I can't tell you how pleased I was to hear today that former Army Lt. Michael Behenna had been granted parole from the military prison at Fort Leavenworth Kansas.
I've never met Michael, I talked to his mother a time or two when she was helping to prosecute the Oklahoma City bombing.
The Army Lieutenant was convicted of unpremeditated murder in a combat zone for killing an Iraqi civilian while fighting in Iraq in 2008.
I've always been bothered by this case.
Behenna was an infantry platoon leader. Two of his soldiers, his buddies were blown up by an IED. He later questioned the man he thought was involved with the attack and ended up shooting him. He said he thought the man was trying to get his gun from him.
I don't know what happened that day, but I've read Behenna's letter to the military parole board, and it's obvious there's a lot of remorse there. Sorrow that he killed an Iraqi man, a father, and mourning at the loss of his two close friends.
These young people are seeing things most of us can't even imagine, fighting and dying in lands most of them knew very little about. This young soldier from Edmond has served five years in prison, locked away from his friends and family, no doubt trying to process it all, I hope he can get on with his life.
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