She has been a loyal servant to her country for some 20 years now, and yet, many are baffled as to why her U.S. Army superiors have turned their backs on her. After serving 20 years, she is eligible for retirement, so why would she walk away now when she could easily retire?
Sergeant First Class (SFC) E7 Shantaya Williams, who enlisted in the US Army as Shantay Haines when she was 17 years old, is a combat veteran who served in the Iraq War. She is a well-respected soldier with an unblemished record, but she remains held at the Kaufman County Detention Center on charges of AWOL and desertion under 10 U.S. Code § 885 – Article 85.
SFC Williams, a wife, and mother of four who lives in Grand Prairie, Texas, is awaiting transportation into U.S. Army custody. She fears for her safety.
How Could This Happen To A U.S. Decorated Combat Veteran?
Williams had initially been assigned to a unit in Texas, but after receiving medical orders to stay in Texas, she was suddenly reassigned to a unit in Virginia after asking for high school stabilization for her teenage daughter during a family custody battle.
Attorney Sean Timmons is representing SFC Williams and believes that because she was a whistleblower and exposed corruption, the U.S. Army Command retaliated and punished her by declaring her AWOL and then, a deserter, which are both serious offenses.
Under the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ), there are three charges relating to failure to report for duty. They include desertion, absence without leave (AWOL) and missing movement. Desertion carries a maximum punishment of dishonorable discharge, forfeiture of all pay, and confinement of five years.
Unsuccessful Efforts With U.S. Army Human Resources Command
Atty. Timmons is fighting for his client, who was only following the doctor’s medical orders for rest because of extreme anxiety and combat stress trauma. She was under medical care and advised not to work.
Her attorney had reached out to facilitate a solution with the U.S. Army Human Resources Command, but instead, he says, the Army retaliated. The U.S. Marshall Service and the local police department descended upon SFC Williams’ home in Grand Prairie with guns drawn and pointed at her face; and the faces of her children ages 1, 16, 18 and 22.
It was a horrifying moment and one that the family remains haunted by. Williams had been nursing her baby when the U.S. Marshalls drew their guns on the mother of four.
An Alleged Corrupt U.S. Army Command with Abusive Maltreatment
According to Atty. Timmons, what has happened to this innocent, African-American woman who has served her nation with pride and an excellent record for almost 20 years, should shock fellow Americans. He alleges that the U.S. Army Command has engaged in abusive maltreatment in violation of Article 93 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice.
The lawyer also states that the Army is guilty of tampering with a witness to Congress, regarding SFC Williams’ repeated attempts for a congressional inquiry request into the corruption she had reported in good faith.
Atty. Timmons believes that the Commander who ordered this chain of events should be charged with abuse of process, gross corruption and dereliction.
Her Family Seeks Justice For SFC Shantaya Williams; We Will Not Be Silenced
Sergeant First Class Shantaya Williams has had a clean military record and was eligible for retirement. There was no way she would risk all of that and go AWOL. Her family and friends stand strongly behind her and will not be silenced.
SFC Shantaya Williams is not a criminal. She is a soldier, a mother, and a wife. She was only trying to do right by her family, work through a custody dispute and provide a safe environment for her kids before deploying. She deserves better than this, and the U.S. Army appears to have failed her.
We are sharing a copy of a letter sent to the U.S. Army by her attorney stating a peaceful resolution to the matter. We are also sharing a redacted medical order from her physician. We have also seen a thread of emails showing that SFC Williams had been in communication with human resources leading up to her detainment.