'I'll fight for my son': Family supports son facing trial for wartime order

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by Teresa Woodard / WFAA.com

khou.com

Posted on May 8, 2013 at 8:51 AM

SPRINGTOWN, Texas — Rarely does an hour pass that they aren't online.  Never does a moment pass that they aren't worrying and wondering.

"All day, every day, that's all I do," said Jamie Garza, the cousin of  Lt. Clint Lorance. She's behind the Facebook page and the website www.defendoursoldier.com, which are dedicated to sharing Lorance's story.

"We always say, 'What would Clint do if this was us in his shoes?'" asked his mother, Anna Lorance.  "There'd be no stopping him to fight for right."

Lorance was destined to help people, family members say.

"Our toys growing up, I had tractors and he had cop cars and Army jeeps.  He always wanted to be a part of something like that," said brother Cody.

So Clint Lorance enlisted in the Army the day he turned 18, serving in Iraq and Korea. 

When he got out, he returned home to Celeste, northeast of McKinney, and became the first in his family to graduate from college.

Then he returned to the Army as an officer.

Lt. Lorance's platoon came under fire in Afghanistan the first day he was in command. According to his attorney, on the second day... in the same spot... his platoon reported a motorcycle speeding toward them.

His soldiers asked for the OK to open fire. Lt. Lorance said "yes."

Two Afghan villagers were killed. Lorance is now charged with murder. 

The soldiers who actually fired the shots were not charged.

"I know Clint," Cody Lorance said. "Clint, he don't act without completely analyzing everything. He does everything right in line with the way it should be."

The soldier's mother said Clint hasn't talked much about that day.  "But he's told me how hurt he is.  And how he can't believe it.  And he told me he did what he had to do.  And that he would make the same decision again," Anna Lorance said.

Fort Bragg did not give WFAA an explanation about why Lt. Lorance is facing second-degree murder charges.  They have said in other published reports that he gave an illegal order to shoot two Afghan villagers who were not acting in a hostile manner.

Everyone who loves Clint Lorance lives in North Texas, and that family is waging a war of its own to clear his name.

"You know, we'd like to see justice be done," said Tracy Lorance, the soldier's father.  "It doesn't make sense.  Makes you wonder what this is all for.  It just don't seem fair."

They created an online petition, hoping to convince someone to drop the charges and stop the court martial.  They set up a website, www.defendoursoldier.com, where they are also soliciting donations to pay for an attorney.

"Until I draw my last breath, I'll fight for my son, because I know him," said his mother, choking back tears.

His family has always admired what they call Clint Lorance's impeccable character -- character they can't believe is now being called into question.


 

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