Air Force Officer Court Martial Caused by Souvenirs
Thursday, May 19, 2005
(SNN Eglin AFB, Florida) Air Force Maj. Gregory McMillion shipped home a handful of souvenirs from Iraq. The prosecution is trying to show that McMillion is a gun and military paraphernalia enthusiast who abused his position to stock her personal collection.
Attorneys point out that the Major made an honest mistake
McMillion’s attorneys point out that the Major made an honest mistake in misunderstanding that he was in violation of a standing order against personal use of captured property, as troops commonly displayed war booty in the early days of conflict. "No one is understanding this is a violation," said Capt. Brooke Schmidly. "Why? Because it's everywhere. ... They are not sitting around reading three-page general orders."
But who is the victim in this crime? Can we really begrudge our brave fighting men a handful of souvenirs? Captain Heather Lengel says yes. "He did not have authority for anything in this room, period," said Capt. Heather Lengel, referring to the evidence present in the courtroom. "He abused his position as a maintenance officer."
Can we really begrudge our brave fighting men a handful of souvenirs?
During his time in Iraq, McMillion collected 29 Romanian, East German, Hungarian and Iraqi automatic rifles, a Chinese machine gun, four antique rifles, six rocket-propelled grenade launchers, dozens of magazines, scopes and sights, dummy land mines and grenades, 1,183 Iraqi army berets, more than 600 pairs of socks, eight full uniforms, 253 bayonets, two anti-aircraft gun seats, several empty artillery shells, an Iraqi helmet, a ledger with Arabic writing, a pistol and a flare gun, a statue looted from an Iraqi museum, and three MIG 25 aircraft.
Col. Ronald Gregory, who is presiding at the judge-only court-martial, did not immediately issue a verdict after closing arguments.