In the summer of 2011, I was in Camp Pendleton in southern California participating in a training exercise when a bit of administrative business took a colleague and me to the West Coast headquarters of the Marine Special Operations Command. As we were leaving, my colleague spotted another Marine officer he knew in the parking lot. Walking over to say hello, I couldn’t help noticing that this officer seemed exhausted, as though he had just been through a tough workout in the gym, and that the effort to get into his car seemed to have taken even more out of him. A second or two later I saw the cause of his trouble: He was missing both of his legs.
In a long piece that ran this weekend, Washington Post reporter Greg Jaffe tells the story of Robert Carlson, a soldier who, in 2012, having beaten his wife late at night during an alcohol-fueled argument, then fired numerous rounds from a pistol at police cars approaching his house.
Carlson was eventually sentenced to eight years in a military prison for what he did that night. Much of Jaffe’s piece is spent detailing mitigating circumstances for Carlson’s actions—in particular his multiple combat tours, his harrowing experiences during them, and a diagnosis of PTSD that his defense team made heavy use of during the trial. Writes Jaffe:
Marine Corps veterans tired of seeing fellow Marine Andrew Tahmooressi stuck in Mexican prison are traveling nearly 300 miles by foot to Washington, D.C., to tell President Obama to do whatever he has to do to get Mexico “to turn our Marine loose.”
Marine Corps veteran Terry Sharpe is 63 years old and began walking the 287 miles from his home in Summerfield, North Carolina, to Washington, D.C., two weeks ago to raise awareness about Tahmooressi, who has been locked away in a Mexican prison since March.