DENVER — Controversy is roiling around a former Marine who protested his treatment at the hands of the Corps by donning his uniform and literally climbing onto a cross.
Sgt. Joshua Klohr, who feels he was railroaded into a court-martial and a discharge from the military, hung himself from a replica cross at the Colorado state Capitol on Easter Sunday, the Military Times reported.
The demonstration, which coincided with 4/20 celebrations, was seen by a large crowd. Photos also appeared online.
While serving as a Marine recruiter in Boulder, Klohr struggled to make recruiting goals, despite working 14-16 hours a day, he told the Military Times. He claims he was asked to “fraud” enlistees into the Corps by ignoring factors that would disqualify them from service, prompting him to disobey orders, he said.
Klohr was court martialed and eventually discharged. He claimed that his trial was a sham.
Klohr said he felt the crucifiction stunt was the only way to attract attention to his treatment. He said he stayed on the cross for an hour, attached by a harness and hooks for his arms.
After seeing outrage online from people who felt he had disgraced his uniform and the image of Christ, Klohr said he’d begun to regret his demonstration.
“I don’t want people to talk me up on websites as this disrespectful person,” he said. “I wasn’t trying to be disrespectful or anything … To get people to see how serious I am I had to do something extreme.”
Klohr admitted to the Military Times that he lied on his application to the Marine Corps. He enlisted despite having been expelled from school, having physical problems — including asthma — and a criminal record. He was also charged by Denver police in 2005 with setting a cat on fire and throwing it off a roof, the Times reported.