Dear Mr. and Mrs. Santiago, I was William's company commander. I knew your son vaguely, which is to say I knew his name. In a matter of time, the trial of the two men charged with your son's death will be concluded, and seven men and two women whom you've never met will try to offer you an explanation as to why William is dead. For my part, I've done as much as I can to bring the truth to light. And the truth is this: Your son is dead for only one reason. I wasn't strong enough to stop it. Always, Lieutenant Colonel Matthew Andrew Markinson, United States Marine Corps.
I have two books at my bedside, Lieutenant: the Marine Corps Code of Conduct and the King James Bible. The only proper authorities I am aware of are my commanding officer, Colonel Nathan R. Jessep, and the Lord our God.