Happy Tuesday to you all. As you are well aware, I love to keep my blog upbeat and happy - making it a safe place for everyone to come and find plenty of smiles. Every now and again something important comes along that does skew a little away from my normal content. That's today's post. My sister Ashley has an important cause that she wants to tell everyone about. I thank you in advance for taking the time to read the post, I'm sure there are many more stories out there just like this one.
If nothing else, I ask you to pray for this family, pray for Michael. Prayer changes things.
Hi everyone! I’m Lindsay’s sister Ashley. I’m also the mother of the cute little boy that has been prominently featured here on this wonderful website. I am not a blogger, nor do I intend to be, but I found a topic that has really captured my heart, and Lindsay has so kindly let me blog about it here.
I have nothing but support for the men and women who fight for our freedoms every day. Lindsay and I come from a family of proud military men. Both of our grandfathers served in WWII and we have numerous great uncles who have proudly served. My son’s godmother is a Chief Petty Officer in the Navy and on a deployment as we “speak”. What you are about to read is about the injustice our soldiers face from their very own military.
I just learned about this on Thursday of last week. The orthopedic clinic I work for had a patient who was coming in to be fit for a knee brace and I had the opportunity to be the person who helped her. After the fitting she and her daughter were telling me they were about to take a trip to Oklahoma because her grandson was coming home. I asked if he was military and they said yes, he’s a Lieutenant in the Army. I asked where he was and the daughter proceeded to tell me his story. Here is a recap of the story:
His name is Michael Behenna. He’s a 1st Lieutenant in the Army. He was deployed in 2007 for his first and only deployment. He was sent to Iraq, where his platoon was attacked by Al Qaeda. During that attack, two members of the platoon as well as two Iraqi citizens were killed. Two other members of the platoon were injured. Lt Behenna’s platoon was able to detain the mastermind behind the attack. Shortly after, orders came down that the Al Qaeda terrorist was to be returned to his home. Lt Behenna followed orders and as he was taking the terrorist home he interrogated him further. At one point he turned to the interpreter, and as this happened the terrorist reached for Lt. Behenna’s gun. The Lt was able to fire 2 shots which killed the terrorist.
After that the Lt was arrested and charged with premeditated murder of the terrorist. He went to a military trial. The night before Lt. Behenna was to testify, the expert witness for the military told lawyers the only explanation he could see is that the terrorist was reaching for the Lt’s gun. The next day during his testimony the Lt. stated the terrorist reached for his gun. Again the government’s expert witness expresses to the prosecuting lawyers that the Lt. has to be telling the truth. But, the expert witness never got the chance to testify in open court.
Lt. Behenna was found guilty of unpremeditated murder and assault. He was sentenced to 25 years in Leavenworth. His lawyers appealed and have now exhausted all appeals through the military. His family is now trying to appeal with the Supreme Court to clear his name of the charges.
After his grandmother and aunt told me this story, they then said he had been paroled and that is why they are going to Oklahoma. He was sentenced to 25 years, it was reduced by 10 so he ended up having a 15 year sentence which he served 5 years and has now been paroled.
This young man put his life on the line for his country and all the people who live here. He killed a terrorist in self-defense and he was the one who is tried and convicted. I thought men and women were sent over to Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and every other country to fight terrorists. So why was this Soldier prosecuted for doing what he was sent over there to do? He was protecting himself and others and somehow that ended up being wrong. He was told to do a job and was sent to prison for doing that job.
I don’t typically get on a soap box like this, but I felt this story had to be told, and hopefully we as a country can right the wrong that has been done to this young man. He will be released from Leavenworth on Friday, March 14. The Kansas Patriot Guard (a group of motorcyclists who welcome home, attend funerals and do anything else for our military personnel) will be at the gates of Leavenworth when he is released. The Oklahoma Patriot Guard is meeting him at the border and will escort him from the border to his home town. They, as a group, are showing this young man what he means to this country and that they support him. He will be appearing on the Sean Hannity show once he is back in Oklahoma.
This is the website that has been set up for him, www.defendmichael.com. There is a petition that you can sign if you want to help in this fight to clear his name. Thank you for letting me take over this very upbeat blog to get Lt. Behenna's story out there.