Friday, August 26, 2016

Things are not always what they seem...

Today's post is inspired by a news article I read yesterday about General David B. Haight.  Haight, a two star general, BYU graduate, married father of four, and graduate of both the Army and Naval war colleges was, until May of this year, serving as the head of the European command here in Stuttgart (EUCOM).  Just as an aside-- Bill used to work for EUCOM during our first time in Germany.  Now Bill is working for AFRICOM, which is the African command, also in Stuttgart.

Anyway, General Haight, also apparently related to the late Mormon Apostle David B. Haight, was fired from his job in May.  Why?  Because for the past eleven years, the good general has been swinging.  Yep.  This man, who might have ultimately retired with three or four stars, has been having a torrid affair with a 49 year old woman named Jennifer Armstrong.  They met in Iraq back in 2005, when she sent him emails praising his smile.  They eventually met in person and started their eleven year sexual odyssey.

Now... a lot of people think that what the general does off duty is no one's business.  However, at this point in time, adultery is against the United States Code of Military Justice (UCMJ).  The reason adultery is against the rules is because it puts servicemembers at risk of blackmail.  Many people in the military have jobs in positions that require them to have security clearances.  Having an affair, especially one that isn't just a one night stand, gives the servicemember something to hide, which can be exploited by others.  There's a comment on this thread on Reddit that probably does a better job than I can explaining why adultery is a no no.

Moreover, it's behavior that is unbecoming of an officer.  This guy was a leader and a role model to thousands of people.  He should have been setting an example for everyone by following the rules.  Instead, he got away with his affair for eleven years, brazenly using government resources to carry on with his mistress, Jennifer Armstrong.  He was hanging out with swingers, going to clubs and parties, and basically not being an example worth following.  

Armstrong, by the way, appears to be pretty crazy too.  She evidently emailed every guy in the Army named David Haight in her quest to get chummy.  She lied twice about having degrees that she doesn't have.  She's also declared bankruptcy twice.  The fact that the general fell for her attentions says something about his ego and his lack of commitment to his marriage.  

When I shared this news on Recovery from Mormonism yesterday, one person mentioned that it's highly possible that Haight has been a bishop at some point, which would mean he probably quizzed church members about their habits and whether or not they were remaining faithful to the church's lifestyle requirments.  At the very least, he was probably one of those members that Mormons love to praise.  Here he was, Mormon royalty, BYU grad, good looking and high ranking military officer, returned missionary, and an apparently faithful believer in the church.  But underneath that facade, he's screwing around and breaking the rules.  I did note that he was not using drugs or alcohol during his escapades, so it does at least look like he followed the Word of Wisdom.

Granted, Haight is human and humans make mistakes, but this mistake is a whopper.  He was totally living a double life, presenting one image to the world and living in a completely different reality.  Somehow, he appears to have justified in his mind that what he was doing was permissible.  Maybe the stress of being at such a high level was too much for him.  Maybe he spent a lot of time downrange and got lonely.  I see here from a news article in 2013 that he was still sleeping with his wife.

On Thursday night, the soon-to-be brigadier general thought the promotion would bring some excitement to his wife, Bonnie. While the two were in bed, he put his arms around her and asked a big question. “ Did you ever think in your wildest dreams that you know you would get to sleep with a brigadier general,” he asked? “She kissed me on the cheek and kind of patted my forehead and said dear you are not even in my wildest dreams.”

Read more here: http://www.ledger-enquirer.com/news/local/article29292877.html#storylink=cpy

This is maybe the third or fourth high ranking military officer I've read about in the past five years or so who has turned out to be a total scumbag.  The first, of course, was the guy Bill went to war with in 2007.  Colonel Phil Stemple put Bill through absolute hell in Iraq for six months.  Then, in 2010, he went to Iraq as a brigade commander, where he proceeded to abuse on a much larger scale.  He was very publicly fired in 2011.  Stemple had been slated to become a general, but was forced to retire after his very public scandal.

In 2014, I read about Colonel Jeffrey Pounding, another officer Bill worked with who turned out to be carrying on with a mistress for years.  He was also HIV positive and apparently didn't disclose that fact to his mistress, who later blew the whistle on him.  Pounding was brought up on charges due to his failure to disclose his HIV status, but those were dropped last year.

Of course, most of us have heard about General David Petraeus, who was also having an affair and got caught.  His story was very publicly disseminated in the news.

ETA: This was in my feed this morning.  Retired four star Air Force General Arthur Lichte accused of sexually harassing a female colonel in his command...

Give me my faithful, retired, ex Mormon LTC any day.

   

3 comments:

  1. When I first read this, I thought, "Wait a minute. Isn't he dead?" Then, reading on, I realized that there were two of them. (There are probably actually a whole lot more.) i'd love to know in what capacities this guy served in the Church, but you'll never get that info from the church when something like this happens. The church hunkers down and encircles all the pertinent info in the middle of the wagons.You only find out if someone who happens to have been in the right place at the right time to be privy to such info shares it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. He may be a Jack Mo for all we know.

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    2. Yes, he may be, but I'd guess he's jack mo with benefits from the sound of his name.

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