This is the third in an ongoing series of posts attempting to bring readers along as I research the story of David Sharrett.
The friendly fire death of Pfc. David H. Sharrett II, of Oakton, is not a new story. The fact that Sharrett was shot and killed by one of his own men, Lt. Timothy Hanson, was first confirmed to his parents, Dave and Vicki Sharrett, in May 2008.
But Dave Sharrett, the father, kept pressing for more details, and more accountability for Hanson. And when he learned that there was far more to his son’s death than the Army had told him, Sharrett turned to a former English student of his at Langley High School in McLean: James Gordon Meek, the national security correspondent for the New York Daily News.
As a high schooler, James Meek had seen the younger Dave Sharrett as a child in his father’s classroom. He was devastated to learn of the boy’s death in Iraq, and first wrote about the passing of “Bean” in a blog in January 2008, here.
When the elder Sharrett discovered there was more to the story, he sought Meek’s expertise at deciphering Army documents and bureaucracy. In March 2009, Meek wrote a story which began, “Army brass in Iraq whitewashed an incident of a soldier killed by his own lieutenant by blaming the dead hero, stonewalling his family and promoting his killer, the Daily News has learned.”
The rest of that excellent story is here. It caused an uproar within the Army that continues today, with the case still unresolved.
Meek wrote his last story about the saga in January of this year, when it appeared that yet another investigation was imminent. Meek has since left the Daily News to become a Congressional investigator.
Meanwhile, a documentary film crew headed by producer-director Christopher Grimes has completed a film on friendly fire deaths, called ”A Second Knock at the Door,” and the Sharrett case is one of those featured. It is premiering later this month in Las Vegas, and you can read more here. Here’s the trailer: