A 38-year-old New Jersey man is suing the Marine Corps for $30 million, based on abuse he claims to have received while a recruit at Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island in October 1999, according to a Marine Corps Times report.
Scott DiDonato claims “torture” he received from the depot’s drill instructors set off a chain of events that included a hernia, a botched surgery at Naval Hospital Beaufort, an other-than-honorable discharge from the Corps and a conspiracy to hide the abuse by high-ranking Marine Corps officers, the paper reports.
While a recruit at the depot in early 2000, DiDonato claims he and other recruits were forced by drill instructors to chug several quarts of water after chow. They then would be denied head calls and forced to urinate and even defecate in their uniforms, the Marine Corps Times reported. After one particular incident of “waterbowling,” DiDonato said he felt something in his stomach rip. He was diagnosed a few days later with a hernia.
After graduating from the depot on Jan. 14, 2000, the paper says DiDonato was assigned to Basic Marine Platoon, a unit typically reserved for Marines who graduate from boot camp but have to stay at the depot for various reasons. DiDonato underwent hernia surgery in February 2000 at Naval Hospital Beaufort, a surgery he says damaged his internal damages and made him infertile.
DiDonato goes on to claim that the Marine officials forced him to take a other-than-honorable discharge that stripped him of future military or veterans benefits.
A spokesman for the Corps told the paper that they were aware of DiDonato’s accusations but declined to comment further on the case.
DiDonato filed his lawsuit in December 2008 in Norfolk, Va., the paper reports.
In other news:
A former commanding general of Parris Island became the top Marine in Iraq on Monday.
Maj. Gen Richard. Tryon, who served as the depot’s commanding general from 2004 to 2006, replaced Maj. Gen. John Kelly as the commanding officer of more than 22,000 Marines currently on the ground in Iraq.
Tryon now serves as the commanding general of II Marine Expeditionary Force Forward stationed at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, N.C.
Tryon’s Marines will be stationed at Al Asad Airbase in the Al Anbar province of western Iraq.
II MEF (Fwd) will be replacing the Kelly-led Marines of I MEF (Fwd) who deployed from Camp Pendleton, Calif. about a year ago.