I am copying a story that my wife got on Facebook from one of her dearest friends. Please read the whole thing… I know it is long, but I hope that you will be as outraged as I am about this situation. The story is one-sided – but I know this person and I believe her.
This is an account, to the best of my knowledge of everything that has taken place in the last few months….I really need some help and guidance, and I want this to be readily available to EVERY media source I can provide with information. Please Contact your local Senator and Congressman and ask him to please look into the trial of FORT BRAGG SOLDIER, SGT. CHRISTOPHER DEAN RILEY. Please, help to compel them to reconsider the verdict in this case. We had overwhelming support from other well decorated soldiers inside the courtroom, overwhelming testimony on his behalf, absolutely WONDERFUL TDS appointed lawyers, and from what I believe, an extremely convincing case. The prosecution had two conflicting statements, from two questionable E4 soldiers, no actual evidence, and no other testimony.
Please read on for the full story:
“I met my husband, Christopher Riley in July of 2009, on a trip to the beach with friends. Upon meeting him, he was a relatively reserved gentleman with a very calm, and quiet demeanor. We spent the entire evening together just talking. I found him very easy-going and he was pretty much an open book. We are complete opposites, as I am a very outspoken, talkative and loud–always trying to get the last word. We clicked right off the bat, as it was clear our personalities’ complimented one another well. I was in school and spending most of my time outside of class, being fairly carefree. Our relationship progressed fairly rapidly, and we made plans to move in together in February of 2010. Just before our scheduled move into a new house, my husband, a soldier in the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, deployed to Haiti. I began gaining weight at a rapid rate, and started feeling sick all the time. I moved into the house we had signed a new lease on, on my own, moving things from his old house, and things from mine with the help of a few friends and stayed there with my sister until he returned from Haiti in May. We had discussed marriage while he was in Haiti and began making plans for a small wedding once he returned. Right after he returned we began aggressively looking to buy a home together. One weekend in early June, while my best friend from High School was visiting, the three of us were running all over looking at houses. That morning, I began having heart palpitations and was a little put off by it, but too excited at the idea of viewing a potential new home to pay much attention to it. We went and looked at a house that we had found online and then went home. As soon as I walked into the door at our house, I bent over to pick up a laundry basket that our dog had knocked onto the floor and I immediately lost consciousness and hit the floor. When I came to, I could not feel anything on the left side of my body, had severe chest pain, my vision in my left eye was blurry and I felt miserable. Chris picked me up and put me on the couch and I lay there a little puzzled. After about thirty minutes I called my father who instructed me to go to the hospital immediately. Having come from a family with a history of heart problems, he was very weary about my symptoms. I ended up being hospitalized in the Cardiac Unit at Cape Fear Valley Medical Center, after blood work showed elevated troponin levels and slightly elevated d-dimer levels. I did not get any real answers as to what had happened to me, despite extensive tests, and ended up signing out of the hospital a few days early so that I wouldn’t miss anymore class. Chris and I went ahead and got married the following weekend at the courthouse in Fayetteville, and made an offer on our new home the following day. Over the course of the months following, I began to get sicker, with no real answers. I was diagnosed with a genetic mutation that causes blood clots, called Factor V Leiden, and the doctors overseeing my care suggested the possibility of Lupus or MS. I bounced around from doctor to doctor and hadn’t gotten any real answers aside from the diagnosis of factor v. I had multiple issues with heart palpitations following the incident in June, and still not any real answers. I was always sick, getting bronchitis and phenomena multiple times, I noticed my hair falling out, I would go to sleep and not be able to wake up, and my whole body hurt all the time. I started then getting rashes all over my body, started having my feet and hands turn completely white and go numb, began having small twitching in my thumbs and kept gaining more weight at a rapid rate, with still no answers.
In early February of 2011, I found out that I was pregnant. Having already had miscarriages, I was weary about the pregnancy and probably far more paranoid than I needed to be. I had to begin taking lovenox injections to offset the Factor V, because I am at an elevated risk for blood clots when pregnant. My pregnancy was expected to be somewhat difficult after all of the issues that I was having, with still no real answers and I was fully aware of the risks. In the beginning I had a fairly normal pregnancy, aside from having to give myself injections. My husband than deployed to Iraq for his third time in his career. Being the daughter of a Retired Special Forces LTC, I am no stranger to the army lifestyle; in fact, it’s truly the only one I know. I am okay with being alone, and well aware of what my husband’s job implies. I knew that this pregnancy would be difficult, and I knew that I was most likely going to do it alone, and that was okay with me. At 28 weeks pregnant, I was having cramps and went with a friend into Womack Army Medical Center, fearing that there might be an issue with the baby. After just a few hours I was released and told that all was well and I could return home. My friend then drove me back to my home, and in the car on the way home, I began having severe heart palpitations. It felt as if there was something crushing my chest, and I couldn’t breathe. She asked if I needed to go back to the hospital, and I told her that this had happened often and it was no big deal, it would go away soon. We stopped and got food, and by the time we were done eating, the palpitations still had not gotten any better. I acted as if I was fine, and had her take me home. I tried to take a nap and calm myself, telling myself over and over again, that it was just anxiety. I then fell asleep and when I awoke, the palpitations seemed almost worse. It was then that I really began to worry. I called my friend and told her that I was going to drive myself to Cape Fear Valley, because I felt like something was truly wrong. When I got to Cape Fear, they took me back immediately. I was taken into Labor and Delivery because of my pregnancy and hooked up to a heart monitor. When the nurse on duty saw my heart rate, she looked confused and said that she was going to check my heart rate manually because there was no way that my heart was beating that fast. She put the stethoscope to my chest, and in one swift movement, it hit the floor and she took off running. The next thing I knew, an entire team of doctors and nurses was running me down the hallway into one of the delivery rooms. I still had no idea what was happening and by then I was absolutely panicked. The nurse had to call Rapid Response because my heart was in an SVT Rhythm, which can be fatal, and again, I had another lengthy hospital stay. The hospital sent my husband a Red Cross message in Iraq, requesting that he return home. The following morning, I was in my hospital room and in stable condition, and I received a phone call from a man I did not know. He identified himself as a Captain Robert Meadows and said that he was my husband’s PA from his company, and that he just wanted to speak with me about my condition. I did not get to have a real conversation with him because every time that we tried to begin talking, the line would die. He called back multiple times, but after not being able to speak to me, he stopped calling. A little while later, the nurse who was taking care of me, came into my hospital room and informed me that she was on the phone with my husband, calling from Iraq and asked if she could give him (my husband) information on my condition. As I had not yet spoken to my husband, I wanted him to know what was going on with the baby and I, and I wanted him to know that the baby was okay, and I told the nurse she could discuss the situation (with my husband). She than reassured him that I was okay, and in stable condition and being kept there to run tests, and to ensure that the baby and I would be fine, and to my knowledge that was the extent of the conversation. Later that evening, my husband called me in my hospital room and wanted to know how we were, I jokingly said “well you talked to the nurse didn’t you”, and found out that he had not. The Captain that had tried calling me earlier in the day was the individual who was on the phone with my nurse, and not my husband, and based on the minimal information he had received, he made a decision to not send my husband home. After realizing the way in which he obtained my medical information, I than told my husband and his chain of command that I was going to file a complaint with my congressman, the Inspector General and that it was extremely inappropriate how they had handled the entire situation. I was extremely upset about the way that the situation was handled and made it very clear that I wanted something done about it. When I left the hospital, I was told that I needed to relax, and that I needed to try to avoid being by myself as going into an SVT heart rhythm again could potentially be fatal. It’s not something that a person can predict and though someone can take precautions to help avoid it, nothing is one hundred percent. It became apparent to me rather quickly that I needed my husband home. After returning home from the hospital, I began to push to have my husband sent home. At the time, I was seeing a military doctor for my prenatal care, and he filled out paperwork for me to submit to the Army’s EFMP office, and I did that immediately, I also began having high blood pressure, and my Magnesium levels were very low on top of the issues with SVT.
When I left the hospital I returned home, and against the recommendations of the doctors, I stayed alone, as I had no one in the state that could stay with me. I don’t have a lot of friends in the area, and those I do have, have very full lives, with jobs and children to worry about. At my next prenatal visit, my normal physician was not in, and I saw a separate doctor that was there. Upon seeing my medical records, and that I had just been hospitalized for SVT, the physician had me speak with the high-risk referrals coordinator in the office and they opted to send me off post for the remainder of my pregnancy. I received a phone call from a Mrs. Katie Godwin, almost a week after I had returned home. She is the FRG leader for my husband’s company, and also the spouse of my husband’s company commander, Captain Jonathan Godwin. Right off the bat, the woman was rude, pressing and immature. She showed no compassion for my situation and made it very clear that my husband was not coming home, and that I would just have to deal with it. She made me feel extremely uncomfortable, made no effort to help the situation, and I questioned why she had even bothered me, and told her that it felt almost insulting that she had waited a full week to call me, if she truly had any intention of being of any assistance to me. Until this phone call, I had never met or spoken to this woman, and I had no idea who she was, all I knew was that she informed me she was the FRG leader. Angry at the conversation I hung up the phone. A few weeks later, the same woman and myself had a very public argument over the Facebook page for the Company’s FRG. Everybody knew of the altercation, and I felt again that she was rude, demeaning, and inappropriate. I admit, a part of me felt compelled to egg her on, because at this point I was utterly fed up with the complete disregard that I was given by the chain of command and FRG, but at no time do I feel that anything I said was out of line, or false for that matter (I have copies of the entire discussion that took place).
Almost immediately after the argument occurred between Mrs. Godwin and myself, I started receiving emails from my husband in Iraq, asking me to please just let the entire situation go. On one occasion, he informed me that his Lieutenant, a man by the name of Lieutenant Augustine Peguero, had pulled him aside and told him that if I did not stop pressing the issue with the PA who had called the hospital when I was in, that he would ruin my husband’s career because he was his “boy” and they drank together on the weekends. Other emails and messages from my husband, described a chain of command that was treating him completely differently. Him, an E5 Squad Leader, who had never been in trouble once in his career, never had any complaints or issues (obviously he was doing something right if he was holding a position as a squad leader at the rank of E5), was being treated like a child, harassed and threatened by his chain of command. The Command Climate had completely changed. This only angered me further, because I felt that not only was I at a high risk being alone, and constantly worried if I was going to end up back in the hospital, but our family was completely shunned by the same people who had previously acted as friends and family to us. I truly needed my husband home, I was constantly sick with worry, calling my mother for advice at all hours of the night, crying constantly, very pregnant and very depressed, scared and completely alone, with no one available to help. My father, who is Retired, and currently working outside of the Army, sent the Battalion Commander, LTC David Doyle an email, asking him to look at the situation, as he a retired officer, looking at the situation felt that it was apparent that the command climate had begun to fail as a result of my actions against the Company. He simply asked him to review the issue and see to it that everyone involved was following the proper procedures, and allowing my husband his rights as a soldier. After a short time, a second letter was sent to LTC Doyle by my father, informing him of some of the issues with the chain of command, specifically pointing out inappropriate photos that the Lieutenant involved had posted on his Facebook, in the days following the second letter to LTC Doyle, implicating the Lieutenant and others, the Lieutenant wrote a sworn statement against my husband, despite no education in the psychology or medical field, claiming very loosely that my husband was mentally ill. Though just weeks before, he had signed off on a document stating the exact opposite. Also, prior to this deployment, a soldier in the Company, by the name of Joshua Guerrero had left his vehicle parked at our home, and I sent him a message telling him that I wanted it removed from my property, I also called the sheriff’s office about having it removed because I did not want there to be allegations that anything was done to the vehicle and I didn’t want to be associated with these individuals. I told him he has thirty days to remove it from my property, and he wrote me back saying that he didn’t know what was going on, and didn’t think there was anything wrong with Chris (or to that effect), I had asked him prior to all of this if my husband was okay, because I knew Chris was stressed over the issues that had arisen with my pregnancy, and he indicated that Chris was okay–only to later write a statement along with that of Lieutenant Peguero’s alleging that my husband was mentally ill. At one time when all this began, a wife of one of the other men deployed with my husband informed me that she was yelled at by the Company Commander, Jonathan Godwin himself, and told she was not to associate with me because I am a troublemaker. I made multiple attempts to contact my Congressman, Larry Kissell through his local office, and was told each time that without a sworn statement from my husband that there was nothing they could do for me. I filed a complaint with the Army’s office of Inspector General on post, and they did nothing for me, as far as I know, despite multiple complaints, the PA, Captain Robert Meadows, who called the hospital and impersonated my husband, did not even get a slap on the wrist, for doing something that is actually against Federal Law (violating my HIPPA rights). The threats against my husband continued, until ultimately the Chain of Command basically asked him to step down from his position as a squad leader, in fear of being fired and having it look badly upon himself, my husband stepped down. On August 16th 2011, the chain of command took away his weapon and restricted him to his barracks room, claiming he was on suicide watch. He was never given a reason, or told what was going on, only that he was there. He requested a lawyer, and was not immediately given one, he requested to speak to the IG in Iraq, and was told no and still was not given a reason for the actions against him. Eight days after being held in this manner, on August 24th 2011, my husband was informed that he was being charged “assault with a deadly weapon, communicating threats and cruel maltreatment” but not immediately allowed to speak to a lawyer. Toward the beginning of September, my husband was then allowed to speak with his military lawyer over the phone. He was never given any face to face time with a lawyer to prepare for an article 32 investigation, and on September 24th 2011, my unprepared husband walked into his Article 32 hearing, in Iraq, after having only approximately 20-30 minutes of face to face time to prepare with his assigned lawyer just before the hearing, the result of the hearing, was a recommendation for General Court Marshall and mu husband was told he would be going to Court Marshall for “Assault with a deadly weapon”.
On September 23rd, I gave birth to our son in the early morning, I was induced with Pitocin and had him earlier than his scheduled early delivery for 38 weeks after going into labor and not dilating. My husband was not present; he was still in Iraq and being treated as an already convicted criminal. I had a long delivery, though fairly problem free, and our son was a very healthy 7 lbs. 15 oz. and 21 inches long. My husband found out about the birth of our son when a small torn edge of a yellow piece of paper was thrown at him, with our sons height and weight. He has that paper even now. That evening, I went into SVT and after Rapid Response could not get me out of it, I was then chemically shocked, it failed the first time and the injection had to be put into my IV a second time, and it felt as if someone had slammed a 2 X 4 into my chest. I was horrified; when the first injection failed to pull me out of an SVT Rhythm I truly had felt at that moment, that I was going to die. Some of my family was present, so I was not alone by this time, but had anything else happened, there was no one present to take our son, and I was moved back into the cardiac floor, by myself, only allowed to see our son with an armed guard outside of the door to my room (because the floor is not a secure floor for newborns). In the evenings, when everyone left the hospital, I had never felt more alone in my life. I was horrified about being alone with my child, and kept thinking that once I brought him home, something could happen to me, and no one would know, and my son would be alone until someone realized that they hadn’t heard from me. I spent the days following my son’s birth, playing over dozens of scenarios in my mind as to what could happen if I were to go home alone with my son. I had a lot of help from family when I came home from the hospital, my grandmother came from Pennsylvania to stay with me for a week, and my friends checked in on me when they could. I had all of the normal worries that a new mother has, piled on top of concerns about my medical issues, and also my husband’s safety, welfare, and future. Throughout this entire process, Chris maintained composure, never showing me any signs of instability. He was encouraging, supportive, loving, and concerned, but never angry or upset. He showed maturity that I was unable to have. When he saw the first picture of our son, his immediate response was “he is beautiful”. Not the reaction I was at all expecting, he seemed in awe.
My husband came home when my son was three weeks old, not to help us, but to prepare himself for a general court martial hearing. When new parents are supposed to be enjoying their new infant, we spent the time trying to scrape together a case, where every legal representative we spoke with told us we had none. We have been encouraged not to tell our story about the events that took place with my husband’s chain of command, because it is not a defense that the army wants to hear. People point the finger at their chain of command often from what I’ve been told, and as a result, it’s not a helpful thing to say in the courtroom, however, as not helpful as it may be, it is the truth. The evidence against my husband consists of various heresy statements, from people with no medical experience alleging that he is mentally ill, one main statement from one of my husband’s soldier’s who was in trouble with him when this all occurred, and the statement is claiming that my husband pointed a loaded gun to the soldier, and one other statement from the alleged victim’s roommate in Iraq claiming that he saw something, that even if it had occurred, there was no physical way he could have possibly seen. (There were wall lockers in-between the beds in their rooms that would have made the area in which the alleged victim says the incident occurred, not visible from the point in which the alleged witness says he was standing). Also, the time and date in which the alleged victim is saying that the incident occurred, my husband was carrying on a conversation on Skype with myself, because it was our one year wedding anniversary. We spoke almost the entire day on that day, and there was no time period unaccounted for from approx. 8 am -3:30pm, as the conversation carried on the entire time. The allegations were made against my husband in August, when the alleged victim claims they occurred in June, if this is true, and my husband threatened this soldier, and this soldier truly felt afraid for his life, why is it then, that the soldier would wait two months to file charged
There is no actual evidence that my husband ever committed a crime, no history that would indicate that he was capable of committing this crime in the eight years he has spent in the army and no motive at all for why he would have done anything like what he is being accused of, however there is a consistent pattern of questionable behavior that occurred in the months prior to these charges with the chain of command involved. My husband is a very gentle human being; he has patience and grace in situations where I myself cannot. He maintains professionalism about him in situations where I see an average person getting truly angry. He is compassionate and loving. He is the single best husband I could ask for. I trust Chris with every last inch of myself, and do not think that he is capable of hurting anyone, he is a wonderful father who can hold our son and rock him while he screams, for hours if that’s what it takes. He has bottle-raised animals, after finding them and bringing them home to open our home to them. I never question him, because he has never given me a reason to. He is a Religious man, who has a lot of faith in God, and prays regularly for peace in this all. He is an innocent man, who has fallen victim to a corrupt chain of command, and I truly hope that in the future the Army can do something to ensure that this does not happen to other good men and women.”
Jan 25 2012, my husband was sentenced, January 24th he was found guilty of a crime he did not commit (assault with a deadly weapon). Despite the lack of evidence provided by the prosecution, my husband was sentenced to 45 days in confinement, deduction to the rank of E1, loss of pay and a misconduct discharge from the army (with a felony record for aggravated assault). I want every American who stands behind our soldiers to know the truth of the 82nd Airborne Division, I want justice for my husband… And most of all, I want the army to take responsibility for what they have allowed to happen. This was my husbands 4th deployment, third to Iraq… And the other was to Haiti. My husband is an amazing soldier, and he did not deserve this. He has given his entire life devoted to the army, and he was dealt to true injustice.
What would you do in her situation… I don’t think I would be as strong as she is right now. If you can help her get the word out post this to other sites… write your congressmen. That is how we the people fight the establishment.