Well, things have only gotten more complicated and frustrating. I recently found out that my former commander is compiling sworn statements against me, in an effort to build some kind of case against me. I am not sure what they could accuse me of, but the going story around the rumor mill has it as ‘conspiracy.’ Basically, it seems that they want to accuse me of manipulating the soldier who worked for me for several months and decided to put in his own CO application. He recently decided to rescind the application, which gave them reason to believe that since he made the decision to withdraw only after they had moved him away from me, he was under my mind-control the whole time… I dunno. It will be hard to prove I was directing him to do anything, even if I did have something to gain from him submitting his packet.
After I found out about the sworn statements, I was told by Division Legal that I am entitled access to such statements under the Freedom of Information Act. So I am working on getting those copies before they deploy next week, but I think it is unlikely it will happen that fast. I also submitted a statement to include in my CO packet that requested my commander provide justification for a derogatory evaluation he wrote on me a week ago. I supplied legal with a copy, as well as the inspector general. I also gave one to the commander, since I feel it would be mirroring exactly what they are doing to me if I were to submit the statement without his knowledge.
Later in the week, I found out about an order the commander gave the private to not contact me under any circumstances. This order basically is a restraining order, so he is not allowed to communicate with me. Also, the order directly obstructs my appeal process for the negative evaluation they submitted on me, since I cannot get a statement from the only other firsthand witness to the actions they are accusing me of. The legality of that order is in question, but until it is deemed unlawful by a legal expert in division, I plan to abide by it. The day after I found this out, I was given, by my new commander, an order to not contact him. So now it goes both ways, I can’t get in touch with him or him with me. I don’t know of a clearer example of ‘manipulating’ a soldier as the commanders have developed this situation into. Back to the accusations; I have heard that they could be planning anything from nothing to a full blown court martial. If they decide to try to push Nonjudicial Punishment (Article 15 proceedings), my inclination is to waive it and press for court martial; that way I could be represented by a lawyer and I could be afforded a more judicious form of trial. The bottom line, however, is that I just don’t know what to expect right now and all this is speculation until something is done.
If this email has been kind of all over the place, I apologize. I am in the middle of moving, doing three work details a day during duty hours, and trying to keep abreast of all of this CO stuff on top of that. I have been pretty tired lately, especially after pulling two 24 hour duties in one week. Also, I asked a local Christian coffee shop if I could use their store to open up a discussion about Just War and how the body of Christ should respond. I got a call from the owner last night saying that is not something they want discussed in their shop; as war is ‘too controversial.’ It broke my heart. Thousands of people are dying and we can’t even talk about it publicly. I was really crushed by her decision. That’s part of why I am so listless today; it just hurts to think someone doesn’t even want to address the issue verbally as so many children of God don’t even have that choice; to simply talk about it instead of being victim to it. It might sound harsh, but I think a more accurate term to use to describe my reaction would be ‘disgusted’ and ‘appalled.’ Her phone call just floored me. Still recovering from it, I guess. Anyway, hope that this email was at least informative.