Army Petitions Sarge Ahead!

Barb Wire

The Pentagon may not have Sergeant First Class Charles Martland’s back, but more than 130,000 Americans do! Since the Bronze Star winner came under fire for roughing up a child rapist in Afghanistan, Martland is building his own army of support. More than 130,000 Americans are standing up and demanding the Green Beret’s reinstatement for doing what most of them would have done in his place: protect an innocent boy.

Like a growing chorus of congressmen, men and women from across the country wanted to make their voices on the issue heard. And earlier today, FRC’s Lt. Gen. Jerry Boykin (Ret.) and American Family Association’s Sandy Rios made sure they were by taking tens of thousands of signed petitions to Senate Armed Service Committee Chairman John McCain (R-Ariz.). Next week, those same petitions will be delivered to Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-Texas), who is not only the House Armed Services Chair, but one of Martland’s most outspoken supporters. Thanks to you, Congress will get the message that warriors like Sgt. 1st Class Martland deserve praise, not punishment. What does it mean to be an American soldier if not stepping in and defending the vulnerable?

On yesterday’s “Washington Watch,” Captain Daniel Quinn, Martland’s former commanding officer, explained first-hand how deeply these atrocities affect our troops. Quinn, who helped send the message to the boy’s rapist, was candid about how “rampant” these child sexual assaults were — and how little the Afghan government, as well as ours, did to stop it. In this case, the boy had been tied up for as much as a week and repeatedly raped by the local police commander. After the child’s mother pleaded for help, the soldiers felt a moral obligation to act. As Martland himself said, “I chose the morally right decision because moral law transcends all boundaries.” And the tragic irony is that, in the end, they were the ones who were punished!

Most of us would consider the act of stepping between a child rapist and a victim a normal human response. But the Army sees it as a career-ending decision. That, more than anything, bothers veterans like Quinn, who views it as just another sad sign of how much the military has changed under this administration’s watch.

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“Ninety-nine percent of being in the military is doing the right thing. The 10 years that I spent in the Army were the best years of my life,” he said. These days, Quinn explained, commanders are so focused on damage control that it almost overshadows the mission at hand. They “play not to lose,” he said sadly, “instead of playing to win by doing the right thing.” Regardless of what any Defense or Army official says, stopping human rights abuses like this one is thedefinition of doing the right thing. If you agree, and haven’t signed our petition, it’s not too late to add your name to the thousands of Americans stepping up to fight for the men and women risking their lives to fight for us.

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.

Tony Perkins
Tony Perkins is president of the Washington, D.C.-based Family Research Council. He is a former member of the Louisiana legislature where he served for eight years, and he is recognized as a legislative pioneer for authoring measures like the nation’s first Covenant Marriage law. (Via FRC’s Washington Update. Tony Perkins’ Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.)

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