Black History Month – Day 10

Respecting that this work (racial justice) can be all consuming, the fears and challenges very real and even though we are united, the sense of isolation felt even more acutely, we pause today to honor the life and memory of Mr. MarShawn M. McCarrel II, 23. We send thoughts prayers, and heartfelt reflections to MarShawn’s relatives and friends and to his Black Lives Matter family. #RestInPower


PFC. LaVena Johnson

07/27/1985-07/19/2005 ~ First Woman from Missouri to die in Iraq ~Not yet 20

I’m not so sure this was race-related as it was more women-related. She was a young black girl from Missouri. Very smart, top of class in high school. She chose to serve and fight for her country. 6 weeks into her journey, her life was tragically cut short.

Like so many cover ups by either the military or the government, she too is one of the cases. Her death was ruled a suicide. However, the condition of her body, the inexplicable other wounds, do not coincide with suicide. They coincide with a heinous, covered-up homicide committed by men and/or women who this young women trusted as her brothers and/or sisters. She was raped, beaten, burned, and tortured.

She wasn’t attacked by “the enemy” either. She was savagely accosted by some of her own. These types of things happen a lot on military bases, I have from a reliable source. They often go unannounced due to women fearing to be unjustly demoted, discharged or punished. It’s a cruel world that military women live in and I salute each and every one of them who has made it through and is safe.