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September 7, 2007

An appeal from the parents of Army Sgt. Evan Vela

We are the proud parents of a soldier.  We are Curtis G. Carnahan and Anna Vela of St. Anthony, Idaho.  Our son, Evan, has been wrongly accused of the murder of a military-age Iraqi male in Iraq.   

Of our four children, two serve in the US Armed Forces.  Evan is in the Army, and Cory is an active six-year veteran in the Navy.  Evan has served for three years and is currently a Sergeant.  He is married with a family.  Evan and his wife, Alyssa have two children, a son, Jarom, who is four years old, and a daughter, Blair, who is 5 months old.  His unit, the 1st Battalion, 501st Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division, based at Fort Richardson, Alaska, has served tough assignments in Iraq. 

On or about June 23rd of 2007, our son, Sergeant Evan Vela, was engaged in combat action in Iskandariyah, one of the most dangerous areas in Iraq known as the ďTriangle of Death.Ē  Evan was a member of a sniper scout squad that operated for nearly nine continuous months behind enemy lines. 

Evan has been charged with one count of premeditated murder of a military-age Iraqi male, planting weapons, false official statement, and obstruction of justice.  The charges against Evan carry the possibility of confinement for life without parole.  These charges are the result of our son being put into an impossible and untenable situation in Iraq.  Evan is being held in a Field Confinement Facility in Kuwait, and the Army is trying to rush him to trial in Baghdad.  The Army intends to hold Evanís trial in Iraq, even if his unit redeploys to Alaska before the trial is conducted.   

We know and believe in our son.  He is no murderer.  For the last year, Evan has been fighting for our country and our way of life.  Evan has served our country with honor, pride and distinction.  Evan has proven his bravery by volunteering for the Army, becoming a paratrooper, an expert infantryman, and for service in Iraq.  Our son is a patriot and a hero.  Evan needs help. 

Our son is represented by the law firm of Gary Myers, James Culp, and Associates.  Gary Myers is a former JAG Officer, and James Culp is a former JAG Officer, paratrooper and infantry sergeant.  Mr. Myers and Mr. Culp only practice military law, and do so worldwide.  

Mr. Myers and Mr. Culp have extended themselves greatly for our family, and are doing everything possible in defense of Evan.  Though they are attempting to get Evanís trial moved to the United States, Mr. Culp is willing to put himself in harmís way by flying into Baghdad where the hearings are currently scheduled to be held.  

We are proud Americans.  We fly our countryís flag with pride at our home.  We are a hard working, blue-collar family who has always believed that we could take care of our own problems, as well as those of our children.  Yet in this instance, our family has exhausted all of our resources.  We have mortgaged our home, drained our savings accounts, and gotten as much help from family and friends as possible.  We have given our children and our financial security to this war.  What lies ahead is beyond the scope of our abilities.  We have nothing more to give and desperately need your help. 

We have established a trust fund for Evan.  Mr. William R. Forsberg, Attorney at Law, Rexburg, Idaho has set up the fund, and Mr. Brad Smith, CPA, also of Rexburg is the fundís Trustee.  We are appealing to our fellow Americans to help our son by contributing to the Sergeant Evan Vela Defense Fund.  Your contributions can be made in person at any Key Bank office across the country, or by mail at:

Evan Vela Defense Fund

Key Bank
C/O Ann Marie Chaffin
1625 Northgate Mile
Idaho Falls, ID 83401

For more information about Gary Myers, James Culp & Associates click at the link.

Thank you. 

May God bless America and our troops,

Curtis G. Carnahan & Anna Vela

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