Navy Report Ignores Sailor's Suicide
U.S. Naval Criminal Investigative Service personnel reporting on the Bahrain Canine Unit, which was wracked by allegations of hazing and abuse, left out the fact that Jennifer Valdivia, Leading Petty Officer and second-in-command of the unit, had committed suicide after being told she would be removed from her position for inadequate leadership. Valdivia was punished even though multiple witnesses identified the chief of the unit as the driving force behind the controversial activities, which included abuse of sailors, gambling, and solicitation of prostitutes.
The story began to come to light in 2006, when one sailor reported an assault, which led the Navy to commission an independent investigation. The investigation, which was released as a result of FOIA, showed the abuse to be widespread; interviews by Youth Radio corroborated the allegations. This story also ran on National Public Radio (http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=114019538&ft=1&f=1001).
Bahrain, suicide, Navy, Jennifer Valdivia, canine unit, hazing, abuse, Don't Ask Don't Tell, DADT, Joseph Christopher Rocha
The leader of the unit was ultimately censured by the Secretary of the Navy, with his career scheduled to end in January 2010.
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