Retired Army Col. Steve Boylan, a former military spokesman for David Petraeus, explained to NBC this morning that Petraeus did not begin his affair until after he left the military.

Boylan did not excuse Petraeus’ behavior, but suggested that part of the reason Petraeus failed was because he retired from the military and entered civilian life in Washington.

“He left a support system and people that had shared experiences, and in one day he’s in uniform and the next day he’s the director of C.I.A., moved off of the military base, in Washington, and now out into the civilian community,” explained Boylan. “So you could expect that that had some play into it.”

Boylan suggested that American should not forget  Petraeus’ service to his country particularly his contributions to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“I don’t think we’ve heard the last of David Petraeus. He’s come back from quite a bit of adversity in the past.” Boylan said, reminding them that Petraeus had recovered from being shot and a serious parachute accident.

“This will just be another significant challenge that he and his family will need time and space to work through,” Boylan concluded.