By Shelly Burgoyne
Best Defense guest
first I was just too angry, actually viscerally angry to offer anything
helpful, let alone insightful.
After a few
days I have calmed down a bit. I am still shocked at the judge's wounding
verdict, but I have been able to sift through all the garbage this Sinclair case produced and narrow down exactly why I am so affected, and it is
what I keep coming back to. It is what haunts me.
Gen. Sinclair admitted to serious crimes, crimes he has surely convicted others
(enlisted) of. He has surely docked pay from those under his command in
aggregate. He has surely convicted soldiers and thrown them in Leavenworth,
kicked out soldiers, etc. for crimes far less than his -- far less.
to breaking the law over and over and yet he was deemed honorable by this judge
-- honorable! It is as if our Army has transformed into some kind of a gang, a
completely illegitimate organization. I am humiliated and insulted beyond
His family is innocent in this, but that is not a reason to allow this admitted
criminal to retire with honor and keep taxpayers' money, his pension. A
military pension is entitled to the servicemember; the pension is his, not his
wife's. I am a military wife, but I also served and the combat veteran in me
knows the judge should have taken it. How many families of enlisted soldiers
have been left destitute after breaking laws far less severely than Gen. Sinclair?
incredible damage that this one criminal has left in his wake of toxicity and dysfunction will change the Army
forever. Senators and congressmen on the fence chose a side yesterday and it
wasn't the Army's side. Congress will proceed to tear
apart our laws and our command authority, and I no longer care much that they do.
Ms. Burgoyne is a former Army officer.
She served combat tours to Iraq in 2003 and 2005. She was named a Tillman
Scholar in 2010 and recently completed her graduate studies at the University
of Maryland. She is currently living and writing in the D.C. area, where her
work focuses on veterans and women in the military.
Davis Turner/Getty Images