Joshua Fry was a Marine Corp recruit.
He’s also Autistic.
I’m not against Autistic people in the military. Actually, I AM VEHEMENTLY against keeping people from opportunities because of Autism… unless that Autism is so severe that impedes their abillity to make important decisions. And whether or not that is true is not for me to decide. Or a recruiter.
But in this circumstance, someone had ALREADY decided that Mr. Fry was not able to make decisions for himself.
So a court of law ALREADY decided that Mr. Fry had to have his grandmother’s approval before enlisting in the military, but the recruiter in question took it upon himself to IGNORE that in order to enlist him, and now JOSHUA’S in the brig?
But wait, there’s more:
“A 35-page motion filed by Fry’s lawyer details a troubled childhood: parents who were drug addicts, an evaluation of autism at age 8, multiple stays in foster homes, behavior problems at Newport Harbor High School, an arrest for stealing iPods and a court-ordered stay at a facility for psychologically disturbed youth that lasted 15 months.
Mary Beth Fry said she was unaware that the recruiter contacted her grandson while he was living in the Irvine group home. “A lot of things went on that I didn’t know about when he was in Irvine,” she said. He enlisted in January 2008.
Fry’s lawyer, Michael Studenka, sought to have the charges dismissed and Fry discharged on the grounds that he should not have been allowed to enlist because he cannot legally sign contracts. A Marine judge rejected that motion.”
So we’ve got a kid who is already troubled, whom a civilian court has already ruled is incapable of signing contracts without his grandmother’s approval, and who’s recruiter VIOLATED that law (would one say he BROKE it) and thus ENLISTED Joshua in the military, ILLEGALLY… but now Joshua’s being tried for dessertion of a post that he was enlisted to inappropriately in the first place?
He was in possession of child pornography. I am on the fence about that issue, but yes, I do think that he should be accountable for that. But dessertion? No, definitely not. And his recruiter needs to be held accountable, and the military itself needs to be held accountable.
The kid was in a group home… he was that unable to take care of himself. And they enlisted him in the military.
No, I am not for keeping Autistic people from their dreams. But when people who know better than I do and analyze the situation professionally decide that those dreams may cause them more harm than good, I AM against the military taking advantage of Autistic people’s weaknesses.
So what do you think? Am I cutting Josh too much slack, should he be held accountable for trying to leave the military after he had enlisted? Or does his condition exempt him? Do you feel like he should have to take more responsibility for his action, or do you feel like he’s not responsible, and why?