Fighting for the truth . . . exposing the corrupt

August 20, 2002

We begin the CAPERS this month with a heartfelt “salute” to a fallen soldier. Our brother Vietnam veteran, COL Donald P. Shaw passed on last month after a courageous battle against cancer.

COL Shaw was a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point (Class of 1954). His 30-year military career included two tours in Vietnam.

A memorial service was held July 30 at the U.S. Army War College Memorial Chapel. The Rev. Mark A. Scheneman and Chaplain Sonny Moore officiated.

COL Shaw will be laid to rest August 28 at Arlington National Cemetery. God rest his soul.

This beloved officer was a former director of the Military History Institute (1977- 1984). Not since COL Steve Bowman, another decorated combat officer in Vietnam, has there been a decent or respected director at MHI.

From the two-faced, back-stabbing CHAMELEON, to the foul-mouthed failure THE BULLY, MHI has needed for some time now, a professional leader with the necessary academic qualifications and temperament to restore honor to the Institute.

We had hoped that COL Russell “Skip” Hall might have made a difference. Certainly the “knee-pad” brigade and the usual suck-ups and sycophants were shaking in their shoes prior to his arrival, as word had gotten around that COL Hall did not suffer fools gladly.

But we hear the good colonel took one look around at the mess he had inherited and, after a record “short stay” of a matter of days, decided to put in his retirement papers, citing “personal reasons.” At least that’s the “official” story. We wish him well.

We commend Gen. Ivany for clearing out much of the DEADWOOD left behind by PATHETIC BOBBY’s reign. So we are confident the general will not make the serious mistake of allowing THE BULLY, or his old pal THE CHAMELEON, to slither out of the sewer and slide back into MHI as “Title X” civilians.

Our CI’s report that the new class of AWC students really appreciate Kim Gardner’s hard-working staff. There’s been large turn-outs at the “Tiki Bar” down behind the Club on Wednesday and Friday nights. And deservedly so.

You can’t beat southern-style pig roasts and ALL YOU CAN EAT for only $3! Great prices on COLD beer, too! These students and their families know how to support the local club system. We hear daily lunch specials will resume on September 3rd. We just hope the new garrison commander can come up with enough staff gate security to let more “outside business” in – Carlisle Barracks is certainly fortunate to have a natural treasure like Kim Gardner. We urge our many readers on (and off) post to stop on by.

On the medical front, “Big Al Farris” is ailing. He’s not expected to return to his volunteer desk at MHI.

“Little Al,” who works for Youth Services, asks that no visitors, cards or flowers be sent that is not coordinated with the family. Doctors say “Big Al” has a host of medical difficulties and that a heart attack was the latest in a series of maladies that has befallen him.

In his heyday, “Big Al” was the most efficient and productive clerical worker at the Barracks. He has indeed, a “heart of gold.” Both father and son are beloved by the military community.

“Big Al’s” only detractor was his “politically-correct” supervisor. A woman with a “mean” mouth, bad temper, poor communication skills, and even bad “BO” (body odor).

Much to the delight of the “little” people, “Big Al” showed her up when she arrogantly tried to lay a heap of “suspension days” on him. At that time, there were still military managers on the Barracks with leadership and vision. Also “guts.” Her “suspension” proposal never saw the light of day. It died in someone’s “IN basket.” No wonder “Big Al” returned, upon retirement, and became the Institute’s acknowledged expert on genealogy questions.

Meanwhile, “Little Al’ is one of several post workers battling a corrupt and unwise “safety policy.” The de facto DPW doctrine, if you will, of “assumed risk.” Mr. “T” and the “Battlin’ Brothers” do the “assuming” and intimidated civil service workers take the “risk.”

Some decades back, the safety office was free from domination by the RATS at DPW. The safety office was run by a man “well-connected” to the Pentagon. If something needed fixing, it wasn’t unusual for a phone call to be made to a general at the “head shed” who would make things happen.

Then came the “dark ages” under a colonel known as THE LOUDMOUTH. He was a full-bull “put out to pasture” as a former garrison commander, while he tried to angle a state job.

This character is the only retired officer from the Barracks too stupid to properly fill out a state civil service application. He turned out to be Rea White’s greatest challenge. In desperation, she did the paper work for him. He finally landed “entry-level” clerical work with the Pennsylvania Welfare Department – which was about the limit of his capabilities.

Anyway, the LOUDMOUTH transferred the safety office to Alan Thompson’s DPW so the garrison commander would not have to be involved in safety issues. That meant subordinating the safety officer to some of the biggest “violators” on post! So when Emmett Williams continued to do his job, with honor and integrity, issuing citations for lead paint and dangerous electrical connections, he ended up FIRED for doing what he was “supposed” to do. “Enforce” the rules.
The case went to the Merit Systems Protection Board and famed civil service attorney Peter Broida – the best in the business – took William’s case. The “trumped up” charges came unraveled during depositions and a TRADOC lawyer agreed to reinstate Williams and pay his legal bills.

Unfortunately, the stress of the ordeal brought on a fatal heart attack, killing Williams just one day before the legal agreement could be signed!

These days Tom Kelly heads a full staff of safety officers, but they have no enforcement powers. The organization polishes used bowling trophies and hands them out to departments on post that allegedly “cook the books” and have the lowest number of accident reports. That certainly doesn’t mean the lowest number of accidents!

It means that when the accidents happen, employees are told if they “verbally notify” their supervisor, then they are “covered.” In the event some medical disability arises, then the supervisor will back you up! No visit to the occupational health nurse. No treatment. No embarrassing records to force management to correct or remove dangerous problems in the work place.

Has anyone heard from the post electrician who had 12,000 volts of electricity pass through his body? “KF” knew the dangers and told his BOSS the electrical room was rife with violations. The response was “do your job the way I say, or you’re FIRED!” The charge that burned down the front of his body was several times greater than the state requires to operate the electric chair. We hope the courts show “KF” justice. The Army and his supervisor failed him completely!

Tim Reid, a World War II veteran and member of “America’s Greatest Generation,” was nearly cut in half from the crouch to the cranium when a faulty elevator door on post closed with full force as he was being delivered to an upper level floor. That should have meant LAWSUIT. Instead, this brave elderly man continued to visit his personal papers even though it meant struggling up the staircases in a full body cast. If you think the Army learned anything from this near-disaster, you’re wrong. Elevator maintenance is still very poor.

Harold Van Orten was quietly sitting at a table in the library when the unsecured window sash fell out and shattered over his head. Lots of glass shards for him to pick out of his sports coat and ears.

Safety officers working for Kelly are so frustrated by the inability to do their jobs that they are ready to file OSHA complaints to bring attention to the sorry condition of buildings on Carlisle Barracks.

Speaking of accidents waiting to happen, the big stone building near the front gate will soon be empty. The military managers have made a policy decision NOT to fix anything or invest any budget money on repairs. Let the next occupant pay for them! In the meantime, accidents continue to occur. Including a recent electrical fire!

No investigation of THE LOUDMOUTH is complete without a mention of his spouse, the former “WAC officer” with a talent for stage productions and local theater. She kept garrison workers in stitches with tales of “home life” with the man she called “the old fool.”

She allegedly enlisted friends and employees in a plan to drag “the old fool’s” body out onto the driveway should he “expire” during a Redskins game. The goal was to “run him over” with a car, we are told, so she could collect “double indemnity” on the life insurance.

Our CI’s recalled that the “old fool” would make “insensitive remarks” at garrison staff meetings. For example, he declared one time the employees of the Army Community Service Office “do nothing all day but watch soap operas on TV.”

More BLACK “humor.” One time, when “the old fool” and wife were in their quarters, one shouted to the other over the 6 o’clock news: “Look! The N - - - - - s are acting up again!” It just so happens they were not alone. A BLACK DPW plumber who was fixing the kitchen sink heard and repeated the story. Remember folks, we have “eyes and ears” everywhere.

Our CI’s report the LOUDMOUTH likes taking risks for the “thrill” value. The colonel allegedly recruited garrison workers to roof his rental home in D.C. He found an easy and CHEAP way to help a then-new and now-disgraced DCA move furniture shortly after the man arrived on post.

When the hitch of their truck did not fit a borrowed trailer, someone went to the motor pool and checked out a truck with the correct-sized hitch. Co-workers called up FRAUD, WASTE and ABUSE and the unlucky DCA ended up paying for the gas used in the government truck.

Inquiring minds want to know what happened the night THE LOUDMOUTH went home from OKTOBERFEST, we are told NOT with his wife, but with one of the infamous Carlisle Barracks HARPIES. The colonel must have “enjoyed himself” because THE HARPIE got a rapid rise to GM-13 for her efforts. Regulars at the VFW Club claim the “encounter” provoked “quite a cat fight” at the bar some weeks later.

Many of you know that led ALL other news media in reporting the inside details of the Bartlett murder case on Carlisle Barracks. We were consistently FIRST with facts no one else had. And all our reports checked out. Much to the consternation of THE DUMMY, the Barracks’ bumbling PAO, who did much damage to local media relations with his ham-handed tactics and failed effort to “root out” our many CI’s all over post.

Well, here’s what to expect at the court martial. Our inside sources tell us the despondent colonel, charged with murdering his wife and trying to conceal the body, is debating whether to plead “temporary insanity.” How else to explain the sheer brutality of the beating inflicted? The autopsy photos were pretty gruesome.

One thing is for sure. The Army won’t execute Bartlett after he is convicted. They don’t want that kind of publicity. The light colonel will never see another day as a free man, but he needn’t fear he will be put to death.

Some of Suzanne Bartlett’s many friends on post have told us they prefer a “punishment” of life imprisonment without any hope of parole. “Then he can spend the rest of his miserable life remembering what he did to his wife and children,” one officer’s spouse bitterly said.

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