Before being murdered by an AK-47-wielding “tea boy” on a base in Helmand Province, Lance Corporal Greg Buckley, Jr. told his parents about a sense that he would not be coming home from Afghanistan alive. He was right. Now, his heartbroken family and a growing group of supporters across America want justice.
In an interview with The New American, the then-21-year-old Marine’s father, Greg Buckley, Sr., also raised troubling questions about the U.S. government’s war in Afghanistan, the controversial policies governing American forces there, and much more. He says it is time for politicians to do something for U.S. troops — and for American soldiers to come home now.
“As [Afghan President Hamid] Karzai has said many times, they don’t want us there. So why should we even be there?” Buckley, Sr. asked. “There are reasons we are there, and one day our government might tell us the truth. But that day might be too late.”
Greg Buckley, Jr.
Prior to joining the U.S. Marines, Greg Buckley, Jr. was a regular, all-American boy. He played varsity basketball starting in ninth grade at Oceanside High School on Long Island, not far from New York City. He also loved hanging out with his friends, joking, dancing, and playing handball with his younger brothers — his biggest fans. Some nights, when Buckley, Sr. would get up to check on the kids, they would all be sleeping in young Greg’s room. He was popular, outgoing, and full of life, his family says.
“He was the type of kid that would light up a room as soon as he entered it,” his father explained. “He was the type of kid that would take the blame for a kid just so that the kid wouldn’t get into trouble — constantly standing up for kids that weren’t as popular as him. Just a great all-around kid. He just enjoyed life, everyone loved him.”
Father and son had an especially close relationship. When Buckley, Jr. was born on July 17, 1991, Buckley, Sr. realized why he had been put on this Earth: “To be a father, and not just any father, but the best father that I could be,” he explained.
Even though Buckley, Sr. was working hard to start up his own company, he did not just go to all of his son’s football, baseball, or basketball games. Instead, he made it a point to actually coach every single sport his son was playing in. “That gave us a bond like no other,” Buckley, Sr. explained.
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