Army Ranger's widow expelled from Rumsfeld book signing

Army Ranger's widow expelled from Rumsfeld book signing
Ashley Joppa-Hagemann describes her experience at the book signing.
TACOMA, Wash. - Two people were removed from a Donald Rumsfeld book signing at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, including the Yelm widow of an Army Ranger who blames the military for her husband's suicide.

Ashley Joppa-Hagemann said on Saturday that security officers for the former secretary of defense escorted her out by the arm.

She and the executive director of a Lakewood-based anti-war group confronted Rumsfeld as he promoted his memoir, "Known and Unknown."

She had introduced herself to Rumsfeld by handing a copy of her husband's funeral program to the former defense secretary.

She told him her husband had joined the military because he believed the lies told by Rumsfeld during his tenure with the Bush administration, then later killed himself because he didn't want to be deployed for the ninth time.

"My husband joined the military, and it was his (Rumsfeld's) lies that cost my husband his life," Joppa-Hagemann said in a later interview. "And as soon as I mentioned my husband, he said, 'Oh, I heard about that.'"

Joppa-Hagemann was joined by anti-war veteran Jorge Gonzalez as she approached Rumsfeld.

Officials at the military base wouldn't confirm the incident - but they do say two people were peacefully removed from the book signing after becoming disruptive.

Gonzalez said, "If peacefully means being drug out by force, grabbing our arms and pushing us along the way."

Joppa-Hagemann and Gonzales say the military doesn't do enough to help soldiers suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.