Committing Suicide Because of Bad Jokes

An excerpt from HERE:

In 1995 Coast Guard Captain Ernie Blanchard, the official spokesman for Coast Guard , found himself the target of a politically correct witch hunt. Speaking at a dinner for cadets at the Coast Guard Academy he made the mistake of using jokes that some attendees found offensive. After receiving the complaint from the academy he wrote back taking full responsibility for his behavior and apologizing for his faux pas. He promised to learn from his mistake. The apology was not only rejected, but he found himself under investigation for possible court martial for sexual harassment. All over a few tasteless jokes

Overwhelmed by these events he offered to resign and was informed it would not be accepted. He was further advised any investigation would continue even if he should retire. While admitting to colleagues and friends the inability to understand how the organization he loved and served faithfully for over twenty five years would refuse to offer him support he found himself left to ‘twist in the wind.”

Fearing a guilty verdict would cost his career and pension as well as bring disgrace on his family he committed suicide. “Time” Magazine in its May 1996 issue referred to it as death over a “few offensive jokes” The Commandant of the Coast Guard Admiral Robert Kramek tired to soften the impact by suggesting Captain Blanchard over reacted and the offense was not worthy of court martial. It strains credulity to believe that the spokesman for the Coast Guard could be under investigation to the point of despair while his boss remained unaware of the concerns and implications.

Senior Coast Guard officers as well as senior officers of other military services admit to being horrified by the callous indifference displayed toward Captain Blanchard. What makes this ironic is the Coast Guard is the epitome of a selfless life saving organization and recognized as the greatest organization of its type in the world. Its members constantly risk their the lives to save others. Yet its core values of Honor, Respect and Devotion to Duty were abandoned when the institution felt threatened.

Even today members of the Coast Guard are reluctant to speak of this openly.


Here is more on the story in detail:

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