WASHINGTON, D.C. - Family Research Council and the American Family Association today delivered more than 130,000 petition signatures to the Senate Armed Services Committee in support of Sgt. 1st Class Charles Martland who faces discharge by the Army because he confronted an Afghan leader who had repeatedly raped a young Afghan boy. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) who serves as Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee was handed copies of the petitions this afternoon. Next week, the petitions will also be delivered to House Armed Service Committee Chairman Mac Thornberry (R-Texas).
Lt. Gen. (Ret.) Jerry Boykin, Family Research Council's executive vice president, made the following comments after delivering the petitions:
“It is an appalling wrong to tell our soldiers that they must ignore the sexual abuse of children and forever live with the memory of the screams of these children.
“While most of us would consider the act of trying to stop the sexual abuse of a child as a normal human response, Sgt. Martland received a career ending reprimand for this action.
“What does it mean to be an American soldier? If our brave men and women must turn away from such atrocities in the name of not alienating allies, do we stand for anything anymore?
“The American people stand with Sgt. Martland and will not tolerate turning a blind eye to the abuse of children. The move to discharge Sgt. 1st Class Charles Martland is unacceptable, and must be rescinded immediately.
“We thank Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-Texas), both chairmen of the Armed Services Committees, for their efforts to resolve this injustice,” concluded Boykin.
To read the petition, click here: http://www.frc.org/alert/a-warrior-needs-your-help
The petition asks that Sgt. Charles Martland's record be cleared on the matter concerning his intervention to protect a young Afghan boy from sexual abuse.
The petition also requests an investigation into the policy concerning the ability of U.S. military personnel to protect children from sexual abuse and exploitation.