I never thought I would join the Army ...
Now Playing: By Army Spc. Marc Hall
By Army Spc. Marc Hall
February 20, 1010
*"I was made to train without a weapon due to the song and my ongoing
counseling. However, during that time...I felt a surprising sense of peace
for the first time."*
I never thought that I would join the Army only to one day be incarcerated
by the Army. I have never been to jail in my life, until now. The Army is
charging me with Article 134 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice,
?communicating threats? towards my chain of command. Yet I was only
communicating how I felt about what I have experienced in the Army and how I
felt about the Army?s ?Stop-loss? policy. That policy meant that I could not
leave the Army when I was supposed to, and after I had already served in
Iraq for 14 months.
I guess this all started with a hard core ?rap? song I made about the Army?s
very unpopular ?Stop-loss? policy back in July 2009. Like any ?rap? or rock
song, I was expressing my freedom of expression under the US Constitution.
Being that the Army?s ?Stop-loss? policy was a Pentagon decision from what I
had heard on the news, I decided to send a copy of my song directly to the
I don?t know if anyone at the Pentagon listened to my song, but somebody in
Washington DC mailed the package back to my chain of command. My First
Sergeant called me into his office to discuss it. I explained that the rap
was a freedom of expression thing. It was not a physical threat, nor any
kind of threat whatsoever. I explained that it was just hip hop. He told me
that he kind of liked the song, that it sounded good.
1st Sgt Chrysler and Capt Cross, our company commander at B-CO 2-7 IN [Bravo
Company, 2nd Battalion, 7th Infantry Regiment] at that time, just
recommended me for mental counseling and evaluation. I attended mental
counseling at the behavioral health clinic on Ft. Stewart from late July
2009 through November 2009. I had about four visits to the clinic, but I
couldn?t attend all the appointments because we were always training in the
field. In the end this counseling still left me feeling the same way about
Army life, ?stop-loss? and war in general.
I spoke to our chaplain and told him my feelings, including all of the
domestic things I had gone through with my estranged spouse and my
three-year-old daughter over the last four years. I let him hear the
?Stop-loss? song and I explained that he shouldn?t take anything in the song
personally. He said he liked the song but wished it was not ?gangster?.
[image: marc hall]Later, when we trained in the field in Georgia and at the
National Training Center (NTC) in California, I was made to train without a
weapon due to the song and my ongoing counseling. However, during that time
of training without a weapon I felt a surprising sense of peace for the
At NTC, in October 2009, I spoke again to our chaplain after attending
services one night. I explained to him how I still felt hurt by the Army
policies. He replied that my chain of command had already ?forgiven? me
about the song. But that didn?t really help me with what I was going through
and trying to deal with.
After we came back from NTC, in November 2009, I got to go on leave. I
thought maybe two weeks leave would do me some good. But during my leave,
from November 21 to December 7, a deep depression sunk into me. I just
wanted to be alone. I did not want to be around people. I stayed at home
alone. My friends and family were worried that I had turned my phone off. I
did not feel like talking to people. I barely made it to my mother?s house
for Thanksgiving. I thought about all the depressing things that brought me
to this state of mind. I thought about how it all pertained to war. I
thought about the times I spoke to the chaplain at basic training at Ft.
Knox, and the legal assistant at Ft. Stewart, about my divorce and the
safety of my daughter and my rights as a father, and how neither of them
could help me. I thought about ?Stop-loss? more and more. I started drinking
hard every day to help me forget the hurt and pain I was feeling. I thought
about how war brought me to this war, and the war I would have to face to
remove myself from the presence of war in order to keep my sanity.
When I returned to Ft. Stewart, on December 7, 2009, I really felt from that
point on that I did not belong there. I realized that I was not fit for war
anymore. I was burnt out and war was the cause of it. I was feeling a little
unstable and shaky and I didn?t know what to do about it. The very thought
of holding and being around a loaded weapon again gave me the chills. I did
not know who my enemies were anymore.
About a week later I spoke to my commanding officer, Captain Wynn of F-CO
BSB, about how I am still feeling. I explained to him that I felt a little
unstable, angry and depressed about war and how unfit I was for war. I said
I did not want to get anybody hurt in this war?being that my battle buddies
might have to depend on me. I did not want to be a misfortune to anybody. I
explained that I had made an official I.G. complaint (with the Army
Investigator General) about the treatment I felt I had not received from my
last visit to behavioral health, and the unfair treatment and words that
came from my direct NCOs. Behavioral health just rushed me out the door and
left all decisions up to my chain of command to decide if I was fit or not.
I know my behavior health treatments were pushed aside so that 2-7 IN could
have more bodies for this deployment. I believe that this was not fair to
me, and it?s not fair to my battle buddies to put a troubled solder on the
battlefield knowing that I still have issues.
Capt. Wynn got me in to speak to the Lt. Colonel about my mental state. I
tried to explain about the indirect way I might hurt other soldiers in
uniform due to how I was burnt out. But he took it as a threat, basically
read me my rights, and put me in the Liberty County Jail in Hinesville,
I realize now how going to war can bring unwanted results. Now I sit in jail
at the hands and mercy of our US Government vs. little old Marc A. Hall on a
charge that was not a threat before, but all of a sudden became a threat
now. I communicated an extended need for mental evaluation?not a threat.
The negative sworn statements used to jail me are false. One of the Soldiers
who wrote a negative statement told me that same day that he did so because
he thought it was a way to ?help me out? as he knew what I was going
through. Another Soldier who wrote a statement said that I was ?his hero?
because I stood up for what I believed. These negative statements were also
the results of jokes that my battle buddies said about me?and I had played
along with them at the time when the jokes were presented?while passing long
boring hours at the NTC in California. I do appreciate the ?help? guys, but
the Army is now saying that talk were real threats, and now they have me in
confinement awaiting court martial.
I have to say that I have never been so humiliated in my entire life. I?m in
jail with and next to people who have committed real crimes, including
murder. And I?m in here for trying to get real treatment, voicing my
feelings, and for asserting freedom of expression through my art.
Marc A Hall
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Posted by Joe Anybody
at 7:52 PM PST