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A Marine Corps recruit hazed by his Parris Island drill instructor suffered chemical burns so severe that he required skin grafts to his rear end, the Washington Post’s Dan Lamothe reported today.
The injuries occurred in December 2012 at Recruit Depot Parris Island, South Carolina, when the recruit was ordered by his drill instructor “to perform unauthorized exercises under an upside-down laundry bin on a floor covered in bleach and required to stay in his wet pants for hours,” according to the Post. The severity of the incident came to light after Lamothe received documentation about the case from the Marine Corps as part of a larger Freedom of Information Act request on hazing incidents in the service.
— Dan Lamothe (@DanLamothe) May 3, 2017
The drill instructor, Sgt. Jeffrey VanDyke was convicted in 2014 on “numerous allegations of cruelty and maltreatment, assault and failure to obey a lawful order in the case,” Lamothe writes. VanDyke has been accused by other recruits and even drill instructors of abusing would-be Marines; prior to his conviction, VanDyke was ordered to stand down from training recruits for three days after he grabbed a recruit by the throat, according to the Post.
The recruit, whose name was withheld from the report, was required to stay in his wet clothes for hours before he told another drill instructor about his burns. As his condition worsened, he had little choice but to drop out of training to seek help:
“The burned recruit did everything he could to continue training, applying burn cream repeatedly even as he performed exercises and went to the rifle range. Eventually, the pain was too much and received treatment from doctors on base and nearby hospitals.”
The recruit received skin grafts to his buttocks from pig and cadaver skin at an undisclosed burn center in nearby Charleston, according to internal documents. But the injury worsened, from second- to third-degree chemical burns. The recruit was told by medical authorities that “his skin had been liquefied by the bleach,” and he was sent for more possible skin grafts later that month.
The Post requested the documents in response to a hazing scandal that broke publicly following the death of Pvt. Raheel Siddiqui, a Marine recruit who fell 40 feet over a railing following physical abuse at the hands of his drill instructor. In the wake of Siddiqui’s death and a subsequent investigation by the Marine Corps, new details relating to other hazing incidents have emerged and generated heated debate among Marines and veterans about the role of hazing in recruit training.
Tweets like this were inevitable. Even when a recruit needs skin grafts and did everything he could to graduate with his boot camp platoon. https://t.co/8nG44NPx3f
— Dan Lamothe (@DanLamothe) May 3, 2017
As for the recruit, the hazing incident was a “black stain” on his career, he told a Naval Criminal Investigative Service agent.
The reason, he said, was that by seeking medical attention and speaking up, he got his drill instructor in trouble.
Benjamin Franklin nailed it when he said, "Fatigue is the best pillow." True story, Benny. There's nothing like pushing your body so far past exhaustion that you'd willingly, even longingly, take a nap on a concrete slab.
And no one knows that better than military service members and we have the pictures to prove it.
by Martin Slagter, The Ann Arbor News, Mich.
YPSILANTI, MI - When a brigade of U.S. troops was ambushed by the North Vietnamese Army in the Song Tra Cau riverbed on the morning of May 15, 1967, Lt. Charles Kettles volunteered to lead the rescue, and he refused, again and again, to back down when faced with a barrage of gunfire.
His aircraft badly damaged, left spilling fuel, and his gunner was severely injured during the treacherous operation.
But he helicoptered in and out of the battlefield four times, saving the lives of 44 soldiers in a death-defying emergency operation that would become a legendary tale of bravery in the Vietnam War.
Nearly 50 years later, Kettles received the Medal of Honor on July 18, 2016.
The battlefield of the future could feature robot medics delivering life-saving care to casualties in the line of fire. At least, that's what the Army is aiming for — and it's willing to pay millions for help doing it.
China is developing a lot of new and advanced weaponry, but a recent state media report suggests the Chinese military may not be entirely sure what to do with these new combat systems.
Coast Guard Commandant Blasts Government Shutdown That's Forced Service Members 'To Rely On Food Pantries And Donations'
The commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard called the ongoing partial government shutdown "unacceptable" following reports that some Coast Guardsmen are relying on donations from food pantries while their regular paychecks remain on hold.
"We're five-plus weeks into the anxiety and stress of this government lapse and your non-pay," Adm. Karl Schultz said in a video message to service members. "You, as members of the armed forces, should not be expected to shoulder this burden."