The wife of a marine who recently died of a drug overdose after footage went viral of him urinating on dead Taliban terrorists back in 2012 has broken her silence this week to reveal how his infamy ruined their marriage, and his life.
The footage was filmed in 2011, when Lt. Colonel Rob Richards was shown with three other marines urinating on dead terrorists. After the video began to circulate the next year, Richards was demoted and forced to leave the marines. His wife Raechel says he was devastated by the experience.
“He felt backed into a corner,” she said, according to Daily Mail. “He always said, ‘It’s all I’ll ever be known for.'”
Richards’ discharge after a court marshall put an end to his dreams of becoming a defense contractor, and he turned to drugs for solace. His addiction became so bad that he and Raechel eventually separated, but the reunited months later after he had completed drug counseling.
Unfortunately, Richards died just months after they got back together from an accidental overdose of prescription pain killers. He was just 28 years-old.
Because he was not dishonorably discharged, Richards was able to be buried at Arlington National Cemetery earlier this month.
After his funeral, Richards’ military friends spoke out to defend his actions. Sergeant Edward Deptola told the press that Richards’ sniper team had hunted down the Taliban fighters who had planted a roadside bomb that had cost one of their teammates his leg.
Deptola recounted that they opened fire from 50 yards away, and were so overjoyed by the kill that they decided to urinate on the terrorists as an ultimate display of revenge. He says they did it “because killing them wasn’t enough. That wasn’t enough justice.”
Richards himself defended his actions back in 2013.
“When you’re under that much stress and in that environment, your whole mental being changes,” he said. “You’re no longer Joe the family man. You’re a warrior, and if you read back to Biblical wars and wars since the dawn of time, men have been doing this to men for millennia.”
We’re glad that Richards has finally found peace, and that he received the military honors in his death that he so rightfully deserved.