04 February 2010We have now reached a critical stage in the George Nickel matter.
As most readers of The Long Walk Home know, last summer Staff Sergeant Nickel was involved in an incident in Boise, Idaho. The most important and salient facts at this point are that no one was hurt and that no one was killed. All the other facts are collateral.
In December the prosecutor agreed to dismiss five of the six charges in return for Staff Sergeant Nickel pleading guilty to a charge of discharging a firearm into an occupied building. Sentencing was scheduled for 1 February, however it was continued until April because the pre-sentencing investigation has not been completed.
The prosecutor has indicated she would like a maximum sentence in this matter, fifteen years in the state penitentiary, however she is willing to enter into an agreement whereby Staff Sergeant Nickel would enter treatment for his Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) in a secure medical facility.
The problem is the Veteran's Administration does not have secure medical facilities. So we have the irresistible force of the prosecutors office meeting the immovable object of the Veteran's Administration. My understanding (and I am sure someone will indignantly correct me if I am wrong) is the state of Idaho has secure medical facilitates capable of treating Staff Sergeant Nickel, however it requires the Federal and State bureaucracies to work together. If you have ever worked with or for the Government at any level you can probably see the problem. Someone or thing is going to need to "give."...
Staff Sergeant Nickel is a hero who has served his country - and us - honourably. He needs our help NOW! Please go read the whole story here, and then write those letters. We can do this. We MUST do this.