REPORTING IN, SIR: In the news: Let’s sort it out before judging VA and Bergdahl cases

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REPORTING IN, SIR: In the news: Let’s sort it out before judging VA and Bergdahl cases 

By Jerry Field, Army Veteran

"Reporting in, Sir!" Columnist and Veterans Affairs Editor Jerry Field

“Reporting in, Sir!” Columnist and Veterans Affairs Editor Jerry Field

It’s not easy to come to a conclusion before the facts are verified.  In reviewing the VA situation in Phoenix, there still has not been a definitive assessment as who was responsible.

General Shinseki, Secretary of the Veterans Administration resigned, but the persons involved in ‘fudging of records” and not adhering to VA procedures might still be on the payroll, without any adjustments to correct a faulty system. It’s again dealing with the effect while they should be dealing with the cause.

Another rush to judgment is in the news this week. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl has been exchanged for five former members of the Taliban Command who were part of the 9-11 attack teams on New York’s Towers.  Conjecture, assuming facts or guessing what happened in Bergdahl’s case is not acceptable when judging a violation of military procedures.  The military procedures require an investigation, with reliable witnesses who had direct knowledge of the infraction or infractions.  A military court is then assembled and a hearing is   conducted before a cadre of qualified military officers who can make an independent assessment of the violations and offer a verdict of guilty or dismiss the charges. If guilty, the military court will render an appropriate penalty that’s carried out, with military speed, pending appeal.

A very neat and tidy prosecution package.  With consideration for some minor changes and updates, this is a 237 year old procedure that has worked.  What may we have in Sgt. Bergdahl’s case is an Army non-commissioned officer who allegedly left his post. Truly a court-marshal offense, if proved. He was reported to have left his weapon as well, another offense. And beyond this point witnesses and records will be presented to an assembled military court to assess what appears to be multi-violations.

A resident of Hailey, Idaho Sgt. Bergdahl may not see his home town in the immediate future. We’’ have to wait till all the facts are in


The Jewish War Veterans will have a membership booth at the Israel Independence Day event from 10 AM to 6 PM on Sunday, June 8, at St Paul Woods in Morton Grove, IL. Mike Zimmerman is on duty.

June 14 The Illinois Joining Forces will sponsor a Symposium “Veterans as a Strategic Asset”. For information e-mail [email protected]  Ryan Yantis is the information officer

The 67th Reunion of the 1st Cavalry Association will be held July 9 to 13 in Oak Brook, IL. For registration and details e-mail [email protected]  All former members of the 1st Cavalry, past, present and those who would like to join are welcome to attend and join the festivities.  Roger McGill is the information officer.


There are summer college classes starting this month and it’s time to enroll for fall. Earn a certificate, complete a degree program or start a degree program. Need help, drop an e-mail to [email protected]

There is a program in place for those who complete or will complete a community college degree. Titled the “Community College Transfer Program”, it’s worth checking into. By going to a community college you can save your GI Bill dollars and may be able to continue for a Master’s degree. Also ask if the college will credit ACE and training credits. Questions ? Drop a note in care of this column.

Join a Veterans group, visit a Veterans Hospital, help those who have served and need a friendly person to talk with for few minutes.

(Jerry Field is an award winning Chicago writers. He is the Veteran’s Editor for the Illinois News Network. Email him at [email protected].)

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Jerry Field

Veteran's Affairs Editor at Illinois News Online
Jerry Field is an award winning Chicago writer and former military veteran. Email him at [email protected]