When our son, L/Cpl Justin Sharratt, was exonerated of murder charges involving a firefight in Haditha,Iraq our family was finally able to sleep. We set out to piece together our lives and make some sense as to what happened to us. Bringing Justin home seemed to be the medication our family needed. With Gods help and the support of thousands we made it through this dark period in our lives. Our family can now enjoy today, look ahead to tomorrow and plan for the future.
The golf matches between father and son. An occasional fishing trip to Ten Mile Creek and the secret fishing holes. Air-soft contests in which the former Marine out flanks his dad and always wins hands down. Our family has tried to return to normal, but Haditha still haunts us. No matter how hard we try, no matter how much we want to forgive, there are questions we need answered.
We are not seeking revenge, we are not seeking retribution, we are asking for justice. We wanted to put Haditha behind us……..we just wanted to forget and finally end the journey. In a family meeting over a month ago, we, as a family decided the answers needed to be found. It was not an easy decision. Justin still loves the United States Marine Corps. He is proud to have served this country. A Marine for life……
Yesterday, 25 September 2008, through our attorney Noah Geary, Justin has filed a civil lawsuit in Federal Court naming John Murtha as defendant. Our family believes John Murtha has the answers to the majority of our questions. In a recent article on the Defend Our Marines website Retired LtCol Colby Vokey revealed his suspicions that a former NCIS agent on Murtha’s staff leaked classified information on Haditha to the media.
How much did Murtha really know when he appeared on national television on 17 May 2006 when he called our son a “cold blooded murder?” Did his political ambitions influence his statements to the media about the events of Haditha? Did Murtha’s position as Chairman of the Sub-committee on Military Appropriations allow him to influence charging Our Haditha Marines? Did Murtha and SecNav Donald Winter participate in an Undue Command Influence scenario in regards to Haditha? And finally, can John Murtha be allowed to call United States Marines “cold blooded murderers”and not be held accountable for his slander and trashing the Constitutional rights of our son?
We are hoping a court of law will allow us to ask John Murtha these questions. Whatever the outcome of this lawsuit, our family has decided our journey cannot end until we try. I don’t know if these questions would even be allowed, but maybe, just maybe some of our questions will finally be answered.
God Bless Our Haditha Marines
Darryl, Theresa, Jaclyn, former L/Cpl Justin Sharratt