Joshua Luke grew up in Northern Vermont where he graduated from Lyndon Institute in 2004. He went on to attend Vermont Technical College for 2 semesters before joining the Army.
In June 2005, he attended basic training at Ft Benning, Georgia, after which he completed the Army's Human Intelligence Collector Basic Course.
During his service, he also completed Defense Language Institute's Persian Course, the Defense Intelligence Agency's StrategicDebriefing Course, Warrior Leader Course, Advanced Leader Course and multiple HT-JCOE trainings.
Joshua served as a General Support HUMINT Collector in Baghdad for 15 months during 2006-2007 in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. He deployed in Support of Operation Enduring Freedom during both 2010-11 and 2012-13 time frames where he served as an interrogator, reports officer, National Directorate of Security Liaison and the Collection Manager for the Strategic Debriefing Center.
Joshua separated from the Army honorably in 2014 and went on to serve as a U.S. Senate staffer and now works in Corporate Compliance.
AN EXCERPT FROM JOSHUA'S STORY
WE'RE NOT VICTIMS
A soldier, who may be 18 years old, must not only constantly fear for what waits on the other side of that hill or just inside the next door, but also is in constant fear of what the legal ramifications will be once they return home. This has led to a very popular saying in the military…
“I’d rather be tried by 12 than carried by 6.”
As a society, how can we blur the lines of operational responsibilities, train someone to operate in a warzone for the accomplishment of the mission, then hold a microscope to see how they handle every decision they are placed in? These soldiers do not often get the privilege of being able to analyze a situation and say that they may face legal dilemmas if they were to take on a given mission. Instead they are thrust into situations and asked many times to risk their lives while having to constantly fear life in prison, or worse for one wrong move. These soldiers are not being put into calm environments where there is time to analyze and process things for long periods of time, but rather the boundaries of these encounters are marked by violence and the immanence of deadly force being used against them.
We, as a nation, ask service members to put their lives on the line to go to war where they take all the risks and get to participate in none of the decision making. We should not add the responsibility and fear of legal litigation over every single action. Unfortunately, violence is a factor of war and if the use of violence is considered inappropriate in specific areas for whatever reason then maybe there needs to be some reconsideration as to the necessity of war. The men and women who fight and die for this country should not have the added stress of prosecution.