Topic: Human Rights

A plaque on an 85-foot-tall obelisk to the Confederate dead in Finn’s Point National Cemetery in New Jersey shows the federal government erected the monument in 1910. Veterans Affairs maintains it. Photo by Michaele Kehrt for The War Horse.

‘A False Memory’–As Confederate Monuments Topple, Some at VA Cemeteries Still Loom Large

Confederate monuments across the U.S. have been relocated or toppled in recent years, but those at Veterans Affairs national cemeteries remain.
Army veteran Jodi Jeloudov poses for a picture dressed as she usually does when she visits her local Florida Veterans Affairs health facility. SPARTA, an advocacy group that supports transgender troops and veterans, recently issued a warning asking transgender veterans and service members to avoid Florida because of "challenges and legal hazards" they face there. Photo courtesy of Jodi Jeloudov.

Transgender Troops, Vets Warned to Avoid Florida Over Discriminatory Laws

One in five transgender people will choose to serve in the military, with nearly 15,000 active and reserve troops already serving according to one study.
“Raising my right hand to serve the world’s greatest Air Force could not insulate me from the harsh realities felt within my community,” writes Jimmy Anderson.

In That Moment I Learned My Service to This Country Could Not Transcend My Skin Color

Raising his right hand to serve in the U.S. military could not shield Jimmy Anderson from the harsh realities of racial prejudice in his community.
As the military prepares to move sexual assault out of military commanders’ hands, The War Horse team looked at military women’s noncombat, not-from-natural-causes deaths since 9/11 and found a high rate of self-inflicted deaths after sexual assault, a bureacracy that promises cultural change but faces the same egregious headlines year after year, continuing problems with domestic violence, and punishment for those who do the right thing. But the team also found examples of units where women felt safe and respected based on culture change buy-in from their unit leadership. Art by Sarah Flores/for The War Horse.

Short Changed: No Justice at Fort Hood for Another Woman Soldier and a Commander Who Tried to Help

As Vanessa Guillén’s body was found, a commander who tried to do the right thing after false accusations lost his career.
Lt. Col. Ryan M. Miedema, 3rd General Support Aviation Battalion commander, helps soldiers unload a large donation to Feed Our Vets in Watertown, New York, 2016. Jeff Cook, president of the board of directors for Feed Our Vets’ Watertown location, said they are a 100% volunteer run organization that serves local veterans in need with food, socialization, and hope. Photo by Spc. Thomas Scaggs, courtesy of the U.S. Army.

Veterans Who Are Food Insecure Are Less Likely to Seek Help Than Civilians

More than a million veterans are food insecure. Most at risk are younger vets with families, women, and those with mental health concerns or lower incomes.
Midshipmen march to lunch at the U.S. Naval Academy during the National Discussion on Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment at America’s Colleges, Universities, and Service Academies in 2019. Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Sarah Villegas, courtesy of the U.S. Navy.

Short Changed: Military Women’s Deaths by Suicide Linked to Sexual Trauma

While men in the military have alarmingly high rates of suicide, the rates among military women are rising faster, and their reasons are different.
Adrienne Barillas leans against a Humvee in South Korea. “She was so proud of wearing that uniform and all that it supposedly represented,” her mother says. “Sometimes I get mad at her for choosing to wear that uniform, then I feel guilty for those bitter thoughts and emotions.” Photo courtesy of Emogene Barillas.

Short Changed: How The Army Failed Spc. Adrienne Barillas

Adrienne Barillas was found naked outside of an Army barracks. The Army ruled her death a suicide. Soldiers and family members say there's more to the story.
Public Health Officer 1st Lt. Gyasi J. Mann, right, and Bioenvironmental Engineer Senior Airman Emilio D. Gonzalez, second from right, both with the 108th Medical Group, New Jersey Air National Guard, help homeless veterans choose a pair of reading glasses during Stand Down 2012 at the National Guard Armory in Cherry Hill, Sept. 28, 2012.

VA’s Work to End Veteran Homelessness Is a Nationwide Model. Can It Translate for Civilians?

To date, 83 communities and the states of Connecticut, Delaware, and Virginia have effectively ended veteran homelessness. But can that success translate?
The Army Honor Guard meets Saria Hildabrand’s body as it arrives in Utah. Photo courtesy of Meredith Barney.

Short Changed: Military Comes with Unique Risks for Domestic Violence, Can Silence Survivors

A War Horse review of military women’s noncombat deaths since 9/11 found domestic violence often ended in death.