Missing Colorado Marine
Normally, a Marine that disappeared while on leave, suffering with possible head injuries incurred while out hiking, would simply elicit support in the form of rescue teams and ample prayer that he is found alive and in good health.
Unfortunately, now soldiers' families must answer questions of potential desertion/refusal to return if the soldier in question does not turn up, even after an extensive search:
ELDORADO SPRINGS CANYON — The father of a missing Marine who vanished with a head injury today asked for help in finding his son in the narrow, wooded canyon near Boulder.Even if this were the case, that Hering is trying to avoid redeployment, the attention should be on his safe return to his family, given a potentially serious head injury (which this blog does not believe with the evidence available at this point). What is sad is that this should even be a question put to families, that a disappeared loved one might be involved in making a political statement about the war in Iraq, or about the current political situation, while still missing and without having made a declaration--spoken or written--to that effect before their disappearance. The reality is that there are cases of desertion, or refusal to obey deployment orders, and now all situations like this raise this question.
More than 100 searchers from throughout Colorado are expected to join the search today for Lance Hering, 21, a Marine on leave after his third combat tour in Iraq, who was hiking in the area on Tuesday with a friend, Steve Powers. Hering fell, injured his head and lost consciousness. Powers waited until Hering was conscious, told Hering to rest and not move and left to get help. When searchers returned five hours later, Hering was gone.
Lloyd Hering, Lance's father, made an emotional plea this morning, showing a picture of his son taken earlier in the week.
"I want to get Lance's face in front of the public so that if he’s out there and confused, someone can find him," said Hering, a Vietnam era veteran.
. . .
He said Lance Hering was sent to Iraq in January and returned on leave in August. Lloyd Hering dismissed any suggestion his son intentionally disappeared to avoid returning to Iraq.
"He may be on the run from his own confusion but he is not on the run from Iraq," Hering said. "My son has never run from problems."
Prayers for Hering's safe return should be the public's only thought at this point. All other details, if there are any, can be dealt with at a later time.