Your letter dated January 11, 2013
First we appreciate your words of condolences and your response to our inquiry.
Before I begin our response we would ask the question. Have you actually reviewed the three reports with their attachments that were sent down to Ft Bragg? I ask because after numerous conversations with individuals there seem to have been some confusion as to what materials we are referencing.
Secondly, the fact still remains that the 15-6 is a flawed report. Your responses are generic and do not explain why credible pieces of evidence are not sufficient. If you have in fact reviewed the reports than why are you not referencing statements contained in those reports. Your only references are to my letter. Sir, because of consistent conflicts of interest even from your own office, again and for the record it is our request that the 15-6 Investigative Report and other evidence submitted be reviewed by persons that are outside of the chain of command of the 82nd Airborne.
While your responses are helpful, you have failed to address why the credible evidence submitted fails to be sufficient in any of its content. Have those in the chain of command actually reviewed this data and is this the same direct chain of command that presented false statement in the 15-6 report? Can we see why this presents an extreme conflict of interest? For the record, the current 15-6 Investigative Report and evidence need to be reviewed by persons that are outside of the chain of command of the 82nd Airborne.
In the first issue raised about the marriage, no one is disputing that there was a marriage. A con artist cons you into performing an act for their own benefit. “Marriage fraud occurs when two individuals get married for reasons other than love or family. In some cases, one partner in the relationship may not be aware of the other person’s motives, meaning that one spouse deceived the other spouse into marrying him or her.” It is the intent that needs to be examined as the deceased herself was obviously devastated by learning the truth. We submitted credible evidence including testimony from the deceased herself and others that corroborate our allegations.
In addition, you state “While there is evidence that Specialist Goodwin was experiencing financial difficulties… You fail to address why while this soldier who was still yet under the penalties of his prior Article 15 for misappropriation of government funds, commits another grievous act violating military regulations and would now receive an even lesser penalty for his behavior. That extreme behavior resulted in the death of a young girl. This penalty imposed by his immediate chain of command continues to constitute a major conflict of interest and the need to be assessed by others outside of the Command. Could the military as represented by the 82 add any further insult to injury?
Regarding the third paragraph of your letter, you reference a conversation with "another representative from Fort Bragg" who told you a slightly different punishment that included a claim that Specialist Goodwin was being dishonorably discharged… The person relating this information to the parents of the deceased was a representative at the Office of Congressman Steny Hoyer after having several conversations with a Colonel Sounia of the 82nd. Clearly there is a lack of communication between entities at the base which further supports our request that “the current 15-6 Investigative Report and evidence be reviewed by persons that are outside of the chain of command of the 82nd Airborne”.
With the devastating nature of the outcomes and the fact that this involved two military soldiers at two different military installations and a Department of the Army employee and how their related activities have resulted in a young girls death deserves the highest level of a coordinated investigation. However, unfortunately, we’ve seen no such coordination, accept as one of our original FOI’s has revealed, in May of 2012 Fort Belvoir officials notified Ft Bragg and Afghanistan of a problem with the soldiers prior to the mothers arrival at Ft Bragg.
In reference to your statement “ ..while Ms. Mayle's statement was not part of the original 15-6 investigation, it was considered by the chain of command when you submitted it during one of your previous pieces of correspondence…” I did not submit a statement from Melissa Mayle so if you thought so than it is my opinion that very little attention was given to the correspondence that was submitted. The question is why was a statement not taken from her when the investigator stated she had information that supported our allegations? If you are now saying there was a statement then per the Freedom of Information Act we are requesting a copy of that statement.
In reference to, your statement “ …proceedings under Article 15 still require proof beyond a reasonable doubt, the chain of command exercised its discretion by charging only those things which it believed were supported by evidence beyond a reasonable doubt.. In my opinion these decisions were made before we submitted the additional credible evidence. If this evidence did in fact receive additional review by the direct chain of command than per the Freedom of Information Act please provide 1) what sections of the additional information was reviewed 2) any electronic or written communication that resulted from it. 3) the names of persons in the direct chain of command that participated in that review and 4) on what date did this review occur on.
In reference to your statement, “Regarding the ..I assure you that every level in the chain of command involved in this matter have been committed to addressing your questions and concerns, and that every inquiry we received prompted some sort of appropriate and timely response.” There are assuredly some miscommunications in this area. To date we have submitted no less that twelve FOI request with most taking an average of 90 days for a response if any and to date none have resulted in any information being released. There appears to be very little effort in actually retrieving information to be released. See enclosed chart of FOI inquiries.
In addition, a Congressional Inquiry was initiated on July 2, 2012 by the office of Congressman Steny Hoyer. It was finally orally responded to on or about November 2, 2012. My letter sent to General Colt dated August 12, 2012 did not warrant a reply until I initiated follow-up calls to Ft Bragg officials which eventually resulted in my conversation with General Flynn, who was not aware of any written communication sent to General Colt. His written response was received at my insistence on a response in writing that addressed the questions raised in my August 12 communication to General Colt.
In reference to your statement, “..an officer from the 82d Airborne Division Inspector General's office has been in regular telephonic contact with you since November, 2012.” I am not sure what your inference here is. I requested the assistance of this office on May 17, 2012. I began to follow-up with inquiries about why I was not receiving assistance on November 26, 2012 talking to a Major Dittenber who knew nothing about my case. He decided to request a copy of the 15-6 Investigation and I in turn agreed to mail him a set of 3 reports. The reports were mailed to Ft Bragg on December 8, 2012, signed as received on Ft Bragg at 9:45 a.m. December 10, 2012, but were not received by Major Dittenber until January 8, 2013. I spent, (along with other military personnel including M.Sgt. Delain (not sure of spelling) approx. 3 weeks trying to track down the illusive package. This package was mailed on the same day and time as a duplicate package being sent to a LTC Baines at the Pentagon. He received his package on December 13, 2012. In the interim, Major Dittenber went on vacation, not to return until January 22, 2013. All in all this entailed numerous calls to Ft Bragg mailrooms and various offices while family members personally visited the base to try to locate the illusive package.
In reference to your remark “..Brigadier General Flynn specifically addressed ..these statements in his letter to you, dated October 31, 2012. I do not agree with you that the referenced Soldiers committed perjury or any other violation of the UCMJ. While I do agree that it was inappropriate for them to speculate and make comments about you and your relationship with your daughter, in the context of the investigation and their statements as a whole, I think it is clear that they were merely providing their opinions about certain facts that they thought were relevant.” Respectfully Sir, could you please reread the letter addressed to General Colt with attachments? Their statements were more than opinions. They stated things as fact, they did not use the terminology “in my opinion” and they made these false statements under oath. The report in essence is being used to harm me in court proceedings because it is being used as a reference point and people that read it are not going to know what your opinion is, or what excuses persons make for their remarks. If the Commanding Officers (you refer to them as soldiers and they are) gave sworn statements that now stand as a record of testimony in the investigation.. then may I respectfully remind you of Article 131—Perjury “Any person subject to this chapter who in a judicial proceeding or in a course of justice willfully and corruptly— “.. (2) Giving false testimony. ..(b) Material matter. The false testimony must be with respect to a material matter, but that matter need not be the main issue in the case. Thus, perjury may be committed by giving false testimony with respect to the credibility of a material witness or in an affidavit in support of a request for a continuance, as well as by giving false testimony with respect to a fact from which a legitimate inference may be drawn as to the existence or nonexistence of a fact in issue..” For a list of false statements see letter dated Sept 7, 2012 attached. The letter to General Colt contained clear and credible attachments proving the falsity of their statements. Have you reviewed it?
In reference to your statement,” I disagree that the opinions expressed by these Soldiers in their statements necessitates the initiation of a new investigation. I am satisfied that the investigation adequately examined the issues relevant to assessing Specialist Goodwin's conduct..” Again, you make the inference to Soldiers instead of Goodwin’s direct chain of command as in his Commanding Officer and First Sergeant. While we appreciate your personal opinion we are not asking the 82 to reinvestigate. We have repeated asked that this matter be looked into by a chain of command outside of the 82 Airborne because of the conflicts of interest that are now mounting.
We repeat that “In our opinion, this should therefore give rise to the need to reevaluate the outcomes of the Army’s 15-6 Investigative Report into the misconduct of Isaac Goodwin, and further substantiate our request for a reinvestigation of the points raised in our response. In part, the remarks of these officers alone were 1) false, 2) their remarks are misleading and 3) encroached on my credibility. It would be my understanding that the 15-6 report would be based on truth and accuracy and if any parts are found to be tainted, or in question that as a manner of military honor they should be addressed. “
In addition, the quick investigation and report produced by members of the 55 Sustainment Brigade out of Ft Belvoir, which was originally conducted in 4 days comes under criticism. Its lack of holding the other soldier Sgt. Latoya King, and Department of the Army employee Damaris Brown accountable for their egregious behavior towards the deceased in the last 72 hours of her life is also highly questionable. It is our hope that persons will look into their connection with Sgt. Isaac Goodwin.
In a letter dated August 12, 2012 directed to General Colt the family requested ‘that this matter be reinvestigated by an investigator appointed outside of the chain of command in the 82nd Delta Company 1-504 PIR”. We now broaden that request to include the roles Sgt. Latoya King and Damaris Brown played in this matter.
Meaning you no disrespect, but I am sure that you can understand when we say this is a matter of military honor and even information communicated to you appears to be erroneous. Katherine’s father puts it this way, “it’s like a basketball trying to find the hoop. People keep throwing it hoping that it will bounce off the rim and land in the right place.” Thank you in advance for your assistance in what continues to be a time sensitive matter.
Marguerite R. Morris
Willie J. Morris