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Although we have never met, I would like to write to you about my son, Private First Class Corey Clagett.
You may have heard about Corey in news. He was serving in
When Corey was charged, we were able to get a civilian lawyer to represent him free of charge, only to have him abandon Corey just days before trial. Represented by an inexperienced JAG lawyer, Prosecutors threatened Corey with the death penalty. He agreed to plead guilty in exchange for a life sentence.
Since that time, Corey has been held in
I try to make people understand what is happening and hoping they find compassion to help. I am 1,200 miles away from my son and have not seen him since March 2007. I can’t touch or hug him and I can’t cook his favorite meal, fajitas. He can’t change his clothes to what he wants to wear or drive his truck. He can’t take a shower when he wants or eat what he wants. Corey can only keep ten items in his cell at one time. That means he can’t even hold on to letters to re-read or he won’t be allowed to receive new ones.
What’s most depressing is how disparate and unequal Corey’s treatment has been. The soldier who ordered Corey and William Hunsaker to kill was released from prison after only three years. Another soldier who shot a mortally wounded detainee in the head served only 9 months and was returned to active duty! He was just promoted to Staff Sergeant and is deployed again to
We have been fighting for almost four years for Corey’s freedom. All of his appeals have been exhausted. His only remaining chance at freedom is with the Army Clemency and Parole Board. Unfortunately this is a very complicated and expensive process and we just don’t have the money to fight with.
That is why I am so thankful that the United American Patriots (UAP) is helping to fund Corey’s defense. Without them I would not have been able to hire an attorney to continue to fight on Corey’s behalf.
A retired Marine by the name of Bill Donahue founded UAP when he heard that innocent U.S. Marines and Army soldiers were being scapegoated for their split-second actions in the heat of combat.
Major Donahue doesn’t even take one penny of salary for his hard work. He views it as a debt of honor to the young men like Corey who have risked their lives for
UAP has already paid $4714.79 from donors like you towards Corey’s defense and has helped us retain Timothy Parlatore (tim@Parlatorelaw.com), a criminal defense attorney from New York City and a former Naval Officer. He has agreed to defend Corey for a reduced rate, but we need your help to be able to continue these efforts. That is why I am swallowing my pride to ask you the hardest question of my life:
Would you consider sending your best contribution possible to the United American Patriot’s Warrior Fund to help them defend Corey and other soldiers like him?
UAP is a non-profit organization. They don’t take any funds from the federal government, which means they have to rely on the generosity of American patriots like you to fund their programs and support our troops. It also means that your gift of any amount is tax-deductible.
I hope that when you look at this photo of Corey, that you will see not only a patriotic and heroic soldier, but also the little boy who I raised and sent off to the Army, trusting them to take care of him, as I had. Corey’s father left us when he was very young. I raised Corey by myself.
Eleven years ago, I married my husband, who Corey thinks of as his father. We always taught him right from wrong, and he has never been in trouble before. Before he joined the Army, he used to work at Happy Days, helping children suffering from cancer and competed in the Math and Science Bowl.
When Corey graduated from U.S. Army Infantry School, I sent him this poem by Marilyn McGee:
On the day you were bornMy Heart was filled with pride,An example I must beFor this young man by my side..
Not to walk before you,Nor never lag behind,And to let you knowYou’re forever on my mind..
The years passed by too quickly,For now you are a man,Gone to serve your country,For
Just when I was sureI could never be more proud,Watching you today,I want to shout it loud…
“See that man there,He is my son you see,A finer man was neverAs this young man to me.”
These words perfectly expressed how I felt about Corey on that day and my feelings have only gotten stronger since. We have a real chance of winning his freedom, but only with the generous help of people like you. Please help bring my son home.