August 6, 2010

Hope ... it's a powerful emotion

Posted by meli on Friday, August 06, 2010 in | 1 comment

Nick is talking with his lawyer as we speak.
His command finally "officially" sent up the assault charges for disciplinary action.
Things are stressful and worrisome.

As much as I don't regret my part in what happened (his work has very subtly hinted around at my "wrong doing" by contacting police, and making this issue go outside the command ... nice, right?), I am extremely anxious as to the outcome of this. Being *this* close (a matter of a couple months) to a medical retirement, and having the stress of a dishonorable discharge looming is just freaking me the fuck out.

Nick does have a very solid case, but it's one that he's struggling with. He doesn't want to fight against actions taken against him, because he feels he deserves "what he gets" and more. He doesn't want to defend himself against the horrible things he did to our family 4 months ago.

I've explained to him that by not fighting, by not defending his case; the kids, me, him... our entire family is going to get so completely screwed. He may feel he deserves all of it and more (I don't!) ... but he can't argue with the fact that the kids and I surely don't deserve this! We don't deserve to be kicked out on our asses with nothing (him especially!).

This incident happened 4 months ago. In those four months, his command has already taking disciplinary action against him... "unofficially". He's been on barracks restriction for the entire 4 months. He's been ordered to attend certain classes. Ordered to enroll in anger management type groups. Ordered to undergo therapy (more so then he already was ... something he personally asked for many times, but was always told there wasn't enough time, staff, slots, etc). Ordered to limitations on seeing/visiting his children. Without reading him his rights, he's been questioned, put down, threatened, and counseled numerous times in the 4 months since the assault. He's done everything ordered of him.

Earlier this week they finally sent up the paperwork for the art 15 (the "official" disciplinary action plan), he was finally read his rights and given the option to either speak or remain silent (as anything he said could and would be used against him), and he was made aware of the maximum disciplinary punishment they could take against him.

It just doesn't seem right. Not kosher. They shouldn't be allowed to question him for 4 months (which he had to answer, you can't not answer direct questions from your command unless you want more charges against you) using all of that information to build their case, AND THEN read him his right and give him the option to remain silent. WTF kind of bs is that? They shouldn't be allowed to have already been disciplining/punishing him for 4 months "off the record", and then go ahead and punish him for the same charges a SECOND time.

I know the military is jacked up. I know civil liberties are stripped away from our soldiers (as much as the big wigs like to deny that fact). I know they can get away with pretty much anything damn thing they want, and be able to dig up some footnote in some dinosaur article to back them up ... but that doesn't make it right. The lawyer Nick spoke to earlier this week said he had a really good case, but was referring him to another guy in the unit who specializes in civil liberties, who will hopefully be able to better fight this.

Couple all of that with his medical turmoil ... the combat related ptsd and tbi (results of which came in just a few weeks ago, and make it plain as day that he suffered a permanent traumatic brain injury ... the test results were pretty severe). We have a soldier injured during a time of war. A soldier who actually has been asking for help, but has instead been ridiculed, put down, punished, put on the back burner, and given the run around in seeking that help. A soldier made to feel he's not "up to par", he's weaker, unworthy, not intelligent, oh, and he dresses bad (yes, his 1st Sgt made it that personal). A soldier who has done everything that has been ordered of him these 4 months, trying to get back on his feet, doing the right thing, and hoping he has a chance at saving his family ... only to be blindsided by this (1st Sgt actually ORDERED Nicks squad leader NOT to tell Nick what the "meeting" was about, just that he had to be there. He wanted him walking into the room not having a clue he was about to get an article 15. Not being prepared in the lest for the onslaught of attack). With all of that, is there any fucking wonder why so many of our soldiers crack/snap? Or why so many hide their mental injuries; ignore and deny until it's too late? I mean, come the fuck on!

The military shouldn't be able to break a man during their war, and then not be held responsible for helping that man regain some sense of a normal life with help and support for a lifetime. They shouldn't be able to "get rid" of soldiers who display symptoms of mental injury simply because those symptoms are violent or criminal. A dishonorable discharge would mean they were washing their hands of him, of us, of any wrong doing. They'd be shoving Nick out of the military, and into the civilian world with nothing, essentially tossing their problems onto someone else to deal with.

It's not right!

Cross your fingers, send light and love, good thoughts, prayers, whatever it is you do ... please do it. We need it.
The kids don't deserve this.
I don't deserve this.
Nick doesn't even deserve this.

Hope ... it's a powerful emotion that can bring about action.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Meli,
    You are a great writer and I await your next post. I have indeed prayed and have been sending good thoughts. I hope things are no more than you can handle.
    Love to you all,