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CAMP CASEY, South Korea — A soldier who, while drunk, threw a cantaloupe at his wife and then punched her in the face was sentenced Friday to 15 days in jail.

Spc. Robert J. McMillan of the 2nd Infantry Division’s 1st Battalion, 72nd Armor Regiment, Headquarters Company, also was reduced in rank to private first class and fined $500 in one month for assaulting his wife and later kicking a military policeman in the groin.

Military Judge Col. Gregory Gross delivered the sentence, lighter than the five-month jail term set in a pretrial agreement, after listening to pleas from McMillan’s wife to let him go free.

“I don’t think I can survive without my husband,” Naisy McMillan testified via telephone from Colorado Springs, Colo. She is a Filipina who is living in the United States for the first time, and said she cannot work because she is waiting for her green card.

She said she forgave her husband soon after the Aug. 5 incident, when the couple hosted a barbecue at their off-post home in Dongducheon. Robert McMillan went drinking afterward in “The Ville,” a collection of bars and clubs outside Camp Casey.

When he arrived home, he began tossing trash bags around the public parking area outside. His wife told him to come inside, according to testimony, and McMillan became angry and trashed his home.

After throwing the cantaloupe at her, he yelled at his wife outside with others looking on as he held his infant child.

Then, prosecutor Capt. Charles Halverson said in a summation, “he had her hold the baby, apparently to free up his hand so he could take a swing at her.”

Military police were called and McMillan kicked one in the groin, according to testimony.

“My actions for that entire night were inexcusable,” McMillan said after pleading guilty at his court-martial Friday.

He attributed his rage to alcoholism and despair over his wife gambling away money needed to pay rent and electric bills. He also cited a nonjudicial punishment in April that demoted him from sergeant-promotable status.

Nevertheless, he said, “There is never an excuse for a man to hit his wife.”

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