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Jim Tait Real Estate

home : letters : letters May 2, 2016

5/5/2014 4:11:00 PM
On 'Border Communique'

To the Editor:

I read Gary Meinert’s recent Border Communiqué with cautious skepticism. The article was about a Fort Huachuca, Ariz., soldier that was supposedly attacked near the U.S. border by a Hispanic drug smuggler. The soldier had told his commanding officer that he went hiking and camping within the base perimeter when he was attacked, resulting in his hospitalization for two days. The commanding officer did not believe the soldier’s story and brought him up for “courts martial.” Gary proceeded to relate that he was then contacted by the soldier’s defense attorney who requested that Gary give expert witness testimony (of which he went into detail). Note: I am not downplaying Fort Huachuca’s illegal immigrant infiltration problem since the Army post is just 15 miles from the U.S.-Mexico border and covers more than 73,000 acres of steep and rugged terrain.

However, I am cognizant that Gary has a penchant to embellish his stories and enhance his contributions and/or involvement; thus I was curious as to what actually transpired. Considering it was a border confrontation I figured this incident would have received major media coverage. Therefore I did an extensive search on the Internet, but was unable to find any mention of this incident. Since Fort Huachuca is located in Sierra Vista, Aria., I sent a query to the research librarian at the Sierra Vista Public Library. She answered saying she had checked her resources, but found nothing, had not heard about this story before, nor did her coworkers. She recommended that I contact the local newspaper the Sierra Vista Herald, which I did. The Sierra Vista Herald publisher said he would be happy to research this incident if I could send him more details, whereupon I sent him a copy of the article. The publisher replied saying he could find nothing in the paper’s archives; however he would have his military reporter make a couple of inquiries. Nevertheless he did say the story contained a shortage of facts and several inconsistencies, such as: no time of occurrence, no date of occurrence; no mention of rank of soldier; wrong usage of “court-martial” – a “courts-martial” would be multiple courts, no time/date of when court-martial took place, why his ranking officer didn’t believe him and why it would be grounds for a court-martial, also people usually don’t go “hiking and camping” in remote regions of the mountains by themselves. You could go on, but trying to nail down this “ghost” puts the story in the realm of “maybe could have happened.”

Anyway, the Sierra Vista Herald military reporter came up empty, but did have some recollection of a similar story from three-four years ago about an Army captain that was having domestic issues. The captain claimed he was cut by an illegal while he was in the mountains. Upon investigation, the authorities inclined more toward the wounds being self-inflicted and being an attempt to get sympathy from the disgruntled spouse. The reporter did not believe it went to a court-martial, but rather to an administrative hearing to have the soldier discharged from the Army. 

Gary’s reluctance to divulge the soldier’s name and outcome of the proceedings is curious. In the article he says the name and outcome must remain confidential, but I found that under the First Amendment and Rules for Courts-Martial 405 and 806, courts martial’s are open to the press and general public unless the trial involves sensitive material involving national security. Wow, what to think? Now I’m not saying Gary made this story up to showcase his self-professed expertise. One can only hope Mr. Meinert’s article might have been allegorical or maybe he took an overly generous amount of artistic license in putting together his article? Either way readers might feel betrayed if they discover something that’s supposed to be a true story may not be because someone has stretched the truth and has played too loose with the facts. 

John Kocovsky
Hazelhurst




Reader Comments

Posted: Thursday, June 12, 2014
Article comment by: Gary Meinert

Tim: Be nice...no need to be so combative. To answer your question...Yes, I responded six days prior to your suggestion. Mr. Kocovsky got the email address I promised but never bothered to call the Tucson journalist....nor did he even have the decency to comment an apology.....like you, I wasn't holding breath.

Best regards. Gary


Posted: Monday, May 19, 2014
Article comment by: TIm Behselich

Gary:

So, are you going to respond to John's letter? Clarify your "story"? Not holding my breath.....


Posted: Saturday, May 10, 2014
Article comment by: Gary Meinert

Mr. Behselich: I understand your comment and don't take offense at it at all. Please consider this. Unless one has been involved in the border issues as long as I have, anything said about a particular subject is startling to those who haven't. I promise you I watch what I write very carefully because each of the "Border Communiques" are reviewed at the Tucson Sector HQ. If I ever embellished anything my days of relationship with the agency would end. I watch what I write very closely but to some it seems embellished. My partner and I saved the lives of two illegal aliens not long ago which sounds heroic. But it happens down here more often than in the north woods of Wisconsin. Thank you sincerely, for your comment. It will serve as a reminder to continue to be cautious how I write my "Border Communiques". Gary

Posted: Wednesday, May 7, 2014
Article comment by: Tim Behselich

Gary embellishing a story? No! Say it ain't so.



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