childhood abuse? A: The details of that are in my memoir “Tragically Taken.” When the two kids we were adopting were abruptly taken from our home the trauma of that experience awakened memories of sexual abuse. Having no control over the situation and feeling powerless triggered the memories. Army veteran Chandra Moyer’s new novel, “I Met Her Before,” tells the story of a woman whose encounter with a child in foster care triggers painful memories of her own abuse. (Courtesy of Chandra Moyer) Q: What was the reaction of your husband, your family, when you sought to learn what had happened to you? A: My husband was supportive because he saw first-hand the effects of the depression and flashbacks. In fact, he urged me to go into therapy because he was at his wits end as to what to do. I was trying to do it on my own and it wasn’t working. My children were too young to understand what was happening to me. All they knew was that Mom was hurting. My parents and siblings didn’t want me to open up and tell the family secret. Q: How did journaling and therapy lead to writing the first book, “Tragically Taken?” A: I had documented my conversations with the social worker that made it easier to outline the chapters when it came time to write my memoir Tragically Taken. I wrote throughout my recovery. Journaling and therapy were a lifeline for me. Journaling helped me express what I felt when I was too ashamed to speak about it. In essence, I used journaling as a roadmap to healing. So, when it was time to write my novel, I pulled out all my old journals. Not only did writing help me heal, but it helped craft my second book, I Met Her Before. Q: What led you to do work to prevent human trafficking and what you did in that area? A: In 2008 I received an invitation to work with a non-government (NGO) agency rescuing trafficked youth in Uganda. My role as a spiritual advisor was to provide emotional and spiritual support to ex-child soldiers who had been severely traumatized. It would prove to be a life changing experience. At that time, I had also become an empty nester with all of my children leaving home. Those two things would be the catalyst to shift me into graduate school. I enrolled in Culture & Values in the Social Policy graduate program. What I thought was an international problem I would learn that it was a major problem here in America. Q: How did the first book and your work with Release Me International contribute to writing your most recent novel, “I Met Her Before?” A: In my memoir, I share how the social worker took the children from our home. The trauma of that experience triggered the repressed memories. My first flashback happened soon after. Before the social worker removed the kids, I took the little girl to the therapist because she showed signs of sexual abuse. The therapist said to me, “I think that it’s admirable that you’re fighting for her. You’re fighting the entire state of Hawaii. Could it be that you have met her before?” I thought that was the oddest thing for the therapist to say to me. But she was right. I had met her before. I wouldn’t find that out until a few years later when I had my meltdown and faced my memories of childhood trauma. The little girl was me, and nobody fought for me. Release Me International was the result of my studies of graduate work in public policy. The research made me aware that human trafficking was a major domestic issue that nobody was talking about. I had a passion for educating people about this prevalent issue. I focused on educating law enforcement, educators, and medical professionals on identifying victims and how to help them. As I was training on child trafficking prevention, experts were developing new terminology for this horrific crime. I was sitting at a conference listening to a speaker define child exploitation when it hit me between the eyes. I was a victim of sex trafficking. No wonder I had a passion for this issue. I saw the power of education as I trained people on child sex trafficking prevention. And what better way to educate people on repressed trauma and how to heal than through writing a novel. Q: Why did you choose to write a novel rather than a memoir? A: I started writing my story as a memoir. Then I got stuck. Since some of the events happened a long time ago, I struggled with getting dates and places right. Something didn’t feel right as I grappled with whether or not to share the darker moments. It was suggested to me to write my story as a novel. That idea resonated with me. My hands were no longer tied and fiction gave me creative freedom to share my story. Q: What would you want our readership, mostly military or military families to take away from this book or your experience? A: I want readers to know that this is a real problem that many military families experience. It’s so important for survivors to have community and support as they go through this healing process. My advice is don’t go it alone. Seek professional help. I wrote the book because I didn’t have a go-to resource as I went through my recovery. I hope my book will serve as a resource for anyone who has experienced childhood sexual abuse and those who know them. I believe that educators, counselors, and family members could benefit from my book. It’s a story of the freedom and healing power of God’s love. I want survivors to know that they are not alone. And there is a new and better life on the other side. Survivors can thrive after abuse.

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Defense top line ‘will probably go up’: Key Dems see GOP boost as path to a deal

WASHINGTON ― Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Jack Reed says the defense top line “will probably go up” to win Republican support on the path to a budget deal for fiscal 2022 ― and some other key Democrats on defense matters are grudgingly saying the same. The comments came days after Reed’s panel unveiled plans…

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Defense top line ‘will probably go up’: Key Dems see GOP boost as path to a deal

WASHINGTON ― Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Jack Reed says the defense top line “will probably go up” to win Republican support on the path to a budget deal for fiscal 2022 ― and some other key Democrats on defense matters are grudgingly saying the same. The comments came days after Reed’s panel unveiled plans for a $740 billion defense authorization bill, which includes billions of dollars more in equipment purchases than President Joe Biden’s $716 billion Pentagon request, surprising outside observers. Reed, who is a senior appropriator, predicted that an added $25 billion eventually “will be part of the [Senate] approps bill.” “People are looking ahead at the final budget resolution, and the Republicans have made it clear that they’re not satisfied with the defense number and they would require more,” said Reed, D-R.I.. “What we’re presenting is what the Pentagon sent over and what they feel is necessary to do their mission.” On July 14, an FY22 defense appropriations bill that tracks with Biden’s budget advanced out of the House Appropriations Committee, but with weak support. Republicans on the panel, unified in opposition because of the top line, didn’t commit any votes to it ― and Democratic leaders have since held it back from the floor amid dissent from progressives. On July 22, the evenly divided SASC held a strong bipartisan vote, 23-3, to advance its $740 billion version of the annual National Defense Authorization Act. The panel had voted 25-1 to adopt the $25 billion increase as an amendment from the panel’s top Republican, Sen. Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma. Republican lawmakers in the House and Senate have lobbied against Biden’s figure for weeks, saying it would be insufficient to counter threats like a growing Chinese military and terrorist groups worldwide. In the narrowly divided House and the 50-50 Senate, Democrats will likely need Republicans to pass defense measures. Asked last week, House Armed Services Committee Chairman Adam Smith, D-Wash., acknowledged it’s likely that his panel’s version of the National Defense Authorization Act will end up exceeding Biden’s top line. A progressive but also a pragmatist, Smith told Defense News he doesn’t agree with the increase but is open to the idea as a means of advancing the bill. “The people who want to spend more than the Biden number have built a lot of support, and yes, I think that [$25 billion increase] is a potential bipartisan pathway,” Smith said. “I don’t support it, I don’t think that’s where we should go, but at the end of the day, I have one vote.” Sign up for our Early Bird Brief Get the defense industry’s most comprehensive news and information straight to your inbox Subscribe Enter a valid email address (please select a country)United StatesUnited KingdomAfghanistanAlbaniaAlgeriaAmerican SamoaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBoliviaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of TheCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’ivoireCroatiaCubaCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuamGuatemalaGuineaGuinea-bissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMarshall IslandsMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMicronesia, Federated States ofMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNetherlands AntillesNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorthern Mariana IslandsNorwayOmanPakistanPalauPalestinian Territory, OccupiedPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalPuerto RicoQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRwandaSaint HelenaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and The GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbia and MontenegroSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and The South Sandwich IslandsSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwan, Province of ChinaTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-lesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUnited States Minor Outlying IslandsUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuelaViet NamVirgin Islands, BritishVirgin Islands, U.S.Wallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabwe Thanks for signing up! × By giving us your email, you are opting in to the Early Bird Brief. “The reality is, as we’ve seen with the defense appropriations bill, we do not have the votes to pass it with just Democrats, and that’s the worst kept secret in the building,” he added. “And it is very important to pass a defense bill; it has a lot of important policies that we’re trying to get done.” Along similar lines, the Senate Democrat in charge of funding the Pentagon, Sen. Jon Tester, said the way to avoid a budgetary impasse with Republicans ― and a stopgap continuing resolution at the Oct. 1 fiscal deadline ― is to agree to a plus-up. Like Reed, he foresees the Senate Appropriations Committee eventually mirroring SASC. “Hopefully what that’s going to do is allow us to get a defense bill through the process ― and by the way, there’s plenty of reasons, plenty of threats ― but get it through the process so we don’t end up with a CR,” said Tester, a centrist from Montana. Tester would like to begin work on the defense spending bill soon and have it over the finish line by mid-September, but the process is stuck. Senate Appropriations Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., has for months been calling for bipartisan, bicameral talks with the White House to establish top lines before his panel starts its work. Last week, Senate Appropriations Committee Vice Chairman Richard Shelby, R-Ala., called the SASC NDAA “a positive step,” but he stopped short of abandoning his months-old demand that any increases to nondefense discretionary spending be matched on the defense side. Compared with this fiscal year, Biden’s proposal would hike the nondefense budget up 16 percent and nudge the defense budget up 1.6 percent. “I thought that was a good sign for some of us who believe national security is very, very important,” Shelby said of the SASC NDAA. “Sometimes, and we all know it’s not what you want, it’s what you can get ― and that is a positive step. Would we like more? We would, but so does every agency.” Meanwhile, some key Democrats want to stick to Biden’s top line. Tester’s counterpart in the House, who shepherded a bill that matched Biden’s number, told Congressional Quarterly last week that she was not a fan of the heftier, SASC-approved defense budget. “The Senate can do what it chooses to do. So far I haven’t seen much action or anything ever come out of the Senate,” said Rep. Betty McCollum, D-Minn. “I support the number that I marked up to.” But even at the lower figure, the support of the House’s progressive bloc cannot be won. Progressives remain concerned over nuclear spending, the Pentagon’s lack of a complete audit and most of all the ever-increasing top line, according to Congressional Progressive Caucus Chair Pramila Jayapal. “Chairwoman McCollum has done an amazing job. She has crafted a much better bill than ever before, but as you know, the critical issue for progressives has been the top-line number,” Jayapal, D-Calif., told Defense News. “It does not help that the Senate Democrats added $25 billion to the [administration’s] number. Because we feel like it’s, no matter what the number is, it has to go up.” Progressive Democrats may get the most headlines, but there’s another influential group who tends to agree with Republicans on the top line: The so-called national security Democrats, made up of former military or intelligence officers, most of whom have flipped red districts blue and should be facing tough re-election fights in 2022. One of them, House Armed Services Committee Vice Chair Elaine Luria has been outspoken that Biden’s proposed defense budget “does not meet the level” the military needs to keep pace with China. Luria, whose Virginia district includes the world’s largest naval base, is a 20-year naval veteran and nuclear-trained surface warfare officer. “We should match what the Senate has done, and I would clearly like to see 3-5 percent real growth,” she said of the top line during the HASC Readiness Subcommittee markup last Thursday. I will continue working to ensure our Armed Forces have the resources they need to outpace our near-peer adversaries in the Pacific. The House Defense Budget should match the $25 billion increase that the Senate approved on a bipartisan basis. pic.twitter.com/1wrP5KEdFB— Rep. Elaine Luria (@RepElaineLuria) July 29, 2021 On the Senate side, Sen. Tammy Duckworth, who’s running again in 2022 after reclaiming an Illinois Senate seat for Democrats in 2016, had a similar message. A combat-wounded Army helicopter pilot, Duckworth chairs the Senate Airland Subcommittee. “I think it’ll make it through,” Duckworth said of the $25 billion boost, noting that Congress routinely added to the defense top line while Donald Trump was president. “Why are people surprised when this is what we have always done?” she said. “And frankly, with the tempo that our military has been going through, they need this extra money so that they can maintain their readiness.” Amid the Democratic fractures, House Republicans are “totally united” against Biden’s defense top line, according to Rep. Ken Calvert, the top Republican on the House Appropriations Committee’s defense subpanel. To him, it’s inevitable that a final budget deal matches SASC’s hike to $740 billion. “At the end of the process, that number will be the number for defense appropriations,” Calvert told reporters at the Capitol last week. Smith, who long predicted an internal fight over the top line, argued a better course for Democrats than rejecting national security measures wholesale, as some progressives do. He said Democrats should take part in drafting them to make sure they hew to Democratic values. “I can say: ‘Look, you’re right, there’s some things we got to improve.’ But if it’s just a bright line in the sand, you’re just not voting, ‘we just don’t want to have any responsibility for that?’ That’s not a good message coming from the Democratic Party,” Smith said. If a top-line boost is unavoidable, it looks like the next fight will be about how to spend it. Smith was skeptical of SASC’s plus-up for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, among other longstanding programs ― and that’s on brand for him. With an eye on Russia and China, Smith has for months been calling for forward-leaning investments in information warfare, survivable platforms, command-and-control systems, cyberwarfare, and satellite technologies. “I’m not going to choose just killing the defense bill over being forced into a negotiation about how much money to spend, right? Let me say, where we spend that money matters,” Smith said. “I wasn’t overwhelmingly impressed by what I’ve read about where the Senate chose to spend the money. Just buying more platforms because you’ve got the money? How does that fit into the National Security Strategy?” Leo Shane III in Washington, D.C., contributed to this report.

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Gillibrand: UCMJ changes needed to ensure fairness for all troops

“Unbiased prosecutors will now decide” – Senator talks justice changes | Military Times Reports “A commander who knows both the accuser and the victim can not remove bias from decision-making,” Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand said on the floor of the Senate recently. Gillibrand, who has been a champion of changes to how major crimes are handled…

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Gillibrand: UCMJ changes needed to ensure fairness for all troops

“Unbiased prosecutors will now decide” – Senator talks justice changes | Military Times Reports “A commander who knows both the accuser and the victim can not remove bias from decision-making,” Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand said on the floor of the Senate recently. Gillibrand, who has been a champion of changes to how major crimes are handled in the military justice system, including sexual assault, spoke to military times about the alterations as they make their way through congress this summer. For the last eight years, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand has been arguing the military justice system is in need of massive overhaul to better address sexual assault and harassment cases. Next year, those changes may finally be put in place. Last month, during debate over the annual defense authorization bill, Senate Armed Services Committee members adopted Gillibrand’s proposal to remove serious crimes from the traditional military chain of command. House Armed Services Committee members are expected to follow suit when they mark up their draft of the bill next month. It’s potentially a massive change in how many military crimes are handled, one that goes against Pentagon recommendations that only sexual misconduct crimes be handled by independent military prosecutors. But Gillibrand, D-N.Y., argues it is long overdue and precisely what is needed to restore faith in military justice officials and other leaders. Military Times sat down with her last week to talk about the potential impact of the changes and the work still ahead. (Portions of this interview were edited for length and clarity) MT: If I’m an average soldier or sailor, why should I care about these military justice changes? Sign up for the Early Bird Brief Get the military’s most comprehensive news and information every morning (please select a country)United StatesUnited KingdomAfghanistanAlbaniaAlgeriaAmerican SamoaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBoliviaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of TheCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’ivoireCroatiaCubaCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuamGuatemalaGuineaGuinea-bissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMarshall IslandsMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMicronesia, Federated States ofMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNetherlands AntillesNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorthern Mariana IslandsNorwayOmanPakistanPalauPalestinian Territory, OccupiedPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalPuerto RicoQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRwandaSaint HelenaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and The GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbia and MontenegroSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and The South Sandwich IslandsSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwan, Province of ChinaTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-lesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUnited States Minor Outlying IslandsUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuelaViet NamVirgin Islands, BritishVirgin Islands, U.S.Wallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabwe Subscribe × By giving us your email, you are opting in to the Early Bird Brief. Gillibrand: These are reforms that honor the service of our men and women. The men and women of our military sacrifice so much, they deserve a military justice system that’s worthy of that sacrifice: one that’s fair, one that’s highly professionalized, and one that takes serious crime seriously. And I think this is a bill that helps the whole process. Whether you’re a plaintiff or a defendant, any serious crime is now going to be taken seriously with no bias. So instead of having the system where the commander decides which cases go to trial, trained military unbiased prosecutors outside the chain of command will now decide which serious crime should go to trial. That independence, that professionalized review, will strengthen our military justice system and make it a fair and better process for everyone. MT: You’ve talked a lot about just just how sweeping these changes are. But you’ve also said in the past that you don’t see this as a real upheaval to the justice system, you think this can be done in a relatively short time frame. Gillibrand: So today, we reserve the ability to make a decision on general courts martial to very senior commanders level, O-6 and above. There’s about 200 that currently make those decisions for all the military. So what our bill does is when the military police complete an investigation of a serious crime, instead of that case file going to the commander’s [judge advocate general], it’s going to go to a senior JAG outside of the chain of command to make a decision about whether or not there’s enough evidence to proceed to trial. If that trained, independent military prosecutor decides there’s not enough evidence, then the case file goes right back to the commander and the commander’s personal JAG who would normally handle the case. So it’s a very small change. We have more than enough senior lawyers, about the same number as we have of O-6 commanders and above who have the convening authority. So we have the same number of staff that are needed, the same seniority, they just are independent of the chain of command of the victim and the accused. MT: Do you worry at all that DoD may try and drag its feet on this change? Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has said that he’d like to see just the sexual misconduct crimes taken out, not all serious crimes. Gillibrand: Well, if they read the bill for what it is, and actually understand the change, it’s very simple. Which lawyer’s desk does the case file go to first? That’s all it is. And this independent military prosecutor will make a judgment. And if he chooses not to take this case to trial, it goes right back to the commander. So it changes very little. Second, yes, they may drag their feet. And to limit it just to sex crimes means that only one type of plaintiff and only one type of defendant is getting this professionalized, independent, unbiased review. If you’re going to reform the military justice system, why wouldn’t you reform it for all serious crimes? Why wouldn’t you reform it for all plaintiffs and all defendants in cases that are very complex? And if you only care about fixing this scourge of sexual assault, you also want the bright line at serious crimes because a lot of serious crimes that are often related, that have in a first blush review might not realize that they’re related … We’ve seen cases of fraud, where because the perpetrator is trying to dominate and control the victim, that one of the tools they use is financial. He may steal her money, steal her credit card, close out a bank account just to create more dominance. Because sexual assault and these these crimes are crimes of predation. They’re predators. And they’re usually crimes of dominance. It’s not about an affair or romance, it’s typically about control. And so we know in the domestic violence setting, all these tools are used. And so a service member may report that her bank accounts have been closed or her money’s been stolen. If that commander doesn’t understand the dynamics of sexual violence or domestic abuse, he may never investigate that case further, and just decide on a very small punishment to say “stop stealing money, this is absurd.” They’re not understanding that this is the tip of the iceberg for domestic violence or sexual assault case. MT: Portions of this that remind me of the “don’t ask, don’t tell” debate, where there was a lot of concern about making a change … and then within a few years, it was really accepted. Do you see this as the same? Gillibrand: I do. And the reason why I believe that is because it’s what happened with our allies. This change of a bright line and serious crimes was made in the United Kingdom over a decade ago. It was made in Israel over 40 years ago. Canada, Australia, Netherlands, Germany, almost every country that we are allied with has made this change. And we ask those countries, how did it go? Did you see a diminution in command control? Did you see a diminution in good order discipline? Every single one of them said no. And so we know this change, all it does is professionalize the system and make it stronger. And we believe that one change will help to end the scourge of of sexual assault in the military, and harassment. MT: I know a lot of this is technical changes. But there is obviously an emotional component for the victims that you’ve gotten to talk to, the folks who have been wronged by the system. What are you hearing from them? Gillibrand: They feel grateful that Congress is finally listening to them. This bill was written eight years ago, with the voices of survivors and veterans. This is something that is multigenerational and uniformly supported by our veterans advocacy groups and our sexual assault survivor groups, because they know that through professionalization, and through independence, that their chances at justice are higher. Unfortunately, over the last eight years, nothing has gotten better. The rate of sexual assault [in the military] still estimated at 20,000 [cases annually]. The rate of people coming forward, unfortunately, is declining. And the rate of conviction is declining over the last few years, and so it’s problematic. We need, again, a professionalized system where the review is not based on the whims or views or anecdotal view of any one commander. They’re based on evidence. And that’s all a survivor or defendant could ask for, an evidence based review. It’s the fairest system and I think it will help to convict more sexual predators, which will mean a message is sent that this crime actually isn’t tolerated and that you will be convicted. Every time you take out a predator, who often are recidivists, you’re going to tell other potential predators that this crime is not tolerated.

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How World War II led to the invention of super glue

Ah, super glue — the greatest-of-all-time fast-acting adhesive for all of your stuck-together needs. Chances are, you have a tube of this in that kitchen drawer, you know, the one with all the takeout menus, rubber bands and random keys to who knows what doors (you should probably clean that out by the way), because…

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How World War II led to the invention of super glue

Ah, super glue — the greatest-of-all-time fast-acting adhesive for all of your stuck-together needs. Chances are, you have a tube of this in that kitchen drawer, you know, the one with all the takeout menus, rubber bands and random keys to who knows what doors (you should probably clean that out by the way), because it’s an undeniable necessity. But before it occupied space in our junk drawers, and our hearts, it was accidentally developed for the U.S. military. Too sticky for Army weapons In 1942, companies across the country were looking to support the war effort, including the Eastman Kodak Company. One if its inventors, Dr. Harry Wesley Coover, accidentally created a new compound while attempting to make clear plastic gun sights for Allied soldiers. The compound, cyanoacrylate, was incredibly durable but way too sticky to use. (Imagine getting Krazy Glue anywhere near your eye. No thanks!) So Coover and his team abandoned the substance, not wanting to get stuck, literally or figuratively, on it. Over a decade later, Coover, who would become known as “Mr. Super Glue,” rediscovered the adhesive compound while researching heat-resistant polymers for jet canopies. Cyanoacrylate adhesives required no heat or pressure to stick items together and hold them permanently. Thus, in 1956, the patent for “Alcohol-Catalyzed Cyanoacrylate Adhesive Compositions/Superglue” was born. How’s that for a name? Coover and the Eastman team took the patent and repackaged it for commercial sale as “Eastman 910″ – which was later changed to “Super Glue.” This name stuck and still is used for a number of similarly adhesive products today. 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A savior for soldiers in sticky situations Even though the glue was discovered during World War II, military doctors during the Vietnam War capitalized on the product’s adhesive properties to save lives. Many soldiers suffered injuries off-base, often bleeding out before getting proper care. Thanks to Coover’s invention, medics were able to spray super glue directly on skin to stop bleeding until the patient could make it to a hospital for treatment. “This was very powerful. That’s something I’m very proud of – the number of lives that were saved,” Coover said in an interview with the Kingsport Times-News. At this time, the chemical was not yet approved by the Food and Drug Administration because it had the potential to cause skin irritation. A derivative from the same chemical (2-octyl-cyanoacrylate) was approved in 1998 and functioned as a liquid bandage. Marketed under the names Dermabond and Traumaseal, these products pose less danger of irritation and bacterial infection and are available for civilian use. So the next time you break your mom’s favorite vase and need to glue it back together, give thanks to Mr. Super Glue for finding something that was too sticky for the Army to use.

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