Combat stress and horse death don’t often collide.
But it appears that’s what happened when Ryan Grafft, a 32-year old captain in the National Guard, allegedly shot three horses, killing one of them. Read more.
After admitting to the shooting, Grafft told the Johnson County officials, it was a “stupid” thing to do, according to the criminal complaint. He’s been charged with three counts of livestock abuse and two counts of reckless use of a firearm. The case has been continued until the end of October.
Grafft went to Iraq in September, 2005. His tour was nearly finished when then President George W. Bush announced plans to increase America’s presence in Iraq. Grafft stayed in Iraq for nearly two years.
As an infantry platoon leader in the 133rd Infantry Battalion, he led 40 soldiers on more than 500 combat logistical patrols, escorting 62,000 trucks in Anbar province, one of the most dangerous areas, according to the Mitchell County Press News.
Two soldiers in his battalion were killed. 35 were injured.
“We saw a lot of IEDs (Improvised Explosive Devices),” Grafft told the local paper. “It wasn’t an easy time.”
Now, five years later, Grafft allegedly shoots and kills an innocent, unwitting animal.
It’s easy to call acts like these “random violence,” so why is the American public increasingly weary of stories like these?
Nowadays, they seem as predictable as the next eruption of an active volcano. The government says it’s helping soldiers deal with post traumatic stress, but with the uptick in crimes like these, it makes one wonder.
I spoke with a Johnson County prosecutor about the case. She told me the charges were all misdemeanors. Even if convicted (the case has been continued several times as he reportedly seeks treatment), it’s unlikely he’ll serve any time in prison, she said.