It is with great sympathy and respect that we support Plymouth resident Adrian Wilhelm's attempt to travel to Kuwait to attend a military hearing for four U.S. soldiers accused of mistreatment of others in their platoon, including Wilhelm's late 19-year-old son, Keiffer, who was driven to suicide Aug. 4.
A military investigation into Army Pvt. Wilhelm's death determined he was bullied by the four Multi-National Division South soldiers and now they face about 25 charges, ranging from reckless endangerment to cruelty. All of them face dishonorable discharge and up to 25 years in prison if found guilty.
Adrian Wilhelm, his wife, Kathe, and his father want to be in Kuwait for the hearing-- not only to face the men allegedly responsible for driving Keiffer to suicide, but simply to get answers.
The problem? The trip will cost about $17,000.
Despite the genorosity of those in the community willing to donate to the Wilhelm's efforts, we believe the U.S. government should help pay for the trip.
After all, Keiffer, a 2008 graduate of Willard High School, was serving our military proudly and was in high spirits up through the time he shipped off to Iraq. Then less than 10 days into his deployment in the Maysan province, a southeast portion of Iraq located along the Iran border, he is driven to suicide by his own troops?
It's little wonder why the Wilhelm family is seeking closure and answers.
The U.S. government owes them those answers.
We all owe them those answers.
Want to help?
WHAT: The Memorial Fund for Keiffer Wilhelm
HOW: Donations can be made to FirstMerit Bank, 501 Ford Ball Road, Willard, OH 44890