Two mothers of sons who deserted military bases on the mainland and fled to Puerto Rico for safety are fighting efforts by local police to arrest their sons. They asked Puerto Rican police to cease searching for the two young men since desertion is a federal, not a local crime, but the police insisted it was their duty to continue the pursuit. Hiram Loazada, a lawyer for the women denounced police visits to grandparents and urged they stop pestering the elderly. Maria Santiago, said her son was suffering from depression when he entered the army and it got worse so he left when they would not discharge him from service. Liua Morales said her son left after enduring “abuses and humiliations.”
Obviously, deserting from the military is a crime. But, these two cases illustrate the continuing failure to have more effective mental health facilities available for our fighting men and women. The two young men don’t come across as likely candidates for being enlisted in the armed forces. Perhaps, these two cases also pertain to who is being recruited.