Shocked beret wasn’t correct
Regarding the June 8 front-page photo that went with the article on the Old Guard: Is it not policy on wearing of the beret that the flash will be positioned over the left eye? Also, the beret is angled to the wearer’s right side. The brim of the beret should be horizontal to the ground, two fingers above the bridge of the nose, with the flash positioned over the left eye.
His tie is not centered, either. How can this be a member of the Old Guard, inspected by the noncommissioned officer in charge, and not notice that the beret is not correct?
Forward Operating Base Dwyer, Afghanistan
Two sacred trusts violated
As a doctor, I experienced a number of emotions when reading the June 5 article on Dr. (Lt. Cmdr.) Anthony L. Velasquez, “Doctor’s sentence angers victims.” These included disgust, outrage, sadness, frustration and bewilderment.
Let me focus on the sadness for the victims of this doctor. As Medical Corps officers we have two sacred trusts, one as officers, and the second as doctors. As officers we are entrusted by our commander in chief and the American public to support and defend our Constitution against all enemies. As physicians we have a sacred trust to care for our patients.
Patients are in a very vulnerable state when they come to see a doctor. Patients will divulge information they may not tell anyone else, permit us to invade their bodies in unprecedented ways, and will consent to potentially life-threatening medications, procedures or treatments at our advice.
Most doctors with whom I have been privileged to work are caring, dedicated and selfless, and they will put the interests of their patients ahead of their own. Clearly, Dr. Velasquez is an anomaly.
I can only hope and pray that his many victims are receiving the counseling and care needed to recover from his mistreatment. Dr. Velasquez has defiled and disregarded these two sacred trusts. Both of these trusts come with honors, privileges and accompanying responsibilities. I hope, with time, his victims will encounter those who are true caregivers in our profession and have their trust restored in the Medical Corps.
Dr. (Col.) Donald G. Mondragon
U.S. Army Medical Corps
It’s still unbecoming conduct
I was outraged when I read the May 21 article “Despite his admission, E-9 acquitted in sex case,” and I am further outraged when reading the May 31 letter “He was acquitted, after all,” which was written by Guy L. Womack, who was one of Command Sgt. Maj. Garry Tull’s attorneys at trial.
Womack stated in his letter that the process by which the case was handled “led, inevitably and justly,” to Tull’s full acquittal, and that “the case came down to credibility.”
Whether the lower-ranking female did or did not refuse the command sergeant major’s advances, it is improper for someone of senior rank to have a relationship with someone within his or her formation. There is a standard of conduct to which we hold senior noncommissioned officers and senior ranking officials.
It should not matter if Tull was married at the time of the incident. It should not matter if his accuser’s story was inconsistent. It should not matter that he was unable to complete the act. That he admitted to the attempt is enough for conviction. If a criminal suspect admits to the crime, he is found guilty — and so should a command sergeant major in the Army.
I believe this case has truly opened the door to those in positions of authority to more freely engage in inappropriate behaviors and get away with it.
Chief Warrant Officer 4 Jeffrey L. Cologna
Contingency Operating Base Speicher, Iraq