Congressman Vern Buchanan

Representing the 16th District of Florida

Leading Veterans Groups Endorse Buchanan-Hunter Resolution

Oct 2, 2015
Press Release
VFW, Concerned Veterans for America, AMVETS Agree: Reinstate Green Beret Who Confronted Child Rapist

WASHINGTON – Three of the nation’s leading veterans organizations today endorsed a resolution introduced by Congressmen Vern Buchanan, R-FL, and Duncan Hunter, R-CA, calling for the reinstatement of a decorated Green Beret who blew the whistle on child rape by U.S. military allies in Afghanistan.

Buchanan and Hunter’s resolution calls on the Army to reverse its dismissal of Sgt. Charles Martland, a two-time Bronze Star recipient who was booted from the Army after confronting an American-backed Afghan commander in 2011 “for keeping a boy chained to his bed as a sex slave.” 

John A. Biedrzycki Jr., national commander of the Veterans of Foreign Wars said, “SFC Martland did the absolute right thing to confront a threat, and for the Army to show him the door so abruptly is no way to take care of the troops who have faithfully taken care of the mission for so long.”

Dan Caldwell, legislative director of Concerned Veterans for America, called the Army’s treatment of Sgt. Martland “absolutely abhorrent” and “yet another example of the Army trying to wrongfully force out a decorated warfighter from its ranks.”

Diane Zumatto, national legislative director for AMVETS, said, “Sgt. Charles Martland did the right and honorable thing by not turning a blind eye to a horrific injustice and should not be penalized for his actions.”

Buchanan said he was grateful to have the support of the nation’s leading pro-veterans organizations. “These groups recognize that passing my resolution will send a strong message to the Pentagon that American soldiers should be commended, not punished, for confronting child rape.”

A recent New York Times article described a chilling Pentagon policy that told American soldiers to look the other way when Afghan allies sexually abused young boys, sometimes on military bases.

According to the Times, one soldier stationed in Afghanistan said, “at night we can hear them screaming but we’re not allowed to do anything about it.”

Buchanan has appealed to Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey to reverse the policy and to the leaders of the House and Senate Armed Services Committees to launch a full investigation into how this policy came to be and which individuals were responsible for its implementation.

Text of resolution here