A Stryker soldier who pleaded guilty to murdering three Afghan civilians last year once sought help in getting a new Army assignment from a family friend – former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.
Spc. Jeremy Morlock grew up in Palin’s hometown of Wasilla, Alaska. Their families have been reported to be friendly with each other in the past.
An Alaska blogger scouring a trove of Palin’s emails spotted Morlock’s August 2007 plea for assistance in leaving his unit at Fort Lewis for an assignment closer to home. Morlock’s father had just died and he was eager to get home to support his mother.
“I know you have known my family for some time and I think of you all as friends and you know my mother is now taking care of all the girls by herself while trying to keep a job,” Morlock wrote. “I’m not asking for pity for my family or myself, I’m just asking if there is anything you could do to help me with my process of getting home to Alaska to help.”
Palin didn’t reply.
She can’t be linked in any way to the war crimes Morlock committed during patrols with Lewis-McChord’s 5th Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division. Still, the message represents another “what if” moment in considering the “kill team” courts-martial unfolding at the base this year.
Morlock is the prosecution’s main witness. He’s signed a plea agreement requiring him to testify against his codefendants and been sentenced to 24 years in prison. Four of his former platoon mates face murder charges linked to the three killings.