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Premium Member
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
NEW YORK (AP) _ A soldier who spent 10 months in Iraq has admitted he paid someone $500 to shoot him in the leg rather than return for another tour.

"As far as being shot at every day, I think it's better," Jonathan Aponte, 20, told WCBS-TV in an interview that aired Friday. "Mentally I can't do it anymore. I can't handle it anymore."

Aponte was charged with conspiracy and falsely reporting an incident, according to the criminal complaint filed in state Supreme Court in the Bronx.

His wife, Alexandra Gonzalez, 22, was charged with assault, conspiracy and harassment.

Aponte, who recently returned from Iraq and was facing another eight-month tour, said he had been robbed and shot but eventually changed his story when he was questioned by police, authorities said. He had been scheduled to leave last Monday.

According to the complaint, Aponte had joked with his wife about getting shot in the leg so he could avoid another tour in the war torn country. But his wife took the off-the-cuff remark seriously, and said she knew a man named Felix who could do the job.

"I decided I wasn't going to go back, one way or another," he said.

Early Monday morning, the pair met with the man, who agreed to do the job for $500.

"I smoked a cigarette and kept my eyes closed because I did not want to see it coming," Aponte told an investigator. "Next think I knew I was shot in the knee."

The couple was arraigned Thursday and released on their own recognizance.

Aponte's lawyer has said the self-inflicted shooting was an act of desperation, and Aponte suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder. He said the military will evaluate his client and decide if he is fit for duty, provide counseling if needed and send him back overseas, or discharge him.

The suspected shooter, Felix Padilla, 24, was arraigned Thursday and charged with assault, weapon possession, conspiracy and harassment.

"I shot him in the knee," according to the criminal complaint against Padilla. "After that I went home and hid the gun outside."

A spokesman with the Bronx District Attorney's office didn't know whether Padilla had been released.
Heres the link to the story.

I am going to say that they are keeping these soldiers over there too long. They need to rotate them out. We are really mentally hurting them.
 
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Travis said:
I am going to say that they are keeping these soldiers over there too long. They need to rotate them out. We are really mentally hurting them.
Not sure you can say that based on the one guy. We do get rotated out; it's not like we're in theater for "the duration." Active Army tours are currently 15 months, which is long time in country. Guard tours are nine to twelve months right now, depending on when the unit mobilized. Marines go about seven months, but they rotate more frequently.

But for every guy like this, hundreds of thousands of people have done tours honorably.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Mike your right. I dont actually know how it feels or what really happens. It was a assumption. Think for clearing things up though. :)
 
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having spent several months over there i can say from experiance that some people cant handle it. little kids who think there men and just never popped mommy's tit out there mouth.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I just got word that my friends son is over there. Doing 18 months. Best of luck to him and the others!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
They do one heck of a follow up when you send in for a free marine jacket thats for sure. :D
 

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Chicago Pro-Gun Activist
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Mike Barham said:
Travis said:
I am going to say that they are keeping these soldiers over there too long. They need to rotate them out. We are really mentally hurting them.
But for every guy like this, hundreds of thousands of people have done tours honorably.
Mike - you are absolutely correct. The problem here is that the men and women serving honorably for their jobs and do them well - it is just not "news worthy" to the mainstream media. No excitement - no flash - no attention grabbing headlines therefore nothing to report. It is sad that the normal, everyday person accepts the "bad news" as the whole story.
 
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