Before being murdered by an AK47-wielding “tea boy” on a base in Helmand Province, Lance Corporal Greg Buckley, Jr. (shown in inset) told his parents about a sense that he would not come home from Afghanistan. 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 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. We are losing too many soldiers out there in Afghanistan. Our government needs to respect our soldiers, give them more protection, or return all of them home immediately.”
On August 10 last year, two days before Lance Cpl. Buckley, Jr. was finally supposed to return home for a surprise visit with his family, he spent the day following orders to train Afghan security forces. Even though he already knew well from personal experience that the Afghans did not want him or his fellow soldiers in the country — many of the locals loathe the American presence with a passion — Buckley, Jr. did what he was ordered to do.
During a meal after training, one of the U.S. government-backed Afghan troops indicated to Buckley, Jr. that local forces knew the group of Americans was set to leave soon. It made the U.S. Marines nervous — especially since government policy apparently keeps American forces disarmed while on base with armed Afghans. Buckley, Jr. had already terrified his parents by suggesting that he would not be coming home alive.
Later that night after the meal, Buckley, Jr. and his friends went to go work out. While he was on a bench press with his best friend spotting, a then-15-year-old “slave” boy reportedly “belonging” to a high-ranking Afghan police official walked in with an AK47 and shot Buckley, Jr. in the chest, killing him. The so-called “tea boy” murdered two other Marines that night, too. Others were wounded but survived.
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