LaVena Johnson petition closing; her father goes to Washington

The petition to the House and Senate Armed Services Committees asking that the Army reopen the investigation into the death of Pfc. LaVena Johnson approaches the end of its name-gathering phase. The petition will close on Friday, April 18. As that day draws near, I'll work on formatting the petition and making arrangements for delivery to the lawmakers on those committees, and will add more names as they appear on the online list. The names and comments of the signatories will be included in the printed edition, but ZIP code and state information will not.

Also: KMOV in St. Louis reports today that Dr. John Johnson, father of LaVena, will travel to Washington to speak with legislators about his daughter's story.

Johnson will get to tell his story on Wednesday in Washington as congress investigates the war in Iraq.

Johnson will meet with key members and staff of several congressional committees with the help of retired army Colonel Ann Wright who is a 29 year military veteran who is now an anti-war speaker and author.

Wednesday, Johnson will meet some members of congress who will at least listen as he visits Capitol Hill.

Colonel Wright introduced Dr. Johnson when he spoke at the national convention for Veterans for Peace which was held last year in St. Louis.

There's plenty of time for proper thanks, but I can never say too often how grateful I am to all Shakers who have lent their names to the petition and have shared LaVena's story with others.

A very special thank you is due Melissa, who graciously and consistently encouraged the use of this space as a soapbox from which to spread the word. Thanks, Liss.

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