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HOMECOMING RADIO INTERVIEW CONDUCTED THIS EVENING
by Sharon Rondeau
(May 13, 2011) — Lt. Col. Terrence Lakin, who was court-martialed in December 2010 and spent five months in prison for disobeying orders due to Obama’s questionable eligibility, was released from Ft. Leavenworth today and appeared on Sandy Springs Radio from 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. EDT.
The U.S. Army had ruled that the military was “no place for Barack Obama’s presidential eligibility to be evaluated” and had refused Lakin discovery as to whether or not Obama was eligible to serve as president and commander-in-chief.
Lakin’s request for clemency was denied last month, but he was released one month short of his six-month sentence for good behavior.
The internet radio show was hosted by a trustee of the Terry Lakin Action Fund, during which Lakin answered many questions regarding the time he was away from his family. Lakin’s brother Greg provided commentary on Terry’s experience as well as some aspects of the court-martial.
Terry reported that his first night as a prisoner was spent in the Washington, DC area in a “dark, cold cell” where he was taken after being shackled at the hands and ankles. He said that a space heater was procured and that the cell looked as if it hadn’t been occupied in a long time.
Before his transfer to the airport the next day, Terry was able to see his wife Pili and three children once more. His voice shook as he described how he was unshackled for the final goodbye to his family.
At departure time, he was reshackled, handcuffed and taken to board a flight to the Joint Regional Custody Center in Kansas City, MO. Of that experience, Terry said in a cracked voice, “One day you are serving your country, treating patients in need, and the next day you are escorted through an airport with two guards on either side of you…You’re a spectacle.” His brother Greg stated that their family had been brought up to uphold “principles and virtue,” and that “His motives can’t be questioned.” Of the court-martial itself, Greg added, “Justice was not served that day…It was painful to witness.”
Terry remained in Kansas City for 19 days in solitary confinement except for 1-2 hours each day when he was allowed to interact with other inmates in a “common area.” Inmates were checked on every 20 minutes both day and night. Greg Lakin reported that during that time, neither he nor Terry’s family was aware of where he was being held.
Following that initial period, Terry was taken to Ft. Leavenworth Garrison in Kansas and placed into a general population group of 30-40 men. When he learned he would have a roommate, Terry reported that he introduced himself to the other man. After a rough beginning, Terry said he and the other inmate became very close friends such that when it the time came for Terry to be relocated, he was reluctant to go.
While incarcerated, Terry received between several and 30 letters each day from concerned citizens. Small booklets and books of stamps were not allowed to reach him, but he received “a handful of books” directly from publishers which he read avidly, stating, “I turned five months into a good reading retreat.” He read The 5,000-Year Leap and Democracy in America by Alexis de Tocqueville, and later became enthused about C.S. Lewis‘s works while performing “library detail.” Upon his release from prison, he is reading a book entitled Christianity and the Constitution.
Every inmate participates in an activity or project. Following “library detail,” Terry served on “chapel detail,” during which time he witnessed a band and choir assemble and perform. He stated that his roommate had “an incredible solo voice” which he utilized in the choir and that the band was full of “talented musicians.”
Terry also developed and taught a mathematics class to the inmates. He stated that there is “a lot of talent that is going to waste” in prison, and that he thought that more emphasis should be placed on vocational and educational programs. Terry was the highest-ranked soldier in his pod and actively participated in sessions held every two weeks to address prisoners’ concerns.
He reported that a couple who lived near the prison visited him often, with the husband visiting 2-3 times a week. He also recalled a congressional candidate from Connecticut who wrote to him often.
Terry expressed his gratitude to neighbors who helped his wife while he was gone and described Pili as “an incredible lady.”
Tomorrow there will be an official welcome-home event for Terry in Baltimore, MD at 10:30 a.m. When the show host announced that a Christian motorcycle group would be on hand to escort Terry out of the airport on his way home, Terry said in a wavering voice, “It’s remarkable how uplifting people can be.”
Terry stated that he is looking forward to attending a baseball game with one of his sons tomorrow evening. He is glad to be “wearing regular clothing” and looks forward to more comfortable accommodations at home than in prison. However, he stated quietly, “I’m still in overload shock from it.”
Dr. Lakin also asked that Americans “keep in mind the sacrifice of all active-duty members and incarcerated troops.”