WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today the Oklahoma Delegation, including U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe, (R-Okla.), Reps. James Lankford (R-OK-5), Tom Cole (R-OK-4), Frank Lucas (R-OK-3), Jim Bridenstine (R-OK-1) and Markwayne Mullin (R-OK-2), released the following statements after the U.S. Army Clemency and Parole Board granted parole to Edmond, Okla. resident, 1st Lt. Michael Behenna:
"These past five years have been challenging and difficult for Michael and his loved ones, and I am glad to learn that Michael will soon be returning home to Oklahoma and be reunited with his family,” said Senator Inhofe. “Along this journey, the Oklahoma delegation has fought to ensure Michael's rights as a service member to a fair trial, appeal and parole process were protected. Ultimately, the board's latest decision would not have been possible without the dedication and devotion of the Behenna family, their community and friends who remained vigilant throughout the process."
“I am incredibly relieved that the Behenna Family will finally be reunited with their son, Michael, after more than five years apart,” said Congressman Lankford. “Vicki and Scott Behenna have worked tirelessly to support their son. My staff and I have worked closely with the Army and members of the Oklahoma congressional delegation to ensure that we supported Michael and his family through the long, legal process. I will continue to lift them in my prayers as they move forward with the next chapter of their lives.”
“Today’s news was a long time coming, but it now brings much-needed relief and joy for Michael Behenna, his family and his friends,” said Congressman Cole. "The determination and commitment of numerous individuals, including Michael’s mother Vicki and other family members, have truly made this day possible, and we all join in celebrating Michael’s upcoming return to Oklahoma.”
“I’m very pleased to hear 1st Lt. Michael Behenna has finally won parole and will be returning to his family in Oklahoma,” said Congressman Frank Lucas. “Many family and friends have fought hard on his behalf over the past several years, and I am glad to see this season finally coming to a close for Michael and his supporters. I am forever grateful for the service he has given to our country and wish him only the best.”
“This is great news for Michael Behenna and his family,” said Congressman Bridenstine. "I know they have worked hard toward this day, and we wish them the best.”
“As a country, we owe a great deal to our service men and women like Lt. Michael Behenna who live a life of risk so we can live a life of peace,” said Congressman Mullin. "We can never fully understand the circumstances they encounter every day to secure our freedom. Lt. Behenna bravely served his country and I am pleased to learn that he has been granted parole.”
Since Behenna’s conviction in 2009, the Oklahoma delegation has united in efforts on behalf of 1st Lt. Behenna and the family by sending letters of support to the U.S. Disciplinary Barracks and the U.S. Army Clemency and Parole Board asking for careful consideration of the facts and circumstances surrounding the case, as well as the behavior and progress Behenna made during incarceration.