Sgt. 1st Class Charles Martland became headline news back in August when word came that he would be discharged from the military for his actions 4 years ago defending a young boy that was raped and abused at the hands of an Afghan police officer. Last week, a fellow Green Beret veteran stood up in front of the Virginia House of Delegates and gave an impassioned speech that is going viral on social media.
Here is a brief recap of Martland’s case from Fox News:
After learning an Afghan boy was raped and his mother beaten, Martland and his team leader confronted a local police commander they had trained, armed and paid with U.S. taxpayer dollars. When the man laughed off the incident, they physically confronted him.
They were punished by the Army at the time — but why exactly Martland is now being discharged is a matter of dispute. Army sources cited his accolades, including being named runner-up for 2014 Special Warfare Training Group Instructor of the Year from a pool of 400 senior leaders in Special Forces, in questioning the decision.
The Army has continually pushed off a decision to review the 32 year old’s discharge and Congress has even entered in the battle. On Wednesday, Rep. Duncan Hunter, a Marine veteran of the wars in both Afghanistan and Iraq put forward a bill called “The Martland Act.”
Here is how Rep. Hunter describes the bill:
“Some how the Department of defense doesn’t have a policy that forbids pedophilia and child rape on U.S. installations. They refuse to do the right thing in this case. My bill makes it illegal to have child rape on a military base. You’re no allowed to rape children on U.S. installations. It’s that simple.”
This brings us to what happened on the week of February 15th, when Delegate Nicholas Freitas stood up in front of the House of Delegates to plead with them to take action in support of Martland.
Here is a taste of what he said:
“Sgt. First Class Martland, upon seeing this reaction from the officer, proceeded to punish him for it. He beat him. And that in the eyes of the current powers that be within the United States military and the administration is reason for him to be drummed out of the military. Sgt. First Class Martland confronted evil. He punished it. He demonstrated to evil and to that boy and his mother that someone was going to be willing to stand up for them. Someone was going to be willing to face the consequences that could have arisen from this and defend this boy when no one else would.”
For his part, Martland maintains his innocence and continues to fight for a favorable ruling regarding his discharge while he remains on active duty.
Check out Freitas’ full remarks below:
Should Martland be reinstated? Sound off in the comments below.