One of the soldiers awaiting trial at Joint Base Lewis-McChord to face charges that he helped kill civilians during his deployment to southern Afghanistan suffered a seizure during a consultation with his attorney yesterday.
Pfc. Andrew Holmes, 20, is the youngest of five soldiers from the 5th Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division accused of murdering civilians. He denies the charges, and contends he was not aware of a conspiracy in his platoon to kill civilians.
Holmes was at Lewis-McChord’s trial defense service office when he suffered the seizure. His health is a prime concern for his family, who told CNN for a report today that Holmes lost a great deal of weight during his deployment and at times rehydrated with an IV.
“The man that came home was not my son,” Dana Holmes told CNN. “He was very thin. He’d lost about 50 pounds. He said the Army told him he had a parasite. I made him his favorite sandwich, and it took him two days to eat the whole sandwich. Just couldn’t eat; he didn’t sleep.”
Holmes was treated for his seizure at Madigan Army Medical Center, and his attorney says Holmes is ok.
“From what I’ve heard, he’s doing fine,” Dan Conway said.
Meanwhile, The Washington Post has obtained audio tapes of a visit Holmes’ platoon took to tell Afghan tribal leaders that an Afghan who was shot to death on May 2 had tried to kill American soldiers with a grenade. That killing now is regarded as one that was staged. The Post’s report is in keeping with testimony Lt. Stefan Moye gave at a pre-trial hearing for Spc. Jeremy Morlock last month. Moye said his soldiers told him they killed the Afghan because he had a grenade, and they returned to the village where the killing took place so residents would understand the Americans had a reason to fire.