No happily ever after for married soldiers
In an update to “this story”:https://www.back-to-iraq.com/archives/000452.php#000452, the two soldiers who wed Iraqi brides while on patrol are having a bit of a tough time of it.
Sgt. Sean Blackwell, 27, is being punished for divulging the time and location of the patrol to his bride and the Iraqi judge who married them, his attorney said. The Florida National Guardsman avoided a possible court-martial for dereliction of duty and disobeying orders.
Blackwell received a written reprimand in advance of the discharge, attorney Richard Alvoid said.
“The more they punish him, the more negative publicity the military likely will receive,” he said. “He is guilty of falling in love.”
Blackwell hasn’t seen his wife since their wedding Aug. 17. (They’ve since been allowed phone contact.) As his mother says, “He’s a little ticked off at the government right now,” she said. “I’d hate for him to get a dishonorable discharge because he fell in love.”
His buddy, Cpl. Brett Dagen, who also married an Iraqi woman in a double ceremony with Blackwell when they took a break from their foot patrol — and thus invited disciplinary action — and his wife are getting divorced under pressure from the woman’s family. And Blackwell’s wife, Ehdaa, has apparently received threats (she is still in Iraq) and may flee to Western Europe where the couple can reunite.
I suppose there was no way to avoid the disciplinary action, but I do hope that Blackwell and his wife can see each other again soon. At least this doesn’t seem to be ending up like _Romeo and Juliet_ did. In fact, no matter what happens, there seems to be an all-American ending in store: Blackwell’s lawyer, Alvoid, said he’s working on a book deal for Blackwell and his wife, and that a movie will soon follow.