Speaking to supporters at an event Friday in North Carolina, Lieutenant Ilario Pantano said leaving is in the best interest of the Marine Corps and his family.
Associated Press also quotes him as saying he and his fellow Marines would be specifically targeted if he returned to the battlefield in Iraq as he had intended, because insurgents would want to capitalize on the publicity surrounding him.
The 33-year-old lieutenant was charged with executing two Iraqi men in April of last year when his platoon went to search a house for weapons. Lieutenant Pantano says he killed the men, but only in self-defense.
Some information for this report provided by AP.