Free Pardon Applications

In 1967 I was 18 years old and was in the military stationed in Ft.Hood Texas during the Vietnam war. My unit was deployed, but some of us were left behind. I tried to request from the Inspecting General to be allowed to be deployed also, but my request was denied of all things on the IG’s discriminatory attitude towards my religious beliefs.
I was disappointed, and found my task in Ft. Hood boring, I was delivering M-16’s to units in exchange for their old M-14 rifles. I was trained in Aircraft Armament Repair on helicopters and they gave me a boring task. While being bored, I hooked up with a couple of older soldiers who were also bored, and all three of us went on a couple of armed robbery excursions. I can honestly tell you none of us was violent or capable of doing anyone harm with a gun. I had no gun, and the other two did. For us it was a way to do something, and of course, the choices we made were foolish and landed us eventually in the stockade. After our court martials, we were sent to Fort Leavenworth Disciplinary barracks. We were given around 30 to35 years to serve. All three of us were released by a review board after less than 2 years of total time including pretrial.

I was released in October of 1969, and have never as much as had a traffic ticket in the past 44 years. My youthful indiscretion and the consequences were a sobering shock to my system. I have since been to college, graduated a trade school, had two homes, managed a couple of businesses, owned my own business, and have been a volunteer in various areas including inmate counseling. My ability to obtain work had to be by lying about my criminal history, otherwise, I would have never had the chance to work for companies such as Dean Witter and Co., Walgreens, and a vending company where I handled a lot of cash. Still, after so many years and me being of retirement age now and on social security, this stigma still haunts me and I’ve come to resent this lifetime badge of dishonor for a youthful indiscretion for which I have paid my dues and been pardoned for good behavior by the military. I would very much like to expunge my record, and have contacted lawyers in the past without as much as a reply from any of them. Seems they are “patriots” who have no room for forgiveness of those who failed to serve the military with honor. To get my record expunged at this stage of my life would be more symbolic than anything else. Still, one must be forgiven after they have paid their dues and proven that they can be viable members of society and be productive instead of destructive.

Since I am now on Social Security, I am not sure how I can afford to pay for any legal assistance in expungement of my record, but if there is a way to do so without it being a monumental expense, I would like to know about it. Remember, I have not had as much as a traffic ticket since my release in 1969 and now it is January 2014. Thats a long time to be judged and discriminated against when one has made a serious attempt at staying out of trouble.

User story by Ft. Leavenworth Alumni in Texas

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