NOW is not the time for SGT Martland

Terry ONeil Dear Ms. O’Neil:

According to Fox News and other sources, SGT 1st Class Charles Martland is being involuntarily separated from the Army after defending two victims of sexual assault during his last deployment in Afghanistan.

SGT Martland knocked to the ground an Afghan officer who admitted to – and laughed about – chaining a 12-year-old boy to a bed and raping him for several days. When the boy’s mother protested and informed local authorities, she was also assaulted and beaten.

Captain Daniel Quinn – Martland’s Commanding Officer – stated that shoving the Afghani to the ground was not meant to be revenge, but “to send the message to the man and to the other local policemen that sexual assaults would not be tolerated.”

Martland was disciplined by the Army and received a “memorandum of reprimand” from Brig. General Christopher Haas. Because of that one mark on an otherwise spotless 11 year history, SGT Martland is being told to go home.

This man is the type of person the National Organization of Women (NOW) has been trying to promote in your long history of women’s rights. Within the male-dominated world of Afghanistan, SGT Martland took the women’s word over a man’s. When the Afghan officer just shrugged off the accusations – hiding behind the accepted “tea-boy” practice of some in the area – the Green Beret took the culture head on and shoved the man to the ground. SGT Martland is unapologetic about his actions – and probably would do them again. He defended his country, he defended a helpless child, and he defended a woman.

Yet no where on your national website is there a single word about SGT Martland. Not one. I searched for it.


Your blog – Say it Sister – does talk about the the shock of finding out that not every pharmacy sells emergency contraceptives. You talk about abortion rights and statistics. You even talk about the “suspicious death” of Sandra Bland. But no where do you talk about a man who is trying to correct a very wrong cultural practice of preying on young boys and beating up on their mothers.

It seems to me that this man – one who will fight for his country and a helpless woman – is one that you – the National Organization of Women –  want to have in the Green Berets.  I do know that if your organization weighed in on the matter that your discussion and interest would carry a great deal of weight. While I understand you and Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA) might not see eye-to-eye on most things, I can also imagine that he would welcome your help in keeping this good man in the Army.

Or perhaps Afghan women just do not matter to you.

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