It’s not hard to believe recruiters might go to any lengths to complete mission, having represented a lot of recruiters and also those who claim they were improperly recruited. But does this not take the cake? Not only the recruiter, but MEPS, and he got through boot-camp.
Rick Rogers, Case stirs military recruiting questions: Autistic man in brig, facing court-martial, San Diego Union-Tribune, 1 June 2009.
The Marine Corps is investigating how an autistic man now facing court-martial managed to join the service and graduate from boot camp in San Diego.
His case raises broader questions about the enlistment process – regarding such matters as recruiters who distort applicants’ personal information – and the fairness of the military’s criminal justice system.
Pvt. Joshua D. Fry was diagnosed with autism at age 8. The complex brain-development disorder typically impairs a person’s comprehension skills, inhibits communication and results in restricted and repetitive behavior. Genetics often play a major role, although the overall causes are unclear.
Fry graduated from the Marine Corps Recruit Depot in April 2008 even after telling commanders and medical personnel there about his autism, according to court documents.
Weeks later, during infantry training at Camp Pendleton, the Corps charged Fry with possession of child pornography and being absent without leave. Fry, 21, now sits in the base’s brig.
Remember, he enlisted at a time when recruiting was down: the war in Iraq was a fixture and the economy had yet to take it’s really big downtown. Now that there is a bad economy and Iraq isn’t in your face so much, perhaps the pressure will be off in recruiting practices.