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Saturday, December 18, 2004

Sign the Petition

From Rob's Blog and Fair Treatment for Our Soldiers: please sign the petition here.

"There is a petition available (click the title above) to encourage Lt. Gen. Thomas F. Metz to grant clemency to Maj. Kaus and CWO Birt. Please consider signing it; your email address can (and by default does) remain private.

The soldiers of the 656th Transportation Company, a National Guard unit from Springfield, Ohio, only did what they had to do to accomplish their mission. Faced with a lack of equipment, specifically trucks to carry their gear on a fueling mission, they took abandoned trucks and equipment (left behind by another Army unit that had moved deeper into Iraq) and used it to do their job. ...

For accomplishing their missions in an outstanding manner, many were decorated. When later a soldier reported the manner in which they obtained the trucks and parts, many of them were disciplined; two of them faced punishment so harsh that the ...

... felony convictions caused them to lose their civilian jobs, as well as their entire military careers, all pay and benefits, retirement, even the right to have a flag on their casket when the pass away.

And for what? Scrounging for the gear they needed to complete their missions. For dealing in the best way they could with a problem that has even been brought to the feet of the Secretary of Defense by soldiers on the ground in Iraq; the problem of an appalling lack of resources that endangers our soldiers in Iraq every day.

Major Catherine Kaus and Chief Warrant Officer Darrell Birt were dismissed from the Army National Guard with Dishonorable Discharges; both had to serve 6 months in confinement, lost all pay and allowances, all benefits, retirement, and even their civilian jobs. They tried to do the best by their troops, and did whatever was necessary to further their mission. They served with honor, bravery, and a fighting spirit long cherished in our armed forces. They were decorated for their service. Then callously thrown away like so much trash.

This petition�s purpose is to show the Army and our government that Americans support their troops; no matter their feelings about the Iraq war, injustice to our men and women in uniform is a matter that cannot stand unchallenged. They are asked to sacrifice far too much; their jobs, time away from home and family, missed birthdays and anniversaries, missed holidays. They are often gone when their children are born, when their kids graduate from high school or college, when their family members need them. Many never come home. They deserve better than the treatment Major Kaus, Chief Warrant Officer Birt, and the members of the 656th Transportation Company received."

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