Editorial in today's Great Falls [MT] Tribune:
Even before Danny Ray Reed II's name appeared in the paper for disrupting a United flight from Denver to Great Falls Jan. 7, the Tribune heard from his mother, Sonja, in Lerona, W.Va. She was worried about her son, whom authorities had arrested on a charge of interfering with a flight crew the night before as he deplaned here.
He suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder, she said, the result of his military service in Afghanistan and Iraq. "He never had any trouble before he went into the military," she said in a telephone interview a few days later, "but he came back from the service a different person."
In light of that, it was good to see that the court system handled the 32-year-old former U.S. Army Ranger sensitively and sensibly. He reportedly had too much to drink during and possibly before the flight and wound up threatening people and generally behaving badly.
The original charge — especially in the aftermath of 9/11 — was a very serious one, but Federal Magistrate Keith Strong agreed to a reduced simple assault charge and sentenced Reed to time served plus a year of probation. As part of the deal, Reed was to report immediately to the Veterans' Administration Hospital in Sheridan, Wyo., to begin an 11-week treatment program for PTSD. More>>