When I was a kid, we were taught that the military was supposed to defend the citizens of this country. They forgot to mention that one glaring exception is if you happen to be the spouse of a member of the military, then apparently, you are on your own, as this report in the New York Times documents once again. When Adriana Renteria pressed charges against her husband Sgt. Carlos Renteria after he had severely injured her, the case ended up in military jurisdiction after a Texas prosecutor was assured that the Army would take action.
Despite assurances from the Army that Rentaria would be prosecuted, he was sent back to Iraq before that could happen. His wife says she was told,
“Honey, we are not going to bring a soldier back who beat on his wife a couple of times or because you feel things weren’t done correctly.”
According to Maj. Nathan Bond, public affairs officer at Fort Riley (where Rentaria had been transferred after the incident), as far as the issue of whether Sgt. Rentaria should have been deployed before he could be tried,
“We are in the business of fighting a war, and we let very little interfere with that.”
“The accusation of domestic violence is taken very seriously,”
in the military according to Maj. Bond.
Like hell it is. Despite reams of reports and countless Congressional hearings and programs put in place with much hoopla, the military is indeed in the business of fighting a war, a war against women.
That war is being fought against women within the ranks, the spouses and partners of military personnel and most especially against the women who live in the countries we invade who become much more vulnerable to violence in the aftermath of of our waging war. The Christian Science Monitor has an excellent article regarding the huge surge in violence against women in Iraq in the aftermath of our invasion of their country that looks at the horrendous difficulties faced in providing desperately needed help to these women.