By Brian MacQuarrie, Globe Staff
December 10, 2004
When Army Sergeant Dennis Edwards spoke at Dennis-Yarmouth Regional High School last month, 100 students listened in rapt silence as he told chilling tales of battlefield horror in Iraq and criticized President Bush’s motives for going to war.
Edwards, 23, a Barnstable High School graduate, said he and two other soldiers shot and killed a 10-year-old boy in Iraq who pretended to be wounded and suddenly fired an AK-47 rifle. The boy was found to have explosives attached to his body, Edwards told the stunned audience.
Now, Edwards has admitted to his superiors in the elite 82d Airborne Division that the story about the shooting was a lie, Army officials yesterday. As a result, the veteran of operations in Iraq and Afghanistan could be charged with making false statements, face a court-martial, and be stripped of his rank.
His confession has also saddened Dennis-Yarmouth teachers and students, who said they felt honored and captivated by his appearance.
“We need to use this as a teachable moment,” Superintendent Tony Pierantozzi said yesterday. “We need to make sure our students … clearly understand that sometimes individuals might elaborate stories or examples for their own benefit.”
“All I know is my son’s never lied before,” she [Edna Marceline of West Yarmouth] said. “So I don’t know why he would start lying now.”