Sunday, February 6, 2005

Fit For Duty - 218

PFC Jeff Kilpatrick was killed when his unit was ambushed and taking fire from all sides and he stood up in a daze walking toward insurgents firing. His COC blamed navy psychiatrist Cdr Lucy Maron for "incompetence." M was antagonistic from the beginning, even Cr told her she looked like she was "on a mission" against psychiatrists. H got Dr Elgin (Jordan's friend) to review the case. When H asked her to be a witness she told him that M had already asked her. On cross examination H had to discredit her. Then Maron's private diary was found on a navy computer she used and forgot to erase which revealed SHE was under "secondary stress" as well. Kilpatrick had "combat addiction" with adrenalin rush and wanted to go back to the fighting & "it was so easy to let him" Maron told H.

Maron in her own stress "felt" responsible and cried in front of cpl Dominick who then blamed Maron as well. Maron was following the "3 hot's and a cot" protocol that she was under orders to follow. Elgin described that there was an Omni-present threat, no front line, supporting roles to independent contractors, and a greater % of troops now see action than in years past. She described Marons caseload as completely unrealistic. H showed that Kilpatricks CO, Capt Damon White, had disregarded ALL of Maron's many prior suggestions for prevention. He called them "touchy feely" but he was overwrought in his condemnation of Maron. Maron was found guilty of Dereliction but judge Blakeley thanked her for her courage and delayed sentencing 60 days for stress counseling and assessment w/ "possible return to full duty." Elgin told H that Maron was in a daze & didn't even hear judges "no confinement." They make arrangements for dinner in Ms hearing & H, uncomfortable, asked M to join them although she declined.

B defended Cdr Stefanopoulis who refused to vacate his command of the USS LeGrande when relieved of command after a pilot hit a pier. He had to keep encouraging B as he wanted his "day in court" even though he "knew he was done." Lt Tali Mayfield, an arrogant new JAG prosecuting attny, was introduced and "psyched out" B. Stefanopoulis had been summarily dismissed w/o ANYONE, including his arrogant strike group commander Admiral Renfield. He had just been summarily dismissed for "lack of confidence" and had absolutely no recourse so he chose to refuse to stand down to get his "day in court." During Bs questioning Adm Renfield was cocky until B showed that in the past 3 years Renfield had only taken action on TWO (of TEN) officers who had committed infractions which rose to level of court-martial and they were the ones who were over 40 years old! Then he showed that Stefanopoulis had been ordered to turn over piloting of the ship to a private pilot who had LIED to the navy about his amount of experience because of his companies pressure. Stefanopoulis still relieved of command but was grateful to B that he had his day in court - "I'm not too old to serve my country."

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