The decision to delay the discharge of Sgt. Charles Martland is a “good first step” said Rep. Vern Buchanan, but he wants Martland exonerated and reinstated post-haste.
Army Secretary John McHugh issued a decision Tuesday to delay Martland’s discharge after chairman of the House Armed Services Committee Mac Thornberry advocated for him. The sergeant is accused of shoving an Afghan police commander to the ground for raping a small boy.
Martland now has an extra 60 days to file an appeal. (RELATED: Army Delays Discharge Of Green Beret Who Assaulted Afghan Boy Rapist)
Buchanan said Wednesday that Martland “is a hero – not a villain” in a letter to McHugh.
“Postponing Sgt. Martland’s separation from the military for 60 days to allow him time to file an appeal is a good first step, but the Army must act to reverse his forced discharge,” Buchanan wrote.
“Driving Sgt. Martland out of the Army for standing up for American values is a national disgrace,” Buchanan added. “It’s bad enough if we were ignoring this type of barbaric and savage behavior, it’s even worse if we are punishing American heroes who try to stop it.”
Buchanan joined Rep. Duncan Hunter in forwarding a resolution in the House to demand the Army reinstate Martland. (RELATED: House Reps Introduce Resolution To Reinstate Green Beret Turfed For Roughing Up Afghan Boy Rapist)
The resolution was sound enough to earn eager endorsement from three major veterans’ groups in the United States: Veterans of Foreign Wars, AMVETs and Concerned Veterans for America. (RELATED: Major Veterans’ Organizations Support Resolution Demanding Reinstatement Of Green Beret Discharged For Shoving Afghan Rapist)
But Buchanan wants more than just a reinstatement. He has asked leaders of the House and Senate Armed Services Committees to investigate allegations that U.S. troops were told—as a policy—to ignore the culture of raping boys in Afghanistan.
Martland is a two-time Bronze Star recipient.
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