Memorandum and Open Letter

From: LtCol. David A. Earl-Graef 
To: Chief Justice John G. Roberts 
Date: 26 Jan 2006 

I can not express in words the disappointment I feel regarding 
the recent actions of the Court to deny those of us in the 
military important answers to questions regarding our 
Constitutional duty as clearly stated in our Oath of Office. 
While these actions are not an injury such as one might sustain 
on the field of battle, they constitute an egregious injury to 
the faith I have placed in the court. While I can not say that of 
its nature the injury is mortal, it is not without morbidity! 
While I can not say that I shall succumb to it, the actions of 
the Court have deeply wounded the spirit of this American Soldier. 
I am left brokenhearted and conflicted in this moment to the 
point of tears. 

I had earlier written to you and asked that you consider the Oath 
of Office that I took and every American Soldier takes and asked 
that you honor and respect its sacred vows in your actions. I ask 
you now in your heart; have you done this? Have you placed aside 
the political concerns of this decision? Have you given honor to 
the fighting men and women who, in the face of death, carry the 
standard of freedom? Have you given honor to the fallen Soldiers 
who have no voice; those who are now across the river of eternity 
and whose bodies lay entombed across the river from where you sit, 
in the hallowed grounds of Arlington Cemetery? Have you given 
honor to the Soldiers whose names are not inscribed on any piece 
of stone or mortar or recorded on any parchment or paper; the 
names American Soldiers that are known only to God? 

Make no mistake, I am keenly aware of the burden placed upon you 
and do not in any way envy your responsibility or the 
responsibility of the court in this situation. The dire 
consequences facing our Nation in either circumstance around your 
decision are no less and perhaps more than has ever fallen before 
us as a Nation in our entire history. 

Although in my darkest moments, when shadows of doubt encircle me, 
I remain steadfast to my Oath. Although I can not suppress a 
feeling of betrayal, I can not knowingly betray my country. I 
again plea to the Court to release me from this yoke of 
uncertainty that is weighing me down. Renew my faith in Justice 
and give me the direction I need to continue to serve. Above all 
I pray that you not let those Soldiers who have paid and are yet 
to pay the ultimate sacrifice defending the Constitution to have 
done so in vain. 

LtCol David Earl-Graef USAFR MC