GOP California Rep. Duncan Hunter has urged Army Secretary Eric Fanning not to kick out Green Beret Timothy Brumit, after he sustained a broken neck trying to save a little girl from drowning.
In a letter sent Friday, Hunter said the Army should strongly reconsider trying to drum Sergeant First Class Timothy Brumit out of the military with an “other-than-honorable” discharge.
Last July, Brumit dove off a boat in the middle of a storm near Eglin Air Force Base to try and save a drowning girl and misjudged the depth of the water, hitting the sand head-first and breaking his neck in the process. That’s not where the story ends.
The situation is considerably more complicated because a hospital toxicology report in the aftermath showed traces of cocaine and a blood alcohol level of 0.1. Army officials somehow got a hold of this report when they visited him.
But Brumit insists on the day he tried to save the girl, he hadn’t used and was certainly not drunk.
Instead, he used drugs in order to cope from post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury, two serious conditions the Army refused to acknowledge he suffered from.
“Even when Brumit self-enrolled in a drug and alcohol program (Air Force ADAPT), he was removed from treatment by 7th Special Forces Group and ordered to return to duty. Given this fact, Brumit was denied the opportunity to not only receive a full diagnosis, he was also prevented from obtaining treatment that he and others — with the exception of his command — recognized was necessary,” Hunter noted in his letter.
Emory Healthcare, a private entity, determined Brumit suffered from PTSD and TBI, also noting he was a possible suicide risk. Still, his commanders denied he had any psychological issues, or even that he suffered from substance abuse.
Brumit now will need a lifetime of medical care, as he’s paralyzed from the neck down, but has started to regain the use of his arms. If he’s slapped with an “other-than-honorable” discharge, that label could jeopardize that care.
Hunter hopes the Army takes into account the fact that Brumit served eight combat tours.
“The Army broke me. I believe they owe me an honorable discharge, my record clean, and a lifetime of medical care that I’m going to require to live a normal life,” Brumit told The Daily Beast.
In about three weeks, the Army’s decision that Brumit engaged in reckless behavior last July will come into effect, resulting in a possible “other-than-honorable” discharge. Brumit has until then to try and get the Army’s determination overturned.
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