Update from Mom
I got to spend a day and night with Suzanne today up at Ft. Lewis. She was feeling horrible emotionally and I could tell she needed her mom. So, I got to take her off base and take her to get her hair done, out to sushi and to do a little shopping for socks and things she has been needing.
I then met her Captain and Sergeant and talk to them about any misunderstandings. I looked them both in the eye and told them the military has traumatized my daughter and I will not let it happen again. That I will protect her from being re-traumatized. They both understood that and were very responsive and kind. I got the cell phone number from her Captain, whom was very nice, in case of emergencies. They let her stay at the hotel with me for the night, which was so wonderful.
I had a long conversation with Colonel Katherine Miller who is a step down from the base commander. She said she moved Suzanne to the 42nd because the Captain is one of her best. I have to agree and Suzanne feels safe with him. She asked me to let her know if I thought Suzanne was feeling suicidal. That concerned me that she would consider that for Suzanne. Other than that she was kind and thoughtful. She did say that she did not see this having a good outcome as the damage to Suzanne is already done and we have not addressed the AWOL charges.
She is on edge. Frustrated and very tired. No one is being mean to her, but she does not trust anyone which is mentally exhausting. She took time to read all the letters and cards we have received and was so touched by all the love and support. I really believe this support is what is keeping her sane so far. Let's keep it going.
Her attorney is going to be here for a meeting the investigating officer today, 6-29-06. The psychological evaluation is Monday the 2nd of July. Her attorney will be here for that also. She is now with the 42nd MP Company. They are due to deploy to Iraq in October. I ma hoping this process goes faster than that. we are planning a Nation wide rally/vigil for Suzanne on her 22 birthday which will be on July 15. We have been calling it "Meet me in Ft. Lewis" but for those who cannot make it to up to Washington are free to organize in their own towns and communities.
The website is up and almost running. suzanneswift.org ......bookmark it and we will be updating it frequently. Fund raising is moving along. If you want your contribution to be tax deductible send your checks to:
Community Alliance of Lane County
458 Blair Blvd
Eugene, OR 97402
CALC is a 501(c)3 organization. All donations are tax deductible
In the comments space they should put: Suzanne Swift Legal Defense Fund.
If you want to send it directly to Suzanne you can still use:
Suzanne's Defense Fund
P.O. Box 51584
Eugene, OR 97405
Senator Wyden, Congressman DeFazio, and Senator Murray have all been wonderful. If you want you can call them and thank them for advocating for Suzanne. Still have heard nothing form Senator Smith's office and I have put in the formal request for help. You can call and write him if you want to take action.
Senator Gordon Smith
Eugene, OR Office
211 East 7th Avenue, Room 202
Eugene, OR 97401
If you are in New York, Congresswoman Maloney is an advocate for women in the military and writing her would be great.
Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney
Attn: Director of Constituent Services
1651 3rd Avenue, Suite 311
New York, New York 10128 phone (212) 860-0606 fax (212) 860-0704
Anything else? I don't know, but please keep in contact with us~
Thank you so much.
Sara Rich, M.S.W
July 15, 2006
Meet me in Ft. Lewis!
Please save the date: Saturday, July 15
As we gather at the gates of Ft. Lewis in Tacoma, WA to mark Suzanne Swift's 22nd birthday.
Suzanne Swift was arrested at her mother's home in Eugene on June 11 for being AWOL from the U.S. Army. Though she'd already served tours of duty in Kuwait and Iraq, Specialist Swift could not return to Iraq for a second tour of duty because she was suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder due to the sexual harassment and assault she faced at the hands of her commanding officers.
Swift, who has gone public with her charges against the perpetrators, has been forced back into active duty and back into her fatigues. She is confined to the Ft. Lewis base while her case is under investigation, and she may face court martial and prison time.
Please come Saturday, July 15 prepared to show your support for Suzanne!