Thursday, June 7, 2012

Seven years ago today, US Army Staff Sergeant Alberto B. Martinez murdered my husband

Bonis nocet qui malis parcit
"He who spares the wicked injures the good." ~ Seneca

Seven years ago today, US Army Staff Sergeant Alberto B. Martinez murdered my husband, Captain Phillip Esposito.

Evidence presented at Martinez's court-martial in 2008 revealed that Staff Sergeant Martinez placed a claymore anti-personal mine in the window of my husband's office and detonated it, killing my husband and another officer. Further evidence revealed Staff Sergeant Martinez's motive; either to avoid his being removed from his position for cause, or to punish my husband for removing him, Staff Sergeant Martinez premeditatedly murdered my husband and the officer set to replace Martinez at his job.

Testimony at court-martial revealed that Staff Sergeant Martinez issued hundreds of death threats against my husband's life; nevertheless, none of these threats were acted upon by anyone in the 42nd Infantry Division of the National Guard and United States Army in which Martinez served, nor was my husband ever informed of these threats. If Staff Sergeant Martinez set and fired the mine that slaughtered my husband, Martinez's unindicted co-conspirators were the men and women of the 42nd Infantry Division who recklessly sat on their hands while Martinez spewed his venom.

At his court-martial, Staff Sergeant Martinez put forth no reasonable hypothesis of innocence; at least none that would convince me of his innocence in the face of the evidence presented against him, or compel me to demand further investigation and criminal charges levied against others. Thus it goes without saying that in my view, Staff Sergeant Martinez's freedom to commit murder and his subsequent acquittal by a military court-martial is an egregious error of justice.

But further, I have stood singularly alone in my public appraisal of the undisciplined military culture within the 42nd Infantry Division that set the stage for my husband's murder and of the defects in the military justice that set my husband's killer free.

That is not to say that private comments have not been made to me. For example, I received the message below just last week, ostensibly in honor of Memorial Day:

Mrs. Esposito, Please do not post my comments to your blog. I was a fellow Captain that worked with your husband at FOB Danger--he was a good officer and a good person. His professionalism was above that of other officers in his unit. I was in the next building over when your husband was killed. Although, it has taken me years to write to you, please know that few days pass that I don't think about how awful and unprofessional the culture was at FOB Danger during that time. Your husband paid the ultimate price for the failure of Army leadership. Please know that this Memorial Day, like every Memorial Day, I remember my fellow innocent officers that were murdered by their own. My thoughts will be with you over this weekend. With great respect and peace--A former officer and current Army wife living in Europe.

The author above freely admits that "[my] husband paid the ultimate price for the failure of Army leadership," but doesn't want her even anonymous comment published, lest apparently the word get out. Such was the caliber of the men and women my slaughtered husband had the misfortune of serving alongside in the 42nd Infantry Division of the National Guard.

Seven years after Phillip's murder, I still seek justice—I still seek my vindication. I still seek to show the cause of Phillip's death, and show how this cause was both needless and preventable. I still seek to prevent future slaughter, if only to serve as a living memorial to Phillip's memory. I still seek to raise our daughter with proof that her father and his family received the justice that they deserved. And I still seek to rebuild my life, and live free in a world no longer dominated by the taint of Staff Sergeant Alberto B. Martinez and his sundry apologists and defenders.


11 comments:

Anonymous said...

My condolences. This is a shocking story that too few know about.

MAG said...

Please don’t STOP your efforts! I was also there, after talking to him on the phone about 4 hours before he was murdered. I think about both of them every Memorial Day and your families. He was a true Hero. Take comfort in knowing this murderer will pay either in this life or the next… My thoughts and prayers are with both families..

Anonymous said...

Your husband was murdered but not by his accuser. There was no lack of discipline in the 42nd ID. Maybe its your perspective but your husband was not some "amazing: leader maybe mediocre at that. His accuser was declared innocent by a jury of his piers and you should stop these post that defame his name.

Anonymous said...

Your husband was murdered but not by his accuser. There was no lack of discipline in the 42nd ID. Maybe its your perspective but your husband was not some "amazing: leader maybe mediocre at that. His accuser was declared innocent by a jury of his piers and you should stop these post that defame his name.

Anonymous said...

Same thing Anonymous said. I was in the 42ID when this happened. Your husband was not a well liked officer who honestly was a jerk to most people. When someone dies we glorify them but I knew your husband and he was not well liked by his piers. It could have been anyone. I am sorry you lost a husband but Alberto B. Martinez was declared innocent. Quit defaming his name.

MAG said...

Anonymous... you are truly a reflection of the 42nd leadership.. everyone knows he is guilty. I was there I knew and worked with him and since I was not from NJ " an outsider" looking in it was clear the leadership was just as hazardous as the enemy. CPT Esposito is and was a true professional, leader and soldier.. You people were so undisciplined you wouldn't know good leadership. you are a sick individual to say such comments.. why not say nothing at all? Keep your mouth shut, let people grieve and celebrate a life... Martinez is just as sick and pathetic as you..

MAG said...

Anonymous... you are truly a reflection of the 42nd leadership.. everyone knows he is guilty. I was there I knew and worked with him and since I was not from NJ " an outsider" looking in it was clear the leadership was just as hazardous as the enemy. CPT Esposito is and was a true professional, leader and soldier.. You people were so undisciplined you wouldn't know good leadership. you are a sick individual to say such comments.. why not say nothing at all? Keep your mouth shut, let people grieve and celebrate a life... Martinez is just as sick and pathetic as you..

Anonymous said...

This is amazing story! Due to the fact that this guy was working at Taylor Correctional Institution in Maintenance, and nobody knew his past! I spoke with him about once a week over the last few months and would have never thought this man would have such a background. Makes me wonder who else the Florida Department of Corrections has hired. Also...it should be noted that he was just terminated for "Introduction of Contraband" aka...bringing shit to inmates!

Jeff Mohr said...

And to pour more salt on a wound,this scumbag terrorist recieved an Honorable discharge and all the benefits that accompany it!!!!

Spencer said...

Whether he was a liked or not by his PEERS doesn't entitle someone to murder him. And if you're so concerned with defamation maybe you should leave the dead alone.

Anonymous said...

My unit Assisted SSg.Martinez unit in Iraq with security in some of the observation towers I remembered my first encounter with SSg.Martinez I left with the impression that he was someone that couldn't be trusted plus a few of the people in The 42nd thought of him as asshole plus he meaning Ssg,Martinez wasnt well liked.