Sarah Palin has not been afraid to emphasize that her oldest son Track has joined the Army and will soon be sent to Iraq. While commentators have questioned her ethics for trying to use her son’s military service for political advantage, there are now concerns Gov. Palin may have also concealed the true reason behind her son’s hasty enlistment, something which would put him in a less than flattering light.
There are now allegations that her son Track was involved in a vandalism rampage a couple of years earlier and that his run-in with the law contributed to his decision to enlist in the Army.
On December 5, 2005, the Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman reported that Alaska State Troopers had arrested four teenage boys for the previous week’s vandalism of school buses. The boys deflated the tires of 44 buses, broke mirrors and unplugged 110 buses from their engine-block heaters, which caused the buses not to start in subzero weather. The incident was serious enough to force the school district to close schools for a day on November 29.
One of the boys was identified as 18-year-old Deryck Harris. State troopers refused to release the names of the 3 other boys, ages 16, 17, and 17, because they were juveniles. However, the mother of one of the juvenile suspects confirmed her son David Coon was involved in the incident. Two of the boys, including Coon, attended Burchell High School. The other two were students at Wasilla High School.
The boys were each charged with third-degree criminal mischief, first-degree criminal trespass and conspiracy to commit criminal mischief. In addition, the 16-year-old was also charged with fourth-degree theft and furnishing alcohol to a minor. He was alleged to have stolen a bottle of vodka from a local liquor store.
A progressive Alaska radio station (Newstalk 1080 KUDO) reported on September 2, 2008 that the 16-year-old boy in the story was actually Track Palin. The station cited an unnamed judicial source. A recording of the radio broadcast is not yet available.
However, the story has been picked up by a local Anchorage public television station.
Nellie Moore and Steve MacDonald on KAKM Channel 7, Anchorage Edition (September 5, 2008):
MacDonald is quick to note that the local radio station may be biased given its liberal stance; however, he was not previously familiar with the story and could not comment on its authenticity. The host Nellie Moore, who is familiar with the report, did seem very much convinced.
Curiously, Track Palin spent six months of his senior year with a host family in Portage, Michigan. His mother took him out of Wasilla High School and sent him to Michigan for the 2006/2007 school year. The Kalamazoo Gazette is reporting that Track came to the Midwest hoping he would be picked up by college hockey recruiters in the area, this despite the fact that he was already a star hockey player for the competitive Alaska All-Stars team.
One has to wonder whether Sarah Palin had any hand in her son’s decision to leave Wasilla. After all, it would not be the first time that Sarah Palin took one of her troubled kids out of school. She did the same thing when she learned of her teenage daughter Bristol’s pregnancy.
Track Palin’s involvement in the vandalism incident could no doubt have influenced his later decision to enlist in the Army. There have been allegations in the past that Sarah Palin and her husband Todd push their son to enlist in the military. The latest news appear to lend more credence to those allegations.