PEEK

The Next Pat Tillman-Style Cover-Up?

The Army has much to answer for in its investigation of Private LaVena Johnson's death.
There once was a young woman from a St. Louis suburb. She was an honor roll student, she played the violin, she donated blood and volunteered for American Heart Association walks. She elected to put off college for a while and joined the Army once out of school. At Fort Campbell, KY, she was assigned as a weapons supply manager to the 129th Corps Support Battalion.

She was LaVena Johnson, private first class, and she died near Balad, Iraq, on July 19, 2005, just eight days shy of her twentieth birthday. She was the first woman soldier from Missouri to die while serving in Iraq or Afghanistan.

The tragedy of her story begins there.
Philip Barron is a St. Louis writer. For more on LaVena Johnson's story, visit his blog Waveflux.
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