Marine Falsely Accused of Desertion, Locked up for a Month
Friday, August 03, 2012
Alan Gourgue (photo-Dan Krauss/Wired)
Alan Gourgue served four years in the Marine Corps and was honorably discharged. But that didn’t stop the military from wrongly arresting him years later, claiming he was a deserter.
The resident of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, is now suing the service for half a million dollars in damages, after having spent a month in jail, losing his job, and having his life turned upside down by the mistake.
Gourgue, 27, served in the Marines from 2002 to 2006, when the corporal received his honorable discharge.
In January 2011, Gourgue was stopped by New Orleans police for a traffic violation. When police checked his records, they found an outstanding federal warrant for Gourgue who was listed as a deserter. The Marines then took custody of him and flew him to Camp Pendleton in San Diego, where he languished in a military jail for a month before someone realized they had made a mistake.
Gourgue received an apology and a ticket home. But by then he had been fired from his job as a hotel clerk, which forced his pregnant wife to go get a job so the family had some income.
To Learn More:
Marines Catch “Deserter” . . . 5 Years after His Honorable Discharge (by Dave Maass, Wired)
Former Marine Accused of Desertion Sues Military for Damages (by Rebecca Ruiz, NBC News)
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