You all helped greatly with this, remember?
Well, that Marine Sergeant returned home from Iraq. I'll be buying him a beer or ten early next week.
Here is what I wrote about the case last January:
...In case you were wondering, this case was brought to my attention and I tried, TRIED, to get anyone in the media to take the ball and run with it. Offered exclusivity, contacts, photos, reports, etc.
For a variety of reasons, no one wanted it.
So, as a resort of last measure, I posted it here at Blackfive (in the Bust Their Chops category) and emailed it to a few Marines I knew who would get the story out on their networks (thank you, Seamus, Jay and Joe). After thousands of emails, hundreds of comments, many offers of support (financial and moral), a few threats, and finally media interest, this story was one of the first big blogosphere efforts of 2008.
It got noticed everywhere.
Thank you to John Kass for covering the story. If you are so inclined, send him a thank you message for covering the story fairly.
In the end, though, it was the military family that brought this story to national attention. Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines - us doggies, squids, zoomies, and jarheads - that refused to let this abuse go unnoticed. This is one of those times where we dropped the inter-service rivalry and stepped up for one of our own.
Civilian America rallied to our cause, too. I can't tell you how many emails I received from civilians in support of the Sergeant. The reaction of Chicago Police and Firemen backing the Sergeant was astounding. Tons, and I mean tons, of lawyers sent offers to work pro bono and messages of support and advice for the Sergeant. I almost take back every negative thing I've said about their profession.
And, last...the most magnificent reaction was from the Viet Nam veterans. It was the most intense response from them that I've witnessed in a long time. I received more email - full of emotion and commitment - from Viet Nam vets that essentially said in various ways:
"We will not let what happened to us, happen to you, Marine."
I do not pretend to know what will happen tomorrow in court. Attorney Jay Grodner had asked for a continuance so that he could bring in some hired guns.
But I do know that my brothers that fought in Viet Nam are right.
We won't let this happen to you, Sergeant McNulty...
And you didn't.
Update: A lot of you are asking for a Grodner update.
All I have heard (meaning, I don't know for certain) is that he didn't pay the Semper Fi Injured Marine Fund on time as was specified by the court. And that he doesn't practice in Illinois anymore.