A story hitting the national news last week hit extremely close to home for me.
Both CNN and CBS This Morning aired stories about a highly decorated officer in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve who was facing possible discharge on less than honorable terms.
The man in question was Major Jason Brezler. Major Brezler graduated with me at North Carroll High School in Hampstead, Md.
Jason is a good man and my heart just breaks for him and what he’s going through.
According to the CNN story, he’s currently being charged with “mishandling classified information” and “ordered to show cause of retention in the U.S. Marine Corps before a Board of Inquiry.”
The three person panel could either recommend an honorable discharge or a less-than-honorable discharge. The worst option could result in a loss of veteran’s benefits and free health care.
Currently, Major Brezler is a New York firefighter. He served four tours in Iraq and Afghanistan.
It was during one of those tours that Major Brezler met an Afghan police commander named Sarwar Jan.
During his service in 2010, Major Brezler forced the firing of Jan for raping children.
So this past summer, when he received a personal email from Marine officers in Afghanistan telling him that Jan was back at the Forward Operating Base Delhi he once served, Major Brezler was compelled to warn the base. According to multiple reports, he attached the classified email including the allegations of Jan’s return and sent it along with a warning to the base about Jan’s past and his Taliban ties.
Upon receipt at the base, Major Brezler was warned that his email was a leak of classified information. He immediately informed his superiors. Unfortunately, the information he sent was not taken seriously.
Two weeks later, Staff Sgt. Scott Dickinson, Cpl. Richard Rivera, and Lance Cpl. Gregory Buckley were shot to death in a gym on the base.
The suspected gunman was Jan’s teenage servant named Aynoddin. Jan was taken into custody but his current whereabouts have not been made public.
Now the family of Lance Cpl. Gregory Buckley are fighting for Brezler.
In multiple reports, Buckley’s father Greg Buckley, Sr. has been asked what he think would have happened if commanders at the base had heeded Major Brezler’s warning.
“I would have my son,” he told CNN. “I would have my boy with me today.”
Jan was reportedly thrown out of two other bases for drug laundering, prostitution, and ties to the Taliban. Fourteen months after the deadly shooting, no results have been made public of the Jan arrest.
With Major Brezler’s future in limbo, Rep. Peter King (R) of New York is among many legislators on the front line fighting for the Maryland native.
A recent New York Times editorial said Brezler is “the sort of officer the Corps needs more of.”
Buckley, Sr. has been reported to saying “they should be giving him a medal, not prosecuting him.”
Watch the CNN story at http://www.cnn.com/2013/10/29/us/marine-classified-info-investigation/index.html A petition has been set up to support Major Brezler at http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/he-had-our-backs-now.fb40?source=s.fb&r_by=9401560
Please keep Jason and his family in prayer through this difficult time. In reading the details of this case, it appears he’s getting a raw deal. Hopefully, officials will honor him and not seek to make a bad public example of him.