Imagine, if you will, an American soldier allegedly finds out that a young boy was raped. His mother is reportedly beaten up after she reports the crime. The soldier, true to American ideals, stands up for them. After all, many people enlist in the military precisely to stand up for those who need it.
Now imagine how the United States government will react to that. If you imagined them kicking the soldier out of the Army… you’d be right. Even then, you’d probably be surprised that it took four years to do it.
The U.S. Army is kicking out a decorated Green Beret after an 11-year Special Forces career, after he got in trouble for shoving an Afghan police commander accused of raping a boy and beating up his mother when she reported the incident.
The case of Sgt. 1st Class Charles Martland now has the attention of Congress, with Rep. Duncan Hunter writing to Defense Secretary Ash Carter challenging the decision.
“I am once again dismayed by the Army’s actions in this case,” Hunter, R-Calif., wrote in a letter to Carter.
Martland is described by many of his teammates as the finest soldier they have ever served alongside.
But his Army career changed course during his second deployment to Afghanistan in 2011. After learning an Afghan boy was raped and his mother beaten, Martland and his team leader confronted a local police commander they had trained, armed and paid with U.S. taxpayer dollars. When the man laughed off the incident, they physically confronted him.
They were punished by the Army at the time — but why exactly Martland is now being discharged is a matter of dispute. Army sources cited his accolades, including being named runner-up for 2014 Special Warfare Training Group Instructor of the Year from a pool of 400 senior leaders in Special Forces, in questioning the decision.
As for the incident in 2011, Hunter told Carter: “To intervene was a moral decision, and SFC Martland and his Special Forces team felt they had no choice but to respond.”
Casey, a former Green Beret teammate who would only use his first name since he is now a member of a federal counterterrorism team, told Fox News, “If I was a commander, I would have given him an award. They saved that kid’s life.”
If protecting the innocent isn’t what we’re supposed to do in Afghanistan, then can someone tell us what we’re doing there? The Taliban was evil, so it had to be removed. Got it. But evil still exists, and Martland and his team confront it.
Here at Same Page Nation, we try to talk about the things we should all be able to agree on. There are probably no issues we should all be on the same page about more than protecting children from predators, women from being victimized, and law enforcement officials abusing their positions.
Martland confronted all three of those. True to the nature of a US Army Special Forces soldier, he didn’t shrink away. He acted. If any punishment was due, one would think it should have been meted four years ago, not now.
Further, if that’s a crime, we suspect a lot of Americans might consider themselves potential criminals. What do you think? Too much?