With tears of joy in our eyes we are happy to tell all of you that Michael is coming home! He called us this morning to tell us his parole had been granted and he will be released on March 14, 2014. So in one month Michael will finally be home with his family. Praise God from whom all blessings flow…..
It has been, to say the least, quite a ride. Michael signed up for the Army in order to serve his country and honor the innocent people killed on 9/11. As a lieutenant he led his men in the ‘Mad Dog’ 5th Platoon into combat in Iraq and with them bravely faced a determined and ruthless insurgency. Then his story took a bizarre turn when he was charged and later convicted of killing a known Al-Qaida cell leader who was directly involved in an IED attack that killed two of his soldiers, Steven Christofferson and Adam Kohlhaas. He spent the next five years of his life in a small cell in the medium security wing at the military prison at Fort Leavenworth serving a 15 year murder conviction.
Life is often not fair, and as we have seen, justice is sometimes hard to come by. For the innocent man who is sent to prison, life can seem especially cruel. To survive that requires strength that comes from deep inside. It also requires the love and support from family and close friends. Michael always knew he could count on his family and friends to be there for him. What has rocked his world is how thousands of people he has never met could will him through this struggle. YOU DID THAT! As you’re reading this I want you to say to yourself ‘they’re talking to me’. YOU made the difference in how our son responded to this adversity. Whether you sent him a postcard, a letter, put money in his prison account, contributed to his defense fund, wrote your Congressional Representative, shared Michael’s story with a friend, rode your motorcycle in a rally of support, or lifted Michael up in prayer to Almighty God, you made the difference. YOU literally saved our son’s life with your love and support, and for that we will be forever grateful.
God bless each and every one of you!