As a retired U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel I stand with those soldiers who are put in harms way and are doing what they have been trained to do, close with and destroy the enemy using all means available.
I have written about the rules of engagement under the previous administration. In a column “President Obama killing our soldiers softly with his Rules of Engagement” Billy & Karen Vaughn wrote:
US soldiers in Afghanistan are now forced to fight a two-fronted war. Before each deployment, these soldiers understand fully that day after day they will do battle against relentless terrorists with shifting loyalties and unspeakable hatred. But what none of them could have foreseen was the killing field that would open from their rear…the Continental United States.
Our government’s incessant tightening of already restrictive ROE (Rules of Engagement), compounded by the failed COIN (Counterinsurgency) strategy—also known as “winning hearts and minds,” has made an otherwise primitive enemy formidable.
Our best and brightest come home in body bags as politicians and lawyers dine over white linen tablecloths; writing, modifying, and re-modifying these lethal rules…rules that favor the enemy rather than the American soldier. Rules so absurd they’re difficult to believe until you hear the same stories over and again from those returning from battle.
Billy and Karen Vaughn lost their son Navy SEAL Arron due to the rules of engagement, which benefit the enemy and harm, and kill, our men and women in uniform.
I received this pleas for the mother of U.S. Army Sergeant Derrick Miller,
I am so thankful that Major Donahue asked me to send this e-mail to you today…
My name is Renee Myers and my son is Sgt. Derrick Miller of the Maryland National Guard.
Derrick is the kind of man every mother wants her son to grow up to be – strong, kind and loyal. He’s a proud daddy who adores his two daughters – this photo is one of my favorites of him holding his oldest daughter, Karina.
But what I love the most about my son is that he felt it was his duty as an American to join the National Guard. In fact, he volunteered for two of his three deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan.
Now, I wish I could go back in time and tell him not to…
Because for volunteering to defend our nation, Derrick has been sentenced to life in prison for doing exactly what the Army trained him to do!
You see, while on a combat mission in September of 2010, Derrick watched an Afghani national walk through his unit’s defense perimeter. The same man had been detained the day before under suspicion of driving insurgents to a nearby combat firefight.
So to be safe, Derrick and another U.S. soldier took him into custody for questioning with an Afghani interpreter.
Derrick asked the man why he was within the American defense perimeter. First, the man claimed to be an electrician responding to a downed power line. Then he claimed to be there to fix a water pump. Either way, he had no tools with him.
The Afghani grew more and more agitated as Derrick continued asking questions. Suddenly, he grabbed for Derrick’s weapon.
Derrick reacted immediately – firing and killing the suspect.
Richard, just days after the incident, Derrick was arrested and charged with “premeditated murder” of the Afghani insurgent!
For eight terrible months, we waited for the trial that would finally set the record straight and bring Derrick home to us. After all, there were witnesses who saw the whole incident and would testify on his behalf.
But instead, our government turned its back on Derrick – a decorated U.S. soldier – to appease Afghanistan officials.
Remember, another soldier had witnessed the interrogation and confirmed Derrick’s account. But he changed his story after the government threatened to charge him with accessory to murder.
The other witness was the Afghani translator. And in exchange for testifying against Derrick, he was granted U.S. citizenship.
Yes, our government brought him here to the U.S. and paid for him to live in an on-base hotel for six months with food, a personal van, and a $630 per month allowance – all provided at taxpayer expense!
Worst of all, the Army destroyed every bit of forensic evidence that could have proved Derrick was acting in self-defense. There were no photos. No autopsy. Nothing.
But I still believed the government would do the right thing. Instead, I held hands with my husband and Derrick’s wife, Katherine, and listened in shock as Derrick was convicted and sentenced to life in prison.
His feet were shackled, his hands cuffed to a leather belt around his waist, and, just like that, my only child was taken from me.
Since then, the world has simply fallen apart for his precious family.
The military immediately stopped Derrick’s paychecks. Derrick’s wife and my husband and I had pooled together all our money to hire a civilian attorney to represent Derrick. It cost $50,000 – every cent we had.
Now, with no money in the bank, his wife couldn’t pay their mortgage, utilities, car payment, or Derrick’s student loans.
Derrick had always worked two jobs so his wife could stay home after their babies were born. Now she can’t. The girls are so little and they don’t understand. They ask her over and over again, “Why can’t Daddy come home?”
They wake up at night and cry for him. And honestly, sometimes so do I.
Richard, I can’t bear the thought of the girls growing up without their dad. Or Derrick not being able to scoop them up in his arms before they’re grown. But we have only one hope left now…
You see, Major Donahue heard about Derrick’s case and contacted me immediately.
As you know, Major Donahue knows firsthand from combat tours of Vietnam that you can’t send U.S. soldiers into terrorist combat zones and second-guess their actions from a desk in Washington. And now UAP is ready to help Derrick.
But first, they have to raise money for an appeal, which will require hours of legal research, expert witnesses, and legal motions. Remember, UAP is a non-profit organization, which means they don’t receive any funding from the federal government – only private donations from patriotic Americans.
It also means that I’m going to take a deep breath and ask you one of the hardest questions I’ve ever asked another person:
Your gift is tax-deductible. And it will help us pay for Derrick’s appeal – and help other innocent soldiers who have been unfairly charged, too.
The federal government has already spent hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars to convict Derrick and grant U.S. citizenship to the Afghani who testified against him.
But I must rely on the generous hearts of people like you to save my son.
That’s why I’m writing you today – to do what I can as the mother of a U.S. soldier to find good-hearted people out there who care about defending our nation’s troops.
Our attorney is going above and beyond the call of duty to fight for Derrick. But mounting his defense will cost us at least $30,000. It’s money we simply don’t have.
Your $35 contribution could be the difference between letting my son rot in prison for the rest of his life for a “crime” he didn’t commit… or bringing him home to me and his girls where he belongs!
Thank you from the bottom of my heart for any help you can send to UAP today.
Mrs. Renee Myers
P.S. As a member of the National Guard who volunteered for two of his three tours of duty, my son has sacrificed so much for our country. Yet in return, our government has taken away his family and his freedom! Right now Derrick desperately needs to know that he hasn’t been forgotten! Thank you for whatever amount you can send today to give him hope and to help bring him home!