-- Retired Gen. Loree Sutton and Garry Trudeau, in a Washington Post OpEd, June 29, 2013
The first time B.D. encounters command-rape survivor Melissa Wheeler in the waiting room at the VA Center, he has no idea what to make of the scowling former chopper mechanic. But in the months that follow, witnessing Mel's pain and her healing process help him with his own, and B.D. ends up a staunch and encouraging ally.
With the help of VA counselors Cora and Elias, Wheeler is able to reframe her experience and move forward to the point where she re-ups and re-deploys, though the trauma and betrayal continue to haunt her. She and battlebud Roz masterfully manage a perilous rescue op of a downed USO chopper, and in the new post-DADT world the now-out Roz and her now-superior ("That's SERGEANT bitch to you!") help wind down US ops in Afghanistan. Returning stateside, Mel's final obstacle is her father's cluelessness--and a widespread reluctance to hear the truth of her story.
As always, Trudeau manages to find humor and humanity in even a tale of suffering, and sheds serious light on one of the most pressing and undermining problems in our military today.
About the Author
G. B. Trudeau has been drawing his Pulitzer Prize-winning comic strip for more than forty years. In addition to cartooning, Trudeau has worked in theater, film, and television. He also has been a contributing columnist for the New York Times op-ed page and later an essayist for Time magazine. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences. He lives in New York City with his wife, Jane Pauley. They have three grown children.
Trudeau maintains a vivid online presence at doonesbury.com and offers deployed troops a forum via his milblog The Sandbox.