Continuing our series on the Leavenworth 10, this week we bring you the story of Specialist William B. Hunsaker. He joined the Army in August of 2001, completed Army Ranger school and earned the rank of specialist as a parachutist. He also served a tour of duty in Korea.
In August 2005, Specialist Hunsaker deployed to Iraq with the 101st Airborne Division 3rd Brigade. In May 2006, he participated in Operation Iron Triangle; their orders were to “kill all military-age men.” After being dropped by a Blackhawk helicopter, the squad encountered “three military-aged males using two women as human shields.” The men were handcuffed and detained while their squad leader Staff Sergeant Girouard radioed headquarters. The response was, “Why aren’t these terrorists dead yet?”
Girourard ordered that the men be released and told to run. Specialist Hunsaker along with PFC Corey Clagett were ordered to shoot the men. Knowing this to be an unlawful order, they chose to obey rather than face the consequences for disobeying a direct order. Girourard then took steps to conceal the reality of the encounter. He punched Clagett in the face and cut Hunsaker’s arm and face giving the impression the insurgents had attacked the soldiers.
For his part in Operation Iron Triangle, Specialist Hunsaker received an 18 year sentence in Fort Leavenworth. After serving more than 6 years, he was released from Leavenworth on March 21st. He will now begin rebuilding his life. The Veterans of Foreign Wars have put Hunsaker in contact with the University of Central Missouri’s military and veterans’ services. He will be able to continue his education through this program. He is home with his family in time for Easter.
This report is part of The Leavenworth 10 – Uncommon Injustice.