Last Friday, we introduced us to a young man who walked away from the Marine Corps and is now listed as a deserter.
Unless or until he turns himself in, Private Loren Houle, at age 19, faces a life of looking over his shoulder.
The story caused a stir in some circles.
Veterans of the Marine Corps and local recruiters objected to Houle's description of his experiences at boot camp. He described incidents of physical abuse. They say that's against policy and should never happen.
There may be many reasons for Loren Houle's present dilemma, but one reason he says he walked away from the Corps was what he experienced at boot camp. Houle says he expected it to be tough, but it was more than that.
SSgt. Shawn Chaufty was the recruiter who signed Houle. He says he's never heard this complaint from any of those he's sent off to boot camp.
We were able to contact Houle again late today. He stands by his story. That he was thrown over a foot locker, left bleeding, that he was choked and that a Marine he knew died of over-exertion in basic training. No one we've talked with locally could confirm any of those details. To a man, they say, it's against Marine Corps policy to touch a recruit except for instruction or safety and they say it's counterproductive to do otherwise.
In Chaufty's Carson City office today were two recent recruits home from basic training. They say boot camp was tough, but a good experience. It's hard not to be left with the impression that Houle and the Marine Corps were not a good match.