Skip to comments.Letter reportedly from accused servicemen expresses thanks(Camp Pendleton 8)
Posted on 07/04/2006 5:08:26 AM PDT by radar101
CAMP PENDLETON -- On the eve of Independence Day, a person close to one of one of eight servicemen charged with murdering an Iraqi civilian released a letter signed by the men, asking Americans to spend today honoring troops who are fighting overseas.
It was the first written communication that appeared to be signed by the men, who are being held in the Camp Pendleton brig on charges of murdering an Iraqi civilian in April and conspiring to cover up his death. Though no formal pleas have been made, family members and attorneys for the men have proclaimed their innocence.
The men face the death penalty if convicted of the most serious charges.
The one-page, handwritten letter was given to The Californian on Monday evening. The apparent signatures of the eight men --- a sergeant, two corporals, three lance corporals, a private first class and a Navy hospitalman third class --- are scrawled between notebook paper lines.
The authenticity of the signatures could not be verified Monday, though two people close to the accused said their loved ones had signed the letter. At least one of the men's attorneys said he had not seen the note.
The message does not mention the men's case or discuss any details of their custody. Instead, it asks that supporters send their thoughts to troops.
"On this upcoming 4th of July weekend, we ask that your prayers are rooted solely to the men and woman (sic) fighting in Iraq," the letter reads. "Regardless of our current disposition, we stand here safe and sound."
The men charged are: Cpl. Trent D. Thomas, 24, Hospitalman 3rd Class Melson J. Bacos, 20, Pfc. John Jodka III, 20, of Encinitas, Cpl. Marshall L. Magincalda, 23, of Manteca, Calif., Lance Cpl. Tyler A. Jackson, 22, Lance Cpl. Jerry E. Shumate Jr., 21, and Lance Cpl. Robert B. Pennington, 21. All are from Pendleton's 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment's Kilo Company.
Though the men are being held alone in individual cells, it may have been possible for family members visiting the troops to pass a note around for the men to sign, said Camp Pendleton spokesman 1st Lt. Esteban Vickers.
"They couldn't write it together," said Vickers, who had not seen the note and could not confirm the signatures on it late Monday evening. "But family members are allowed to meet with them, and if the family did something like that, it's probably possible."
A family member of one of the defendants said she felt the letter was "really nice and sweet."
"They're all good guys, and they have such good hearts," the woman said.
The letter expresses thanks to supporters of the men.
"There are no words to describe our solemn thanks to all of our sincere supporters," the letter reads. "To know that there are people out there praying for us is a surreal feeling in which there is no comparison."
Vickers, the base spokesman, said he hoped the note had been shown to the men's lawyers before being released.
"I wouldn't want them to do anything that would jeopardize their case," he said.
Vickers said the letter shows that even though the men are locked up, they have continued to think like Marines.
"It shows that Marines, no matter what circumstances they find themselves in, are always thinking about their brothers and sisters who are out there fighting," he said. "It's kind of awe-inspiring, considering the situation that they're in."
After being read the text of the letter during a phone call Monday night, attorney David Brahms, the lawyer for Pennington, called the letter "defining."
"This is indicative of the spirit of the young men confined and awaiting military justice action," Brahms said. "This defines a group of youngsters who think about others and solidly, morally grounded."
Attorney Victor Kelley, who is representing Thomas, said he had no comment about the letter.
LETTER SIGNED BY JAILED MARINES
There are no words to describe our solemn thanks to all of our sincere supporters. To know that there are people out there praying for us is a surreal feeling in which there is no comparison. On this upcoming 4th of July weekend we ask that your prayers are rooted solely to the men and woman (sic) fighting in Iraq. Regardless of our current disposition, we stand here safe and sound. It's those men and women who are still making the ultimate sacrifice lying (sic) their lives down for the country. To those of you who have had loved ones who have made that sacrifice know that we feel your pain first hand and understand that though they may never come back, they will never be forgotten. Once again, thank you for your support, and God Bless America.
--Sgt. Hutchins, Cpl. Trent D. Thomas, Cpl. Marshall Magincalda, HM3 Melson Bacos, LCpl. Robert Pennington, LCpl. Tyler Jackson, Pfc. John Jodka and LCpl. Jerry Shumate Jr.
God Bless our brave warriors and President Bush..
Can these guys receive mail? If so, lets get the addresses plastered all over the internet and show them and the Marine Corps what we think of this situation. Flood the brig with mail and dont let up until these heroes are back where they belong, fighting the swine that made the charges that got them in jail to start with.
Great idea!! One of the fathers of these Marines was on Hannity's show yesterday. Hannity asked if he could interview one of the Marines and that is now, hopefully, in the works. The way these young Marines have been treated is reprehensible and needs to be exposed. Meanwhile we have elected representatives that think of themselves as royalty. IMO, their "in your face" attitudes coupled with their power-hungry, ego mania is destroying our country. Liberals and RINOs are a disgrace to our heritage with their misguided concern about our enemies while American heroes are treated like leftover garbage. Our brave heroes buried in Arlington must be turning in their graves today, July 4th.
If you wish to send PFC Jodka letters of support, please use the following address:
PFC John J. Jodka
Camp Pendleton Marine Corps Base (Brig)
Camp Pendleton, CA 92055
Just put in the other names to send to the other seven.
Ping to a letter from the Pendleton 8 on the Eve of Independence Day, contact information for letters of support, and a prayer.
Help the 'Pendleton 8' and their families.
VIDEO-Camp Pendleton demonstration for Marines
Seven Marines and a Navy medic face charges in the death of an Iraqi civillian in the town of Hamdaniya, Iraq.
Accused troops' supporters busy fundraising - Hamdaniya / 'Pendleton 8' defense funds ^
Dozens rally at Camp Pendleton gates(24 June 2006) ^
Military justice under spotlight in Hamdania case - 'Pendleton 8' - 7 Marines, 1 Navy Corpsman ^
Lawyers for Marines, medic plan counterattack in Iraq murder case - Hamdaniya - 'Pendleton 8' ^
Some of the familes and supporters of the 7 Hamdaniya Marines & a Navy Corpsman, now charged with multiple criminal offenses, have setup web sites for use in accepting donations for legal defense funds or sending notes of encouragement and support to the detainees and their families.
Cpl. Robert Pennington
PFC John Jodka
Cpl. Trent Thomas
Lance Cpl Jerry Shumate
Hospital Corpsman Third Class Melson J. Bacos
Letters of Support
Cpl. Trent D. Thomas,
Cpl. Marshall Magincalda,
HM3 Melson Bacos,
LCpl. Robert Pennington,
LCpl. Tyler Jackson,
Pfc. John Jodka
LCpl. Jerry Shumate Jr.
Camp Pendleton Marine Corps Base (Brig)
Camp Pendleton, CA 92055
If your financial situation permits, please help as you can to defer legal representation costs.
To: Knitting A Conundrum; freema; fatima; xzins
I asked the Lord to Bless you as I pray for you to guide you and protect you as you meet this test that lays before you.
His love is always with you His promises are true, And when we give him all our cares You know He will see you through.
As the test before you Seems difficult at best Just remember I'm praying, All of FR is praying, You're Praying, and God will do the rest. Amen
76 posted on 07/03/2006 10:41:10 AM EDT by SandRat (Duty, Honor, Country. What else needs to be said?)
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Freedom isn't free
May everyone have a safe and blessed Independence Day.
BTTT Will contribute to the fund. Thank you US service men and women - WE SUPPORT YOU!
And let's not forget their family members, who also make many sacrifices for the cause of freedom.
thanks for the ping. There is a lot on our local news about this.
To bad the drive by media doesn't focus on the enemy and their killings of tens of thousands of civilians over the yrs. in Iraq.
Absolutely...I believe I've seen a tag line here that roughly says a service wife is the toughest job in the military and I agree.
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