From the Ranch

From the Ranch

Friday, April 26, 2013

Open Letter to the Marine Convicted of "Attempted Adultery"

I am experiencing so much emotion about this incident.  The incident at Camp Pendleton in California where a female Marine married to a Marine Warrant Officer has been convicted of "attempted adultery," and punished.  There are other posts here, and there are many links in those posts to the details. My emotion is probably due to the fact that very recently I have looked into sad eyes.  They are the sad eyes of women, and a few men, who have been sexually assaulted in the military, and failed to receive justice, in fact all that could have been done to protect them in the first place was not done.  Probably too, because I have watched so many others abused by military power concerning all kinds of things.  I have watched them betrayed by the organizations they have pledged their lives and fortunes to in service to this country.  They are our defenders, and while as in any organization of mankind, there are those without honor, most are the best among us, possessed of the will to lay down their lives for the rest of us.  Possessed of the will to face danger that has the capability of maiming them for life, protecting the rest of us.  Something deep in me cries out when I stand where I can make no other realization than they are not receiving fair treatment, that they are being deliberately harmed by those in charge, and I realize the system is designed to allow that.

Never does "justice for all," prevail, not even in our civilian court system.  However, by far the chances of an individual to receive justice in the military are miniscule.  Always that is governed by whatever commander is in charge of the proceedings.  If the commander demands and expects justice, it will prevail, if not, it won't. There have been recent cases of commanders overturning convictions of sexual assault after the perpetrator has been tried by jury and found guilty.  Now these commanders are not lawyers, have no expertise, not even attended the proceedings, and it is just their opinion the verdict is wrong.  How can any individual expect to be treated fairly, when built into the system there are such opportunities for denial of justice?

This is important America, we need the few, the proud, the Marines.  Around the world, and hidden among our own, are individuals, groups, organization, and nations who seek the destruction of our democracy, the loss of our individual liberties, and to rule over us as they please.  They hate us.  They will bomb, maim, kidnap, drag

through the streets of Benghazi the tortured bodies of our citizens, and they will kill us, especially those who resist their efforts, and I will resist.  The few, the proud, the Marines, stand between you and me and these people, groups, organizations, and nations.  They are our defenders.  They have the skills, the will, and the devotion to sacred duty required to defend us all.  They will give their
bodies, their lives, the fortunes for us all.  We need them, when justice of the type that took place at Camp Pendleton yesterday takes place, those of honor among them, who far outnumber the rest, take a hard second look at service.   Those leaders who would stand in honorable command become discouraged, disheartened, and disillusioned.  Those within their ranks who understand and embrace abuse of power are heartened, encouraged, and gun ho to participate.  The few, the proud, become less.  There are such people in every organization of mankind, it is our responsibility to determine what kind of people prevail.  We do have a voice in how our sons and daughters will serve in the military.  We do have a voice in whether they can expect honor in every judgment.  We do have a say so in whether Military Sexual Trauma will be encouraged or discouraged.
  Never forget, there are people, organizations, and nations out there who seek our destruction, and by far the people who enlist in the military are the best among us.  The best among us have had a hard last 12 years.  This involves a family of two Marines who have stood in the gap for us all.  They have two children, old enough to suffer from this.  How do you suppose that oldest child feels about this situation that I promise you no amount of love in the world can hide this from him or her. Both of these Marines have deployed to the Middle East in service to this country.  They are both now terrified to speak out to defend themselves in any way. What do you think command could  arrange for them if they did speak out, probably the same thing it does when any woman speaks out about sexual assault?  Probably consequences on the order of the kind they have already received.  Camp Pendleton's record speaks for itself.  Remember the road rage on national television, the Marines screaming kicking the car as the brother of a wounded female Marine sat calmly ignoring him.  That happened at Camp Pendleton.  Research that Marine's punishment, nothing as severe as the female Marine in this case received, and I think it was just for him. PTSD is real, and it is real mean... and the DoD numbers on that are 700,000, and those folks tend to have bouts of drinking heavy, and engaging in risky behavior.  A real commander would have arranged mandatory marital counseling, and concentrated on much more significant problems such as reducing sexual assault at Camp Pendleton, and I'm not talking about all the pretty little programs... Leadership, called command climate is what is needed.  It is the prevailing leadership decisions, that every action by a commander creates.  If he or she laughs at the military's requirement of a family support plan of action, those he commands will not have an effective family support plan of action.  If he or she stresses awards, awards will be handed out like candy. If he or she thinks connections within the civilian community are important, those connections will be courted at all costs.  If he or she believes safety for their troops is paramount, safety will be stressed, and NCO's will be held strictly accountable for all safety protocolIf he or she curses frequently,tells crass jokes, cursing and crass jokes will be heard all through the unit.  If a commander insults women or men, acts in inappropriate ways toward members of the opposite sex, demeans or insults, that will be what happens all through the unit.  If squared away, traditional discipline is practiced by the commander, those ideals will prevail through the entire unit.  If he or she is courageous, honest, fair, selfless in their service, devoted to the mission first, and the welfare of those serving under them next, that will much more likely be how the members of that unit behave.  Leadership is everything in the military, everything.

There is something you can do.  Support our troops, contact your Senators and Congressional representation, call for a congressional hearing concerning the conviction of a female Marine for "attempted adultery," call for a reversal of the conviction, call for an investigation of the third Marine who "did not know she was married," and to whom "she didn't look too drunk to consent to me."  I believe the honor taught by the Marine Corp, actively at work in that Marine, would have dictated a different action than a one night stand.  It probably won't work, corruption is deeply rooted in our military leadership at this point in history, and they are very, very, powerful people.  The incestuous general board selection process makes that possible.  Sure, they are finally throwing a few under the bus... but it is the top brass making the selections of who the sacrificial lambs shall be. They are the top of that incestuous process.  It will take attrition...

The older I get, the more focused I become on significant living.  I only have so much life energy and resources.  I want the things I do with the days and hours of my life to matter. When the Lord calls me to that country where my eternal citizenship belongs, I want to say I spent my life in activities that mattered to that Eternal Kingdom I call home.  Defending these two Marines, who hit a rocky patch of ground in a marriage that had to have faced such challenges in the last almost twelve years, is spending my life on significant things.  They have two children.  I love being around children, they are fresher from God's hand, and bear that stamp upon them.  This couple has two children, I believe I read their ages to be 8 and 12.  I am beginning to cry at this point, and I am pausing to lift them in prayer.  I have a pretty good idea how difficult this is, and will be for them.  I have a pretty good idea what it will do to their lives, the scar it will leave.

Mistakes in judgment were made by these two Marines, as I said, life has been challenging.  Deployment has been challenging for Randy and I, and we didn't have small children.  We were old, and wise, and Randy is such a remarkable man and leader, not just of men and women who serve under him, but of his family and me as well.  I could not have made the last four years without his wisdom, his leading, and his love.  We have survived, been made stronger, our love refined like gold by fire.  I read gloating remarks predicting the break up of this family in the media online.  May God withdraw His mercy and grace from those making such comments, they are evil hearted, and deserve His wrath and judgment.

Far more important are the mistakes in judgment made by command at Camp Pendleton.  How any reasonable person could think that in light of the record Camp Pendleton has of the second highest number of reported sexual assaults of any installation in the country, the court martial of a female Marine alleging rape for adultery is a good move, is beyond me.  How any resonable person could think that this action would encourage the reporting of sexual assault, make the outcries of those who are sexually assaulted more easily proven, is just barely in double digit IQ.  Much more easily believed by the reasonable person, is that this action was designed to discourage the reporting of sexual assault at Camp Pendleton, and providing the payoff of the commander of lower reported sexual assaults at Camp Pendleton the next time the DoD releases statistics, thereby enhancing a commander's own personal career.  That is the exact conclusion I, and many, many others have drawn, making me question the judgment of the commander further in his assumption that this would go by generally unnoticed by you and I.   

I am going to defend this couple and their two children. I have made phone calls to Senators and Congressional leaders all over this country calling for a congressional hearing concerning this incident.  I have pointed out the behavior of General (R) David Patraeus, and what discipline the DoD has dealt out to him, and if you know him, please urge him to speak out on behalf of this Marine, her husband, and her children, it would be a honorable thing to do.  I have written emails, I have written blogs, made facebook entries, begged for support for this family.  I hope they will contact me, and if you know them personally, I hope you will point them to these blogs.  I hope they know what regard I hold them in.  There is an open invitation for them here at Soldier's Heart Ranch.  It is a good place to stand down, rest, and regroup, and our hospitality and support is available to them.  They are the few, the proud, the Marines.