Patricia Kime has reported on military personnel issues for nearly two decades, spending the last six years as a senior writer for Military Times, covering health care and medicine. Her work has appeared in USA TODAY, USA WEEKEND Magazine, The Washington Post, Business Insider, Executive Travel and Northern Virginia Magazine. She has worked for newspapers in North Carolina and California and currently resides in Arlington, Va.
FORT BELVOIR, Virginia -- The Army's Court of Criminal Appeals heard arguments Thursday in the ongoing case of Bowe Bergdahl, with the former soldier's attorneys contending that the case should be reconsidered or Berghdahl should be granted clemency because President Donald Trump's comments and tweets tainted the proceedings.
Bergdahl, the soldier who left his post in Afghanistan in 2009 and was held captive by a Taliban affiliate for five years, was sentenced in 2017 to reduction in rank from sergeant to private, forfeiture of $10,000 in pay and a dishonorable discharge.
But he received no prison time -- a decision Trump called Nov. 3, 2017 on Twitter "a complete and total disgrace to our Country and to our Military."
With overwhelming support in Congress, two senators hope this is the year a dollar-for-dollar offset in compensation to surviving military spouses of military personnel and retirees — known colloquially as the "widow's tax" — is eliminated.
Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Sen. Doug Jones, D-Alabama, took to the Senate floor Monday urging for a vote on their proposed amendment to the national defense policy bill to overturn the offset.
Addressing an audience at a House Veterans Affairs Committee hearing Thursday in Spanish, Committee Chairman Rep. Mark Takano, D-California, pressed for legislation that would require all VA fact sheets to be published in English and Spanish. A bill sponsored by Rep. Gil Cisneros, D-California, would do that.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer wants a U.S. Navy ship to be named for Senior Chief Cryptologic Technician (Interpretive) Shannon Kent, the Pine Plains, New York, native who spent much of her 15-year military career embedded with special operations troops and died Jan. 16 in a bombing in Manbij, Syria.
The honor would be the first for the Navy: Of the service's nearly 300 ships, fewer than a dozen are named for women and none commemorate a female service member killed in action.