Updated w/ Pat Tillman verdict: Two soldiers, two families, and justice for one

Philip Barron: The Army grudgingly answers to the family of Pat Tillman, while continuing to ignore the family of LaVena Johnson
Updated: Although investigators found no criminal negligence in the actual death of Pat Tillman, according to AP it's the cover-up:
"[The cover-up] investigation will recommend that nine officers, including up to four generals, be held accountable for missteps in the aftermath of Tillman's April 2004 death, senior defense officials told The Associated Press, also on condition of anonymity."

But the main point, for the purposes here, is that an investigation occurred at all...


For service families searching for the truth of how loved ones died overseas, not even the seeming advantage of fame can push the military into a timely and decent response. It has taken the family of Army Ranger and former pro football player Cpl. Pat Tillman some three years to get to this point: the Associated Press reports that the Pentagon will soon fault a number of officers - ranking as high as generals - for errors in the handling and disclosure of the young soldier's death by fratricide.

In the meantime, the family of Pfc. LaVena Johnson - a soldier not famous, unremarked, unsung - is still rebuffed by an Army that refuses to reexamine her death or revisit its claim of suicide despite disturbing indications of foul play and sexual assault.
Philip Barron is a St. Louis writer and author of the blog Waveflux.