A very large part of me is hoping that this is not true because of my service in the Marines and never-ending oath that I took which guides my path in life since I was discharged in 1991. To me earning that title was the greatest achievement that I had ever obtained coming in second to the birth of my kids. I only wished that all Marines would felt this same exact way.
“Federal agents have arrested three retired Marines suspected of selling illegal assault weapons to a notorious Los Angeles street gang, The Associated Press has learned.” “The suspected ringleader, Adam Gitschlag, who served in Iraq and was once based at Camp Pendleton, was arrested at his Orange County home Nov. 2 as part of an operation carried out by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, as well as military investigators and local police.” “The arrests were announced Tuesday, a week after a Navy SEAL in San Diego and two others were charged with smuggling machine guns from Iraq for sale on the black market.” “Investigative documents obtained by the AP state that Gitschlag oversaw the sale of two cases containing firearms, including an AK-47, two Russian and Romanian variants of the weapon and two other semiautomatic rifles.” “Reached on his cell phone, Gitschlag said the charges are “definitely untrue,” and that he is a private weapons collector who loves his country.” “I did not sell any gang members any weapons,” he said. “I love my country with all my heart. I would never expect my government to do this.” “The ATF says the deal was carried out June 23 in the parking lot of a Pasadena post office.” “Gitschlag, along with another former Marine, met with a postal service supervisor, a Florencia 13 street gang member and other associates there, and sold them the weapons for $6,000, the ATF said.” “In front of the F-13 gang member, the informant asked Gitschlag if he would be willing to sell more firearms to other gang members in the future. He agreed, according to a search warrant affidavit.” “John Torres, the ATF’s special agent in charge of the Los Angeles area, declined to comment on details of the ongoing investigation but said “it is a shame that these individuals took an oath to protect the nation, but placed the communities at risk by allegedly selling illegal high-powered firearms to gang members.” (Watkins, Thomas, 11/09/2010, Associated Press, APNewsBreak: Ex-Marines arrested in weapons scheme, Retrieved from email@example.com).
To my fellow Marines who find this hard to take, please remember that those who forget our past and were careless with our future will be seen as those Marines who had the title but never possessed the heart.