Marines Throw in the Towel: Discharge 40 Year AWOL Rather than Court Martialling Him.

The Marines Command at Camp LeJeune NC announced Wednesday afternoon, January 11, that it was releasing Corporal Jerry Texiero from the LeJeune brig and would separate him with an other than honorable discharge, in lieu of prosecuting him for desertion

Texiero had been arrested at the Marines’ request in Tarpon Springs, FL on August 16, 2005. After spending five months in solitary in the Pinellas County (FL) jail, he was transferred to the Marine brig at LeJeune on December 16. He had been charged with one count of desertion, which could have resulted in a prison sentence and a bad conduct discharge.

“After keeping this 65 year old senior citizen locked up for five months, the Marines have finally done what they should have done back in August—release him with an administrative discharge,” commented Tod Ensign, Citizen Soldier director. “Their scheme to prosecute Jerry as a way to warn young Marines in Iraq today that they will be vigorously pursued if they desert has failed,” Ensign continued. “We also plan to vigorously pursue our Privacy Act law suit against the Marine Corps officials for defaming Texiero by illegally disseminating information from his personnel file.”

Louis Font, of Brookline, MA has served as Cpl Texiero’s lead civilian defense attorney.