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The USAF Sex Scandal that’s Shaking the Nation

Written by on Friday, July 20th, 2012

They say that no news is good news.

I’d generally have to agree with that phrase. If a story is big enough to make national headlines, then that’s probably because it’s just awful.

Such is the case with the United States Air Force scandal that has people listening in shock, outrage, and horror. As is so often the case with scandals like these, the story breaks out into a snowball effect that gets worse and worse until all of the ugly facts are laid bare.

One of the most depressing aspects of this scandal is that it’s unfolding in Lackland Air Force Base, one of the most vital bases for the USAF. Every single Airman reports to Lackland for basic training — a number close to 35,000 each year. They’re trained by about 500 instructors, 89% of whom are male. Discipline and excellent keynote speaker skills are the qualifications these instructors need to teach new recruits, but the USAF may have to add respect to that list.

Most of those instructors at Lackland are stand-up patriots, true servicemen and servicewomen who are there to do a job, and do it well. Sgt. Chrissie Slifer, a 36-year-old who’s trained 1,400 recruits during her six years on base, reminded America that “There are a lot of us here for the right reasons.”

Unfortunately, 12 different instructors may be at Lackland for all the wrong reasons. They are currently under investigation for charges ranging from adultery to rape. At least 31 female trainees have been identified as victims of this sex scandal.

At the center of it all is Staff Sgt. Luis Walker, who has been accused of sexually assaulting 10 female trainees. Walker is facing a laundry buy real cialis online list of charges — 28 counts in all — including rape, aggravated sexual contact, and aggravated sexual assault. Some witnesses allege that he sent inappropriate text messages and pictures to trainees, and that he groped his recruits.

One such witness, who is not being named by the press, claimed, “He sent a lot of photos.” The witness also argued that Walker said she was “hot” and “should have been naked.” As if that wasn’t bad enough, Walker’s also accused of intimidating women into lying about what transpired, threatening their military careers if they didn’t comply.

If convicted, Walker could be dishonorably discharged and face life in prison.

The USAF, to its credit, has not been taking these allegations lightly. Two-star general Maj. Gen. Margaret H. Woodward has launched a separate, independent investigation. The USAF has also installed 40 new comment boxes in stairwells that will allow trainees to anonymously report misconduct, and they even went so far as to shut down basic training for a full day to survey all 6,000 trainees about how they’ve been treated. This isn’t something they’ve been trying to sweep under the rug; they’re trying to get to the root of the problem to make sure it never happens again. Colleen McGee, a spokeswoman with the 37th Training Wing, said, “We’re looking at everything. We’re not just looking at what happened. We’re looking at how it happened.”

Hopefully, the USAF and the other branches of the military will be able to learn from this scandal, put in protections that will prevent things like this from ever happening again, and ultimately serve up justice for anybody found guilty of these sexual misconduct charges.

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