posted on Dec, 19 2004 @ 10:46 AM
A 17-member Army Reserve platoon with troops from Jackson and around the Southeast deployed to Iraq is under arrest for refusing a "suicide mission"
to deliver fuel, the troops' relatives said Thursday.
The soldiers refused an order on Wednesday to go to Taji, Iraq north of Baghdad because their vehicles were considered "deadlined" or extremely
unsafe, said Patricia McCook of Jackson, wife of Sgt. Larry O. McCook.
Sgt. McCook, a deputy at the Hinds County Detention Center, and the 16 other members of the 343rd Quartermaster Company from Rock Hill, S.C., were
read their rights and moved from the military barracks into tents, Patricia McCook said her husband told her during a panicked phone call about 5 a.m.
The platoon could be charged with the willful disobeying of orders, punishable by dishonorable discharge, forfeiture of pay and up to five years
confinement, said military law expert Mark Stevens, an associate professor of justice studies at Wesleyan College in Rocky Mount, N.C.
No military officials were able to confirm or deny the detainment of the platoon Thursday.
The situation mirrors other tales of troops being sent on missions without proper equipment.
But Nadine Stratford of Rock Hill, S.C., said her godson Colin Durham, 20, has been happy with his time in Iraq. She has not heard from him since the
platoon was detained.
"When I talked to him about a month ago, he was fine," Stratford said. "He said it was like being at home."