US Army soldier sentenced to 10 months imprisonment at Fort Hood, Texas, court-martial. Your letters calling for a reduction in PFC Reed’s sentence are needed.

By James Branum, attorney for Ryan Reed. June 27, 2011

His crime? – He put his family first.

PFC Reed tried to get help from his chain of command when his wife suffered from serious health issues after the birth of their first child, but his request were repeatedly denied. In fact he was told by some of his NCO’s that he should give up his child to either his parents (or the state), so that he could legally abandon his family and deploy with his unit.

PFC Reed left the unit for six months. Upon return he was told that his family would still get no help (he was even forbidden to talk to the chaplain about his problems) and that he must deploy. This time he fled again, taking his family to Canada where he believed he would be safe from prosecution and his wife could get the care that she needed.

In October 2010, PFC Reed made the difficult decision to voluntarily return to the United States. Upon return he was arrested and then escorted back to Fort Hood, Texas. Upon return PFC Reed served in a rear detachment unit while he awaited disposition of his case.

At trial PFC Reed plead guilty to one count of AWOL and one count of desertion. He then presented a strong case showing (1) his serious family hardship, (2) his old unit’s failure to help him, (3) his positive service history upon return to military control, (4) his high rehabilitation potential, and (5) the difficulty his family will experience if he is given jail time. PFC Reed asked the judge to give him a BCD (bad conduct discharge) in lieu of jail time, but he was instead given a 10 month sentence (coupled with the BCD, loss of pay and loss of rank).

The good news is that this fight is not over. PFC Reed has a right under MCM 1105 to submit written matters in mitigation to the convening authority (Lt. General Donald Campbell, Jr., CG of Fort Hood). We are asking members of the public to write letters of support asking the general to suspend part or all of the 10 month sentence.

Details will be posted soon on what these letters should say and how they can be submitted. In the meantime, please “like” this page to show your support for PFC Reed and share this page with your friends.

We also will post information on how you can write encouraging letters to PFC Reed while he is in confinement.

Disclaimer: This page was created by James M. Branum, civilian defense counsel for PFC Reed. This page was created under the authorization of PFC Reed. Views represented here do not represent the views of the US Army.

WANTED: Your letters calling for a reduction in PFC Reed’s sentence

Dear friends, family and supporters of PFC Ryan Reed,

The next step in the struggle for PFC Reed’s freedom is the 1105 process. “1105” refers to a provision in military regulations (MCM 1105) which permits a convicted servicemember to ask the convening authority (in case the post commander) to grant a reduction in the original sentence given at trial.

1105 submissions normally consist of a memorandum from defense counsel, a letter from the defendant, and possibly supporting letters and other documents on behalf of the defendant. Many defense lawyers spend little time on 1105’s thinking they are often not successful (which is true), however I do not want to leave any stone unturned in seeking an early release of PFC Reed’s sentence.

Moreover, I’ve seen 1105’s work here at Fort Hood. There is no reason to not push hard through this process.

So, this is where we need YOUR help! We need letters, lots of letters. These letters can be from family members and friends who know PFC Reed, but they can also be from members of the public in the US, Canada or even overseas. Ideally I would like to have at least 50 letters, but more would be ideal.

Here are the basic guidelines:

1. Letters should be respectful, both to the command chain but also to the Army. It is ok to express disappointment in the way that PFC Reed was treated, but angry diatribes are not needed. It is also not helpful to make comments about the morality/legality of the Iraq & Afghanistan wars and occupations in this context. The focus needs to stay on PFC Reed.

2. Letters should focus on one or more of our key points:

a. PFC Reed is a good man who put his family first. His decision to leave his unit might have been wrong under the law, but his motives were good.

b. PFC Reed was a good soldier when he came back to military control. He showed up on time to formations, wore his uniform properly and performed all assigned tasks without complaint.

c. PFC Reed took responsibility for his action by voluntarily coming back to the USA from Canada.

d. PFC Reed’s sentence is too long. Soldiers who commit serious violent crimes have been given shorter sentences than 10 months.

e. PFC Reed needs to be back with his wife and their two young children.

3. Letters should be addressed to: Lt. General Donald W. Campbell, Jr., III Corps Commander, Fort Hood, TX

4. Letters can be sent via regular mail, fax or email.

5. If you are a veteran or a current member of the Armed Forces, please say so in your letter (this will give you more credibility with the General)

6. If you know PFC Reed personally, please say so in your letter.

7. Letters should not be sent directly to Fort Hood, but rather should be sent to PFC Reed’s civilian defense counsel. (this is necessary as I am required to submit all 1105 matters at one time)

His contact info is as follows:

James Matthew Branum
Attorney at Law
4 NE 10th St.
Ste. #411
Oklahoma City, OK 73104

Fax: 1-866-757-8785 (toll-free in the US & Canada)

Email: (please include “REED LETTER” in the subject line)

8. Deadline — All letters of support should ideally be sent by September 1, 2011.