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1/25/2018 7:38:29 AM
Posted: 8/9/2002 5:38:46 PM EST
'Trophy' photo probe sidelines sniper Soldier cleared of other charge, in line for U.S. medal A misconduct charge against Master Corporal Arron Perry, a sniper in the war on terror, has been dropped. EDMONTON - A Canadian soldier whose heroics in Afghanistan were besmirched by misconduct allegations wants an apology from the military now that the lone charge against him has been dropped, saying senior officers could have resolved the issue weeks ago. Instead, Master Corporal Arron Perry remains a troubling figure as defence officials prepare for next week's homecoming celebrations in Edmonton -- a potential medal honouree in the eyes of the U.S. military who is still under investigation by his superiors in Canada. "I would love an apology, and I know my parents would love an apology," said the 30-year-old sniper in an interview. "My mother is incredibly upset over this whole thing. This is something that's gone against my reputation as a soldier and as a person."It's been a painful experience for me and my family." All the Armed Forces would say is that Master Cpl. Perry is still under investigation over a "trophy" photo of a dead al-Qaeda fighter in which the corpse has a cigarette in its mouth and a sign on its chest reading "F--- terrorism." No charges have been laid in that incident, but military officials confirmed yesterday that the investigation is continuing. Under normal circumstances, Master Cpl. Perry would be front and centre at next Friday's city-wide celebrations. The homecoming will feature more than 600 marching soldiers in parade, a barbecue for military families and visits by such dignitaries as Adrienne Clarkson, the Governor-General. As a crack sniper attached to an American mission in early March, Master Cpl. Perry was one of just a few Canadian soldiers who directly engaged the enemy during their tour in Afghanistan. By all accounts, he did so with great success: Together with members of his .50-calibre rifle unit, he helped save soldiers from the 101st Airborne Division who had been pinned down by enemy fire in Shah-i-Kot Valley, according to U.S. and Canadian witnesses. The Canadians' sharp-shooting on al-Qaeda machine-gun nests and mortar positions are chronicled in a cover story in the current issue Soldier of Fortune magazine. U.S. commanders have since recommended the snipers for Bronze Stars recognizing heroic or meritorious service. But a few weeks after that triumph, Master Cpl. Perry was sent home under a cloud of suspicion, accused of swearing at a chaplain who walked past him and his fellow snipers back at the Canadian base in Kandahar. He was charged with misconduct over the incident and suspended from duty. Now back in Edmonton, where his unit of the Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry is based, he works part-time as a bouncer at a local saloon and spends his days keeping fit at a gym. Master Cpl. Perry, who grew up in Ottawa and Halifax, has always denied that he swore at the chaplain, saying he was swearing instead in a general conversation with his comrades. He said his unit had been at odds with other Canadian soldiers at the base who appeared to resent the publicity surrounding their mission with the Americans. His profanity, he said, was part of a general rant against their detractors. The Department of National Defence (DND) appears to have accepted his version: On Monday, Master Cpl. Perry learned the misconduct charge had been dropped. As for the photo, Master Cpl. Perry is neither confirming nor denying his participation, citing the investigation. "I'm not commenting only because I have to protect myself, or any other person who might have been just walking by at the time and could be implicated," he said. But he is not exactly chagrined about its existence, either, chalking it up to the feverish anti-terrorist sentiment that consumed the coalition forces following Sept. 11, and the euphoria that suffused his team following its firefight with the enemy. "If there was a sign on that body, then I can say right now that, however it got there, I support that," he said. Whatever his involvement, the investigation leaves the military in no position to place him back on duty, much less apologize to him, a military spokeswoman said yesterday. "He is under investigation for what we in the Forces consider a very serious charge," Captain Holly Apostoliuk said. "We won't jump to any conclusions before we have all the facts, but we certainly do need all the facts, and do hope for the quickest resolution to this." Whether the investigation will harm his chance of receiving a U.S. medal is unclear. While U.S. commanders have recommended the Canadians for Bronze Stars, the Pentagon has not yet given them final approval or asked permission from Ottawa to award them. Typically, the granting of U.S. military awards is left to the discretion of commanders, said Lieutenant-Colonel James Cassella, a Pentagon spokesman. "Theoretically, you could be recognized for one event and disciplined for something unrelated," he said. "If in the course of the approval process something came up, I suppose that might impact it as well. But I think it boils down to a commander's judgment." In the meantime, Master Cpl. Perry admits he feels conflicted about the merriment in Edmonton, which started last Sunday with the repatriation of 280 soldiers who had served in Afghanistan. The accusations against him could have been resolved in time for this week's celebration if senior officers had simply spoken to witnesses on the spot rather than sending him home and filing charges against him, he said. "I love to see the guys getting all the praise they can get, because they really deserve it," he said. "They did a great job over there. But when that celebration happens on the ninth, I'll be at the gym or I'll be running in the river valley -- you won't find me anywhere near it. "I'm more or less on the sidelines right now, and that's just fine with me."
Link Posted: 8/10/2002 6:03:50 AM EST
Pretty nuts. What do you mean [u]Sometimes[/u] you hate Canada? [:D]
Link Posted: 8/10/2002 6:24:04 AM EST
Next the sorry sacks in ottawa are going to disband all "sniping" from the Army, just like with the Airborne after somalia because it is to dangerous and the Canadian Snipers have probably killed some future potential immigrant voters for the liberals. I never hate Canada, but I get so angry I could cry sometimes.
Link Posted: 8/10/2002 6:29:53 AM EST
I hate it when someone misspells center like "centre". How do you pronounce that? Is it supposed to sound like centreee, or centrae, or what?
Link Posted: 8/10/2002 6:32:35 AM EST
two words: [b]FUCK TERRORISM![/b] ...what was the "very serious" crime again? are they serious?
Link Posted: 8/10/2002 6:59:33 AM EST
....but love the strip clubs!
Link Posted: 8/10/2002 7:31:35 AM EST
I've always thought we should make Canada into states 51-100.[;)]
Link Posted: 8/10/2002 7:40:06 AM EST
Originally Posted By Fireboss: I hate it when someone misspells center like "centre". How do you pronounce that? Is it supposed to sound like centreee, or centrae, or what?
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centre is one of two CORRECT ways to spell the word. If you are going to be a spelling Nazi, at least know what you are talking about.
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