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Family of Oceanside Marine killed in 2012 Afghanistan base shooting sues Marine Corps

Greg Buckley of Oceanside, holds a portrait of

Greg Buckley of Oceanside, holds a portrait of his eldest son, Marine Lance Cpl. Greg Buckley Jr., who was fatally shot by an Afghan police officer's teenage associate in Afghanistan on Aug. 10, 2012. Photo Credit: Craig Ruttle

The family of an Oceanside serviceman shot to death by an Afghan teenager on a U.S. military base in Afghanistan say the Marine Corps is stonewalling their requests for details on their son's death, according to a lawsuit filed in a Central Islip federal court.

Relatives of Marine Lance Cpl. Gregory Buckley Jr. are seeking answers to how a teenage associate of an allegedly corrupt Afghan police chief was allowed access to the military installation where Buckley, 21, was killed in August 2012.

The teenager, Ainuddin Khudairaham, fired on Buckley and three other Marines as they exercised at Forward Operating Base Delhi in Afghanistan. Two other Marines were killed. The fourth survived shot wounds.

Buckley's relatives say the Marine Corps has kept them in the dark regarding the investigation, and did not notify them before the accused went on trial in July.

"We had no desire to sue, but after swimming upstream with Marine officials for over two years, we really had no other recourse," said Buckley's aunt, MaryLiz Grosseto, of Rockaway Park, Queens.

"We would want what the family of anyone who was murdered would want -- the autopsy report, the [Naval Criminal Investigative Service] report," Grosseto said. "We have asked for it for over two years and have just been stonewalled."

Buckley, who had just turned 21, was killed by an associate of Sarwar Jan, an Afghan police chief. Cpl. Richard A. Rivera, 20, of Ventura, California, and Staff Sgt. Scott Dickinson, 29, of San Diego, were also killed.

In an email reply to a Newsday inquiry, Marine spokesman Maj. John Caldwell wrote, "As a matter of policy, we do not comment on pending litigation."

In July, spokesman Col. Sean Gibson told the Marine Corps Times Marines kept the family informed about the investigation.

"At various times over the past 23 months, family members have been contacted by Marine , Marine Corps staff, judge advocates and Naval Criminal Investigative Service agents," Gibson said, according to the article.

In the lawsuit, it's alleged that Marine Corps leaders had been warned of Jan's past, which included drug dealing, sex trafficking and selling police uniforms to the Taliban. Jan and his entourage were still allowed on the base. Foreign Policy magazine detailed the shooting last year in an article titled "Meet the Most Crooked Cop in Afghanistan."

The shooting came amid a spike in "green on blue" attacks by Afghans on their American partners. It also highlighted the challenge U.S. military leaders face training an Afghan fighting force riven by tribal loyalties. Khudairaham, tried as a juvenile in an Afghan court, was sentenced to 7 1/2 years in confinement, the maximum under juvenile law, according to reports.


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