One man's view of the world, from the top of this great big rock somewhere in the middle of God's Country, with an eye toward freedom....or at least some way to get back down without goin' over the edge.

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Location: West Virginia, United States

Former U.S. Army, SPC E-4, Veteran of Operation Desert Storm. If you are or have ever been a soldier, you have friends in my house.

Monday, October 02, 2006

First Aid Kit: The Innocent Pendleton 8 Family Fund

By now, you have most likely heard about the case involving the "Pendleton 8". In short, seven Marines and one Navy corpsman have been tossed in the brig, under accusations of (among other things) cold-blooded murder during a raid to capture insurgents in Hamdania, Iraq.

There have already been any number of prominent people out there covering the legal matters involved, Michelle Malkin and Michael Savage chief among them. I'll let them handle that aspect of the issue -- they've already done it way better than anything I could supply here.

The part I want to focus on today concerns their families.

Think about it, folks...While these soldiers have been taking fire from all sides in the legal battle of their lives, what have their families been put through? Coming to their loved ones' defense costs money -- a LOT of money -- that most of these folks just plain don't have. They've already sacrificed WAY too much in order to help their young men face their accusers, and no end appears in sight.

Well, Kit Jarrell over at Euphoric Reality has taken up the mortar plate for them with the creation of the Innocent Pendleton 8 Family Fund, a charity drive specifically designed to help those families make up the difference in their day-to-day living expenses, such as food, bills, diapers and formula for their little ones.

As Kit puts it:

Behind the news articles and interviews and drama are the families. The financial burden of these hearings and upcoming courts-martial have drained them completely. None of them were financially well off; they refinanced homes, took second, third, and even fourth jobs, and pulled other children from college to pay for the defense. Three of these men have very small children who need things like formula and diapers. But the question is inevitable: If every penny goes to defending their sons from being wrongfully convicted and having their lives ruined, what is left over for groceries? How do their everyday bills get paid? And why are they even in the position of having to choose between a defense and a package of diapers?

That’s where we come in.

The Innocent Pendleton 8 Family Fund is not for legal fees. It is not for defense experts or trial costs. It is for phone bills so their sons can call home from the brig. It is for diapers for their babies, groceries for their cupboards, gas for their cars so they can get to work. It is to help them survive financially while these horrifying circumstances are going on.

A total accounting for all monies will be made public to all who ask, and the money will go directly from me personally to the families, in order of immediate need.

In front of Camp Pendleton, where these 8 men have been held in special confinement for over 130 days, there are rallies and media and national TV coverage. But back in little towns in Wisconsin, Massachusetts, Washington State, and other locations, their parents and wives don’t have enough money to feed their children. This story breaks my heart, and I hope that you can find it in yours to give even a few dollars to help these families.

If you have a blog, please consider putting the button below on your site and linking back to this page, or even just putting up a post to tell your readers. These men and their families have sacrificed everything they have.

You can give through Paypal, Mastercard, and Visa. If you’d like to send a check, please email me at and I will give you an address to send to.

You heard the lady. Do what you can. If you're too strapped to give financially, help spread the word. These people are marching up a mountain, and they need our help to keep their lives on track while they're doing it.

Tip o'the rock to Uncle Jimbo over at Blackfive. Thanks for tapping my forward assist on this, Jim.

A couple more pertinent links to this topic, including signposts pointing to several legal defense funds set up for the soldiers themselves: