Monday, May 10, 2010

Deserving of a Purple Heart?

I hadn't heard the story of this soldier... Lately so many of the decisions the military brass is making just baffle me:

"... New York widow Barbara Allen is battling the National Guard for withholding [a Purple Heart] from her husband, who was killed in 2005 while serving in Iraq.

First Lt. Lou Allen, 34, from Orange County, died in 2005 when a Claymore landmine, followed by three grenades, detonated in the building where he had been talking with Capt. Phillip Esposito, 30.

The two men were allegedly the victims of "fragging" -- killed by a disgruntled soldier under their command.

But the accused soldier, Staff Sgt. Alberto Martinez, 45, was found not guilty of both murders at a military trial in 2008.

Allen's family later found out that during the investigation, Martinez had offered to plead guilty to the charges in exchange for a lifetime prison sentence instead of the death penalty. Military prosecutors rejected his plea and proceeded to trial, but a jury did not convict him.

"We are all left dangling here. Officially, nobody has been named as my husband's killer, but everybody knows what happened," said Barbara Allen, now a single mother to four boys.

Lt. Allen's death isn't considered the act of an enemy combatant by the military -- but his wife disagrees..." (source)

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