Thursday, July 9, 2009

Marine Recruiter Ignores Conservatorship

A few days after he arrived at boot camp, Joshua Fry no longer wanted to be a Marine.

He was confused by the orders drill instructors shouted at him. He was caught stealing peanut butter from the chow hall. He urinated in his canteen. He talked back to the drill instructors. He refused to shave.

Finally, he set out toward the main gate as if to head home. He was blocked, but now he had the chance to tell his superiors a secret: He was autistic. Fry figured this admission would persuade the Marines to let him return to the group home in Irvine for disturbed young adults where he was living when he enlisted.

Instead, he was sent back to Platoon 1021, Company B. The drill instructors became more helpful, and in April 2008 he finished the grueling 11-week regimen and was sent to Camp Pendleton for infantry training.

Within weeks he was under arrest for desertion and possession of child pornography.

According to court documents, Fry's recruiter knew he was autistic. The Marine Corps is investigating the recruiter's conduct.

When he was 18, his grandmother went to court to become Fry's legal conservator. Under the conservatorship, Fry is prohibited from signing contracts without his grandmother's approval.

Mary Beth Fry said that she told the recruiter her grandson needed her approval to enlist, but that he ignored her.

Fry's lawyer, Michael Studenka, sought to have the charges dismissed and Fry discharged on the grounds that he should not have been allowed to enlist because he cannot legally sign contracts. A Marine judge rejected that motion.

Full Article and Source:
Case of autistic Marine brings recruiting problems to the forefront


Anonymous said...

He isn't getting the care he needs in the military, but...was he getting the kind of care he needed in the system which can't seem to cure itself?

Anonymous said...

Joshua Fry had no business in the Marines. Is this country so desperate that it's just taking any "body"?

The recruiter who brought him in should be fired.

Anonymous said...

If a conserved ward isn't allowed to sign contracts unless he/she joins the armed services, then gollee gee, perhaps the elderly wards should join up too. And before the armed forces kicks them out, they can sign all kinds of contracts and life a "normal" life -- without the worry of the conservatorship.

Joshua Fry was taken advantage of - pure and simple.

Anonymous said...

I feel sorry for Mary Beth Fry too.

Perhaps she should sue the Marines in Joshua Fry's behalf.

Anonymous said...

SHAME on the recruiter.


Anonymous said...

Good going, Orange County Grand Jury!