A 60-cell men's unit at the Naval Consolidated Brig at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar. The $32 million facility added 200 cells to the existing 400 and consolidated the brigs of Camp Pendleton, Edwards Air Force Base and Kirkland Air Force Base. (San Diego Union-Tribune archive photo)

A Marine recruit arrested for allegedly striking a drill instructor at the service's San Diego boot camp has spent most of the last two years in the brig and is now confined to a federal prison hospital.

He has not had a trial, nor has he been charged with a crime, according to the Marine Corps and the man's attorney.

Jay-Ar Ruiz' case raises questions about how the military justice system handles complex issues involving mental health, his attorney says, and how someone like Ruiz — who his lawyer says had a pre-existing mental illness — was allowed to ship off to boot camp in the first place.

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Photo: Pfc. Cristian Torres

Editor's Note: This article by Gina Harkins originally appeared on Military.com, a leading source of news for the military and veteran community.

A Marine recruit who was at boot camp for almost 500 days headed home this week after his parents sought help from lawmakers on his behalf and then raised retaliation concerns.

Alex Tipton, an 18-year-old from Arkansas, graduated early from high school in December 2017 so he could ship off to Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego. He set out to be an aviation supply specialist.

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