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You are here News Military They Faced Racial Bias In Military Discipline. That Can Impact National Security

They Faced Racial Bias In Military Discipline. That Can Impact National Security

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Crystal EllingtonIf Army veteran Crystal Ellington had known about the disparity between white service members and service members of color in military discipline, the former special operations Black Hawk helicopter mechanic says she never would have enlisted.

Ellington, who is Black, received a medical retirement under honorable conditions in July, after spending four years stationed at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, which is located 20 minutes south of Tacoma, Wash. She recalls being treated differently than her white counterparts many times, but one instance stands out because it involved her family.

On Thanksgiving weekend in 2018, then-Spc. Ellington flew into Daytona Beach International Airport on authorized leave. Ellington fondly recalls her son Gary Jr., who was 2, bounding into her arms with a huge smile, just as he does every time mom comes to visit. Gary Jr. lives in Florida with his father, and the distance between the two meant visits were less frequent than Ellington would have liked.

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