Quantcast
Connect with us

US soldier jailed after joining French Foreign Legion

Published

on

An American soldier who abandoned his unit to join the French Foreign Legion has been convicted of desertion and sentenced by the US military to four years in prison, the New York Times reported Tuesday.

Second Lieutenant Lawrence Franks told a military court that he had been struggling with suicidal urges and that the arduous regimen of the legion was the only way to escape his crippling depression, the Times wrote.

ADVERTISEMENT

“I needed to be wet and cold and hungry,” he told the paper, before he was sentenced Monday. “I needed the grueling life I could only find in a place like the legion.”

Franks went missing from his unit at Fort Drum in New York state in 2009 and flew to Paris, signing up with the French Foreign Legion on a five-year contract under an assumed name, Christopher Flaherty.

He was deployed to the Central African Republic and Djibouti, and served as the personal security guard for five months for General Laurent Kolodziej, who oversaw the French military’s operations in Mali against Al-Qaeda-linked Islamist militants.

“He is a man I will never forget and by whom I will always stand,” Kolodziej said in testimony by video-link at the court-martial proceedings.

ADVERTISEMENT

“He is more than a born soldier, he is a born gentleman. I would like to have 10 men like that in my team, and I would be the happiest of generals.”

When he finished his five-year stint in the legion in March 2014, he turned himself in to the US Army in Germany, the Times reported.

Franks had been a graduate of the prestigious US military academy at West Point, where he finished in the top 12 percent of his class.

ADVERTISEMENT

But he had bouts of depression that grew worse after graduated from the academy. He was sent to Fort Drum and assigned charge of a medical platoon.

Military prosecutors accused him of shirking his duty and causing problems for his fellow troops, saying he deserted intentionally before his unit was due to deploy to Afghanistan.

Franks testified that he could not wait as his unit was not due to deploy for nearly a year.

ADVERTISEMENT

“I feel really bad for the pain I put on my family, the disruption to my unit,” he said. “But I don’t regret what I did — any of it, good or bad — because it saved my life.”


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

Facebook

Giggling Fox & Friends hosts gloat over Lewandowski hearing: ‘He gave as good as he got!’

Published

on

The hosts of "Fox & Friends" giggled and gloated over Corey Lewandowski's contentious appearance before the House Judiciary Committee.

President Donald Trump's former campaign manager claimed executive privilege over testimony he gave before special counsel Robert Mueller, admitted he had lied in TV appearances and cracked jokes during five hours of testimony -- and the Fox News hosts were delighted.

"He gave as good as he got," said co-host Steve Doocy.

Co-host Ainsley Earhardt was laughing so hard she could barely speak.

"She said the truth shall set you free," Earhardt said, quoting Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) through guffaws. "'Answer the question,' there was no question."

Continue Reading

Facebook

Saudi Arabia to announce oil attacks findings as US weighs retaliation

Published

on

Saudi Arabia said it will unveil the results later Wednesday of its probe into attacks on key oil installations, as US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo heads to the kingdom to discuss possible retaliation.

Riyadh, which is bogged down in a five-year war against Tehran-aligned rebels in neighbouring Yemen, has said that the weapons used were Iranian-made, but has not directly blamed its arch rival.

However, the Saudi defence ministry said its spokesman would present evidence from the site of the weekend attacks that halved Saudi oil production, sending global energy markets into a tailspin.

Continue Reading
 

Facebook

‘Heartless and unconscionable’: Outrage as General Motors cuts off healthcare for 50,000 striking workers

Published

on

"It is cruel and outrageous that GM has cut off the healthcare benefits from their employees in a blatant attempt to force the union into submission," said Sen. Bernie Sanders.

In a move critics said exposes both the particular cruelty of General Motors executives and the systemic inhumanity of the American healthcare system, GM on Tuesday stopped covering health insurance premiums for the nearly 50,000 auto workers striking for fair wages and decent benefits.

Continue Reading
 
 
Help Raw Story Uncover Injustice. Join Raw Story Investigates for $1. Go ad-free.
close-image