Stories by Beth Ford Roth
Alleged serial killer Darren Vann was "prematurely discharged" from the Marine Corps in the early 1990s, according to military records obtained by the Austin-American Statesman. The Corps found that Vann, now suspected of murdering at least seven women in Indiana, had a character "incongruent with Marine Corps’ expectations and standards."
One year ago today, a 12-year-old with a semi-automatic handgun killed Sparks Middle School math teacher Michael Landsberry, 45, as he tried to protect his students. On Sunday, Landsberry, a member of the Nevada Air National Guard, was posthumously awarded the Air Force’s Airman’s Medal and the National Guard Association of the United States’ Valley Forge Cross for Heroism.
A woman who became violently ill on a bus in a Pentagon parking lot has been taken to a Fairfax, Va. hospital after telling first responders she had recently visited West Africa. The bus was carrying several Marines and their spouses headed to the Change of Command ceremony for the Marine Corps Commandant at the Marine Barracks in D.C.
Several media outlets are calling MCAS Miramar-based Marine Corps Cpl. Jordan L. Spears, 21, the first casualty of the U.S. military's campaign against ISIS (also called ISIL and the Islamic State). Spears was lost at sea when he bailed out of a MV-22B Osprey after the aircraft appeared to lose power after taking off from the USS Makin Island in the North Arabian Sea.
The Navy announced Friday that it had relieved Cmdr. Armando Ramirez of his duties as executive officer of the San Diego-based USS Cowpens on Sept. 18. Ramirez lost his job due to what the Navy is calling "an alcohol-related incident." In the last three months, the Navy has fired four members of the Cowpens' command.
The Air Force announced this week airmen aren't required to say "So help me God" as part of the enlistment oath. The decision was prompted by an atheist airman from Creech Air Force Base in Nevada who refused to say those four words in his reenlistment oath, and thus was denied the opportunity to remain in the Air Force.