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UPDATE    Since our June Forum, the campaign for a hearing to investigate LaVena's death is gaining steam. The Johnson Family recently...

In addition, the following national press has seen new articles: DailyKos, CommonDreams,
Go to Philip Barron's site dedicated to LaVena for continuing updates:



The LaVena Johnson Story

WHEN:   7:00 pm, Wednesday, June 4 , 2008

 Legacy Books & Cafe , 5249 Delmar (near Union), St. Louis MO 63108)

On July 19, 2005, LaVena Johnson became the first woman soldier from Missouri to die in Iraq. It was eight days before her twentieth birthday. A black woman from a St. Louis suburb, LaVena played the violin and was an honor roll student.

Though the army declared her death a suicide, that claim is refuted by her family. There is good evidence that a struggle preceded her death, including two loose front teeth, a busted lip and a blood trail outside her tent. There was no indication that she had suicidal thoughts.

Though there was a flurry of news stories about her in 2007, the press has been silent for a year. The panel will provide an update concerning the investigation of her death.

It is time to ask how many other LaVena Johnson cases there are that the US military is covering up.

A panel discussion will include:

• Lionel Nixon, African Newsworld newspaper [moderator]

• John Johnson, father of LaVena Johnson

• Redditt Hudson, American Civil Liberties Union

• Michael McPhearson, Veterans For Peace

Sponsored by Gateway Green Alliance and Universal African Peoples Organization. For more information on the Forum, visit:

For news and progress on the petition to reopen the investigation, visit:

Last updated 30 May 2008. Contact: