Political Correctness – Wounded Warrior is Kicked Off Warrior Games Team Because of Past Erroneous Court Martial
San Antonio, May 10, 2018 Aaron Allmon, an award-winning combat photographer, was removed, without notice from the USAF Wounded Warrior team, because he went to a Court Martial, even though he was found innocent of the fabricated charges. This is yet another example of the military’s politically influenced ‘Kangaroo Court’ system.
It all started when Aaron found himself facing a potential court martial for sexual assault allegations in mid-2014. At the time, the charges could have cost him 120 years for several counts of sexual assault. Even though it was recommended not to go to court martial due to lack of sufficient evidence, the Air Force decided in light of ‘cracking down on sexual assault in the military’, it would push it through a General Court Martial anyway. When the case finally went to the Court Martial, Allmon was found not guilty of sexual assault and the felony charge was overturned. Because the Air Force (AF) went to such measures to ‘crack down’ and ‘make sure all victims allegations are taken seriously’, two new charges were added upon the final judgment – “Making a ‘comment’ sexual in nature”. There was no punishment tied to those charges and no evidence to prove the comments weren’t hearsay, but the USAF needed to make a political statement. Allmon was allowed to retire honorably after 21 years of service, but his life and career were turned upside down for two full years, for misdemeanor level charges, with no punishment. Just so the USAF would look good to Congress! Aaron left his career feeling betrayed by the Air Force and broken by combat. The career he gave his life to as a 3rd generation Airmen was stripped from him. As of April 2018, Allmon is filing an appeal to the Military Board of Corrections to have his record and rank reinstated.
To add insult to injury, during the same period, Allmon was unlawfully confined for seven days because his ex-wife accused him of domestic abuse. The USAF put Allmon in confinement before investigating the claims. During that investigation, it was found that Allmon did not have a violent history, but had a stellar career, and other favorable testimony. On the other hand, Allmon’s ex-spouse was found to be an impeachable witness and her testimony was ‘meritless and baseless’; therefore, Allmon was immediately released. It was determined during the investigation, the motive of the ex-wife was to secure a divorce, alimony, inflated child support, full custody of their 18-mo. old son (now 4), and favor from the courts for marital property distribution. Unfortunately, with the Court Martial antics happening at the same time, this legal strategy proved to be the perfect storm for Allmon. It worked and Allmon lost joint custody and has been alienated from seeing his son since early 2015 – nearly four years. It worked because the ex-wife claimed Aaron went to a Court Martial for sexual crimes and was convicted (which he wasn’t!), therefore he was ‘dangerous’ and should not be around his child despite the findings and not guilty verdict. The ex-wife also used Aaron’s PTSD to claim he is dangerous and a violent man even though there is no evidence to support her claims. Once again, a circular argument within a politically influenced justice system worked and destroyed multiple lives.
Since 2016 shortly after the Court Martial debacle seemed to be over, Allmon worked very hard to begin piecing his life back together. Allmon was medically retired in September 2016 because of injuries he sustained while in combat. He remarried later that year to a supportive, loving wife and retired to Texas where he now raises his oldest biological son and his two step children. Part of his recovery was enrolling in the Air Force Wounded Warrior Program. Every branch has a program that helps warriors transition from military to civilian life. This program helps veterans manage things like retire pay, benefits, the VA, health and wellness, and finding work. With seemingly little to hold on to, Aaron enrolled in the adaptive sports competitive track in late 2016. In in early 2017, Aaron and his wife decided to make it their goal to get to the Warrior Games and ultimately the world’s Invictus games. For all intents and purposes, this was his ‘new’ mission in life. Aaron was going to use the Wounded Warrior program for exactly what it was intended – to try to forget about his past, his ailments, and move on to a new future. The entire family took part. Over the course of a year, Aaron and his wife went to eight Air Force Wounded Warrior events. These included five tournaments for wheelchair basketball and three tournaments for sitting volleyball. Aaron went to four practices every week to get him ready for the games. In total, the Allmon family was on the road for 75 days committed to this end goal. Aaron’s children were very proud of him for overcoming his obstacles from the Court Martial, a back injury, and the PTSD which took a toll on his ability to live a fulfilling life.
Aaron’s hard work paid off. He went to Air Force trials in February 2018 for 10 days. Aaron won three medals and earned a position to play wheelchair basketball, sitting volleyball, recumbent racing, and swimming at the next Warrior Games to represent the Air Force. He was excited and motivated for the first time in a long time. He had overcome his feeling of betrayal that the Air Force had ruined his life for no real reason. He thought this was the beginning of a new chapter. His kids were so proud of him!
Unfortunately, twenty days before Allmon was to leave for the Warrior Games in Colorado Springs, he was called and told that he could not be a warrior representing the Air Force at Warrior Games because of he had gone to a Court Martial. It didn’t matter the drummed up, ‘USAF save face misdemeanor charges’ were erroneous and so minor they didn’t even carry the weight of any punishment. It didn’t matter that he fought long and hard and earned a position on the team over the course of a year. His Court Martial was something the USAF was using to haunt him again and something he felt he would never be able to recover from.
Aaron’s story is like what we see every day at Save Our Heroes. The military, in order to look good with Congress, was willing to sacrifice a person for political correctness. Unfortunately, the military doesn’t understand the second and third order effects associated with an ‘ego centric’ kangaroo court system. Aaron’s Court Martial caused him to lose four years with his son, an award-winning career, a stellar reputation, his faith in the branch he served for 21 years, his financial stability for decades to come, and a chance to use his winning seat on the Warrior team as a new chapter so he can move on with his life. All for military service political appeasement. Once again, Aaron’s life and character, dedication and hard work overshadowed by political gain and career motives from Air Force leadership. Everyone on his team and those at AFW2 were CRUSHED! His fellow Warriors were filled with anger and frustration knowing that the RIGHT thing – JUSTICE – has not happened in this case. When Save Our Heroes leadership called to inquire about this case we were told it was decided at the General Officer level.
In the end, justice doesn’t care about rank. Justice cares about the law. What ever happened to NO AIRMEN LEFT BEHIND? It doesn’t exist for Allmon, or over 260 other military service members who have fallen victim to the ‘Kangaroo Military Court System’. Our military owes Aaron and many others an apology instead of shunning them for a crime not committed.
Save Our Heroes will work with Aaron to make sure he gets his life back on track. Our organization will not turn its back on Aaron like the service he was willing to die for. Save Our Heroes will not only be Aaron’s wingman for life, but it will hold military leadership accountable. These leaders, if you can call them that, must be held accountable for allowing a judicial system to be politically motivated, but more importantly for sacrificing American Warriors!!