Today for my My Friend Friday feature, I want to draw your attention to a serviceman in desperate need of your prayers. This case was brought to my attention by one of my nearest-by writing friends, the lovely Rita Gerlach. Rita's niece is the wife of Derrick Miller, a brave Army Guardsman who has been unfairly made an example of by the government.
I'm not usually an anti-government person, and I take pride in our military. Which is why when Rita first told me about the situation her nephew-in-law was in, I had full faith that justice would be served. Unfortunately, recent judgment has disappointed us all. Rather than trying to sum up the situation and getting it wrong, I'm pasting below from www.DefendDerrick.blogspot.com. Please read through what this courageous young man is going through and spend a few minutes in prayer for him and his family, and that the appeal is successful. At the very bottom, you'll find my usual instructions for the giveaway, but I don't want to take away from this story by posting it here.
Army Guardsman, Sergeant Derrick Miller has been sentenced to life in prison with the chance of parole by the United States Military.
During a combat mission in a hostile area an Afghan man was walking inside their defense perimeter and was brought to Derrick's attention. He was recognized by several men of being the driver of a truck the day before that was taking insurgents to a nearby village. Intel confirmed the convoy but told US soldiers to let them pass.
Derrick felt an attack was imminent and detained him for questioning. During the questioning the man reached out and grabbed Derrick's weapon..there was a struggle for the weapon and then Derrick shot him in self defense.
Within an hour they were attacked on all 4 sides in an extreme complex attacked, which was also testified by many soldiers at the trial. The attack was not a result of the Afghan national being shot. The enemy knew where everything was set up inside the defense perimeter because everything was hit dead on. Where the commander was sitting and having chow moments before was hit by mortars. The only reason he had gotten up was because of the shot fired by Derrick.
Derrick having alerted the men to an imminent attack saved many US soldiers lives that day..to which many testified at the trial.
The prosecution said soldiers are overseas to "win the hearts and minds" of the Afghan people and that Derrick should never have detained the man for questions. Our government expects our soldiers to go overseas to a hostile place to just win the hearts and minds. They would have preferred Derrick allow the man to take his weapon and shoot him rather than Derrick defend himself. The military felt that self defense should not have been used because Derrick was putting his life above that man's and did not win his heart and mind. So now he's dishonorably discharged and serving life in prison.
There are media articles but they don' t do any justice in telling what happened. They even name an Afghan man, and during the whole entire trial he was never mentioned. The trial was held in July, 2011.
From the article 'Eating Our Own' by Dianna West
In a contested jury trial at Fort Campbell KY, SGT Miller was sentenced to life in prison with the opportunity for parole (in 10 years) for killing an Afghan civilian when the civilian grabbed his weapon during harsh questioning. The civilian was identified as a possible insurgent who had been walking through SGT Miller’s platoon defensive perimeter observing their defensive positions. After the shooting the unit was attacked in a complex attack and the ANA soldiers assigned to the platoon pulled back prior to the start of the shooting and hid behind a building.
The witnesses against SGT Miller were a soldier who originally supported SGT Miller’s version of events, but changed his story when he was threatened with being named an accessory and being placed on legal hold so he could not demobilized. The other witness was an Afghan translator who was promised US Citizenship in exchange for his testimony. He was brought to the US in January and has been living at Fort Campbell in a base hotel at $630 per month with a dedicated van to take him wherever he wants to go, and has been fed at taxpayer expense.
Basically, the two witnesses had every incentive to testify the way the Government wanted them to — consistent with guilt rather than SGT Miller’s claim of innocence. SGT Miller cooperated in every way from the date of the shooting, but his command lacked the moral courage to stand behind him.
The Afghans run that area of the country. This guy [the victim] was an insurgent but no one in the freaking military is willing to say so to the two-faced Afghans. They had a firefight that night that was designed to kill Americans — all the while the ANA soldiers were nowhere to be seen. They disappeared just before the shooting started and the fire on American positions was such that the guys targeted were sure that they [the insurgents] had recon of American positions due to this guy and his two military-aged males accompanying him reporting on the positions.
That we waste ONE American life in defense of that country is anathema. The country is completely corrupt; they are cowards unwilling to defend their own country, and we have gotten so deep in defending an indefensibly corrupt regime we cannot extricate our military in a way that allows us to maintain our honor.
Roseanna again--please, spare a few prayers for Derrick and his family, and leave a note of encouragement for them on the website above--I doubt they will check this one. But because I have an ongoing Friday-post giveaway, feel free to comment here as well for your entry for this package of books, or on any other Friday post in July or August.