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Veteran fought for their rights, loses his

By Georgina Schaff…

Published in the Argus Leader November 21, 2016…

On the eve of Martin Luther King Day, I had the honor and privilege of spending the night with a medically discharged Vietnam vet and his wife residing in Arizona. I have never personally known a totally disabled vet, so this was to be a first experience and opportunity for me to pay tribute to one of the many men and women who risked their lives and fought for our rights.

They welcomed me into their home and made me feel very welcome. This was to be “a learning family experience” for me as this “hero” is also a registered sex offender, and I wanted to observe how these two major events in a person’s life affected the family life.

As they talked about his experiences in the war, being wounded, the pain and agony he endured, the medical discharge and the slow rehabilitation, you could hear and feel the pride in his voice about serving his and our country.

But during that difficult recovery period, he began to use the Internet chat lines and was caught up in a sting operation, prosecuted, served his time and was placed on lifetime probation after his release from prison.

His right to freedom was taken from him. He has to pay a fee to his parole officer who comes for visits to threaten and terrorize him and his wife and monitors all his activities. The P.O. dictates where, when and if he can go to a specific place.

This disabled vet was a Tier I offender for several years, but for no known reason to him, one person in law enforcement decided he should be a Tier II, so his status was changed and fliers were sent out to all his neighbors alerting them he is a sex offender.

As a sex offender, he attends and pays for weekly therapy classes and polygraph tests whenever required. As a disabled vet, he conducts group PTSD classes. I guess one could say he leads a balanced life.

I found they both still had a sense of humor and compassionate hearts through all they had been through and that the next day of my visit would be a day spent in the public.

He wore a Vietnam vet hat and people noticed and some even commented. Another gentleman who also wore a Vietnam vet hat stopped to chat a little. It was apparent they shared a special bond and understood what they had been through.

Whenever a child came near, he would have to leave the area, because he can’t have contact with children. He was no threat to the child, his crime was a “click of the mouse,” but now he cannot even stand near a child in public? He is at more risk from the child than he is to the child. If the child speaks to him he would be “violated” and sent back to prison. Where are his rights?

I also learned that a felon cannot be in the same place another felon is or risk rearrest. Law enforcement know who the felons are, but felons do not know all felons. Cellmates become friends, but once they are released they can have no contact? They also share a special bond and understand what the other is going through, but are not allowed to even speak to each other? Where is their freedom of speech?

Ex-offenders deserve their right to freedom; free from the registry restrictions and free from lifetime probation. This disabled vet committed his computer crime 17 years ago.

Society must learn the truth before they “sit in judgment” and demand to know where every (ex-offender) lives. Do your research, call your legislators and demand that rights be restored to ex-offenders who have served their sentence and paid their debt to society. The public registry needs to become for law enforcement only so they can protect us.

Living under the “rule” of a parole officer creates fear, panic, hopelessness and terror for the whole family. It is no life a person would choose, yet society and our legal system has demanded this system for the “protection” of the public, even for the heroes of our country.

This topic contains 7 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  Ron 2 months ago.

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  • #8916 Reply

    Ron

    The last state was intended for Bill Johnson

  • #8915 Reply

    Ron

    Can you move to a different state? Let me know what you need to know ? Were you able to retire or did the removed that possibility? I can send a nugget of knowledge your way for I have served that many years too and fighting it in federal court.

  • #8914 Reply

    Bill Johnson

    I can also attest. I am an old soldier who served 24 years, 3 purple hearts, combat infantry. I was charged with assault by contact some 10 years back. In the state of TX it makes no difference what your defense is you are guilty. I am 100% disabled with severe Post Traumatic. With the rules that are made up as you go along pushed on me monthly it is very difficult to maintain sanity. I have considered ending it more than once. All I keep hearing is you have to go along with whatever they say. If it is not written in my conditions I DO NOT.

  • #8913 Reply

    Dave D

    All non-physical contact sex crimes should be on a lower level for obvious reasons! Their is no evidence this man poses an actual physical threat. The law should not be able to assume he does.

  • #8912 Reply

    Ron

    That is sad but I’ve seen all types of PV’s for simple stuff

  • #8911 Reply

    Maestro

    I’m a little confused by your language here. Is he in “parole” or “probation” for life? You mention probation but keep saying “parole officer”. They are two totally different things.
    If he got violated on “parole”, the parole officer can arrest him on the spot and return him to the prison from which he was released.
    If he’s on probation, the probation officer has to file a violation warrant which then needs to be signed by a judge and then he gets arrested but he will be sent to court before being sentenced and he will have a chance to fight (and win against) the violation of probation.
    He can also file a motion to modify his probation.

    One last thing – WHO THE HELL GETS PUT ON PROBATION FOR LIFE FOR CHATTING WITH SOMEONE EVEN IF IT IS A STING OPERATION???
    Wow!!!

  • #8910 Reply

    Ron

    I can attest and affirm the same despairity on a similar scale which seems to affect many veterans around the world. I had to endure harassment, threats and intimidation while in the military. People you would consider decent folks are not so decent when it comes to civility. Some would resort to passing out leaflets in military housing and have the audacity to insist its their right to approach your residence to insert the very same leaflet in your screen door for your teenage children to retrieve as they come home from school. Of course this was military housing and at the time I was a level 2 living 50ft. from a park and adjacent to a junior high school 500ft away. I’ll make you aware at the time I was far off probation and lived a decent respectable life as Service Member de facto post conviction and was actually allowed to stay and serve, promote and carry a weapon legally as a felon within he scope of employment domestically and abroad after incarceration. I didn’t once thumb my nose on being given a second chance, but what is absolutely astounding is the fact that I have served plenty of years pass the point of conviction (nearly a decade) and once sex offender “affliction” reached “rape culture” status in the military, congresspersons and advocacy groups sought to exploit and make this dilllema their main plight and message to embolden strengthen their campaigns. Never mind that I am a sexual assault survivor myself while in the military and by also early on by a military relative, but the core principle of this campaigning was propagated by the personal pain one has suffered at the expense of unintentionally damaging justice, cohesion and morale in the military. I was allowed to reenlist, deploy several times and eventually promote to mid-level supervisor often in charge of at least 40 to over hundreds of young men and women. I’ll be damned if I would ever let anything happen to them within my authority to prevent. Past all the bs and often times being “found out” of being a supposed sex offender I garnered and earned the respect of my peers and superiors by no easy terms. I eventually became eligible for retirement and was subsequently approve yet to have that rescinded once a service-wide mandate came to send me from my overseas assignment to stateside. I actually possessed retirement orders and it was sneakily rescinded by upper staff (pentagon worthy pencil necks) and political operatives. The most egregious part was that I had a young above average-sized family to support and the good ole Uncle Sam chose to kick me to the curb with $0 dollars and 0cents, now wait a minute! I’ve continued to serve post conviction and risk my life in major conflict zones all the way up to nearly 20years and the only thing that saved me from a life of poverty was the speedy approval of full permanent disability from the veterans administration. But I, as a decent person did not bother to stop there. Ever since discharge I’ve been in federal court challenging the nature and unconstitutional actions appropriated against me. I’ve won in he preliminary and awaiting final abritary proceedings before the federal court would fully review my case even though it is still retained in its jurisdiction and dockets. A very interesting case indeed, but severely sad by unethical proportions. My friend from az if you have the ability to move and seek interstate compact PLEASE do so! Because your freedom and sense of peace is very worth it. Another state may come to a different conclusion of ending your gestapo-like life style by discharging your seemingly lifetime sentence. Please do your homework. Thank you for your service!

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