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Old 03-19-2004, 04:41 AM
thedrifter thedrifter is offline
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Cool Marine?s death leads to video

Marine?s death leads to video

By David Allen, Stars and Stripes
Pacific edition, Friday, March 19, 2004

CAMP FOSTER, Okinawa ? One Marine?s death and another?s bad-conduct discharge and prison sentence has inspired Marines here to produce a video on firearms safety.

In January, Pfc. Jonathan Markert, 20, was sentenced at a court-martial for involuntary manslaughter for killing his best friend, Lance Cpl. Scott Oldroyd, 21, while playing with loaded pistols in the back of a moving Humvee.

According to testimony at Markert?s trial, both Marines were being transported for gate guard duty at Camp Hansen on June 8 when they pulled out their 9 mm pistols and pointed them at each other.

When the Humvee hit a bump in the road, they were jostled.

Markert?s pistol, which had been taken off safety with the hammer cocked, then fired.

The bullet struck Oldroyd in the back of the head. He died in the U.S. Naval Hospital at Camp Lester six days later, as his parents and a brother prayed by his side. His life support was removed at their request.

Markert also was found guilty of failing to follow proper procedures for handling a firearm, engaging in conduct prejudicial to good order and discipline and bringing discredit to the Marine Corps.

?Due to this incident and to prevent future casualties, the Base Safety Office is currently producing a safety video to train Marines serving on Okinawa in proper weapons handling procedures,? stated a news release from the Marines? public affairs office Tuesday.

Col. John Wright, assistant chief of staff, Marine Corps Base, took charge of the project.

It is scheduled for release to Marine units on Okinawa in late May or early June.

?One Marine?s life has been lost and another Marine?s career was ruined due to negligence, not lack of training,? Wright said, according to the release.

?We want to put the word out to take care of the Marine.?

Markert is among the video?s supporters.

?It is really good to put out this video,? he stated in the release, ?because some people feel they don?t need training, or are like myself, who thought I knew everything about the weapon.?

Markert is serving time in Camp Hansen?s Joint Forces Brig.

He said he hoped the video would help other Marines avoid what had happened to him.

?Negligence has taken two peoples? lives ? one who will never return and one who will have a hard time getting back on track,? Markert said.

SSgt. Roger A.
One Proud Marine
Once A Marine............Always A Marine.............
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