By MEGHAN BARR
Napa Valley Register
When Adrian Wilhelm learned that his son committed suicide just four days into his deployment in Iraq, he knew right away that the facts didn’t add up.
His son, 19-year-old Pvt. Keiffer Wilhelm, had been excited and upbeat just weeks earlier as he prepared to ship overseas. He was planning to buy a new car. He was exercising diligently, shedding at least 20 pounds in time for boot camp.
Then, suddenly, he was dead. Now his family is struggling to process the stunning news that four of Wilhelm’s fellow soldiers stand accused of abusing him and other soldiers in his platoon with excessive physical fitness and cruelty before his death.
“They just acted like they were a bunch of street hoods,” Adrian Wilhelm said from his home in Plymouth, Ohio. “They thought they were above the law.”
The soldiers have been charged with cruelty and maltreatment of subordinates, among other charges. The military says there is no direct evidence that the soldiers’ alleged misconduct caused Wilhelm’s death, which remains under investigation. Full story no longer available.