Slain L.I. Marine’s Family Speaks Out After Another Deadly Incident Carried Out By Afghan Recruit
OCEANSIDE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — As an outraged local family prepares to bury their Marine son, two more U.S. servicemen have died in a similar attack by supposed allies.
Now, some are asking whether America’s bravest are in fact training their own killers.
A training program designed to put guns in the hands of 340,000 Afghan policeman and security personnel is part of the U.S. withdrawal strategy. Increasingly, though, some of those weapons are being turned on their trainers, CBS 2′s Lou Young reported.
The latest incident took place during a graduation ceremony on Friday. Moments after receiving his weapon, a new Afghan recruit immediately turned his weapon on two U.S. servicemen.
The two Americans and the attacker were all dead within moments.
The incident was especially horrifying to friends and family of Lance Cpl. Greg Buckley Jr., who was killed a week ago in a similar incident in Afghanistan.
“At the end of the day what happened is my son trained somebody to murder him,” Greg Buckley Sr., the father of the fallen Marine told CBS 2′s Amy Dardashtian.
His funeral will be held Saturday afternoon at St. Agnes Cathedral in Rockville Centre. A burial will follow at Long Island National Cemetery in Pinelawn. He was 21 years old.
“They come in, they say ‘We want to be police officers,’ and we hand them a blue uniform and hand them an AK-47? That’s insane,” said Greg Buckley Sr.
Buckley Sr. said he is clear about what he believes needs to happen next.
“What has to happen is we need to wake up. We need to get them back. Stop it. End it,” Buckley Sr. said.
Buckley Jr. was one of six Americans killed in the attack last week and although statistics indicate overall U.S. casualties are down compared to last year, betrayal killings among supposed allies are on the rise.
1010 WINS reporter Gary Baumgarten was at the young Marine’s funeral…
In 2010, it happened a dozen times. Last year, incidents more than doubled. So far this year, 25 U.S. servicemen have been killed by Afghans in uniform.
“If my son died on the battlefield I would’ve been, maybe been able to accept that, but instead they killed him inside the gym,” Buckley Sr. said.
“My heart was ripped out of my chest like you can’t even imagine,” Buckley Sr. said.
“I gave birth to a beautiful boy and now God has taken him away from me,” said the Marine’s mother Marina Cutino Buckley.
The attacker was someone the young Marine said had been vocal about not wanting foreigners in his country.
The military said it is part of the risk of the 10-year war that is shared by U.S. allies on the ground. In yet another attack on Friday, two NATO soldiers were wounded by an Afghan soldier.
“We have no findings yet in terms of what the reason for this insider threat incident was,” NATO spokesman Brig. General Gunter Katz said.
U.S Defense Secretary Leon Panetta reacted last week to the killings of U.S. forces at the hands of Afghan police.
“Make no mistake about it, I’ve been very concerned about these incidents,” Panetta said.
Panetta said these attacks may be a Taliban plot.
“The reality is the Taliban has not been able to regain any territory lost. And so they’re resorting to these kinds of attacks to create havoc and there’s no question it’s of concern, it’s dangerous and we’ve got to do everything we can do to try to prevent it,” Panetta said.
The U.S. plans to finish arming the Afghans within two years.
Buckley was just days from making a trip to Hawaii and a surprise visit home when he was fatally shot by an Afghan police officer. He was one of six Marines killed on Aug. 10 in two incidents with Afghan officers. Buckley was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart.
The wake for Buckley was Thursday and Friday at Vanella’s Funeral Chapel in Oceanside.
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