Monday, July 12, 2010

Back-story – 5 July 12th

My ex-husband turned himself in the US Navy and was immediately arrested and put into shackles. I will never forget seeing a young scared man being shackled and forced into the back of a paddy wagon. He was detained for about a week and then sent to Boston to the Naval Brigg to await trial. We were about to face together a Court Marshal. The military is very rigid and has its rules and procedures. A trial was set, our attorney coached us. I wrote a letter to our Senator and told her how we were two scared young adults just trying to rectify a mistake. She wrote me back a letter to give to the presiding judge. She asked him to be lenient because after all, we did return on our own volition.

I took a bus to Boston the day of the trial. We sat together with our attorney holding hands, pale and afraid. I had never been in a court room in my life and here I was in a military court room watching my husband go through a court marshal. And on top of it I would need to testify.

The judge came in the room, dressed in full military uniform. We presented our case. He sentenced my husband to six months hard labor in the Boston military brig. He would still receive his military pay and I would receive a wife’s benefit. If he behaved he would be released in six months from the military with an honorable discharge. We smiled, hugged and he was taken away.

Each week I would board a bus and make the trip to Boston to visit my husband. Hard labor consisted of a cell with a bathroom which he need to be locked into at night. In the morning he got up the door was unlocked, he went to work and then in his free time all the men in the brig had a center room with cable TV, games, music, books and good food. They could take classes. My husband spent his leisure time playing guitar with some other guys. Someone inside was capping mescaline and someone was dealing joints hidden in packages of cigarettes. I was allowed to visit, although I had to empty my purse and pockets (checking for drugs). After the first month when I came to visit my husband was allowed to leave the building and go about the grounds as long as he returned on time. We both played by all the rules. He was a model prisoner and I was the dutiful wife. He was released a month early on good behavior with an honorable discharge.

Doctor Lynn

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