Nathan Burden joined the U.S. Army right out of high school. Soon after he was in, he learned that his recruiter had propositioned his mother. Troubled by what he viewed as a personal betrayal and a betrayal of his family, Nathan went to his commanding officer with the information. The commanding officer did not act, and the recruiter was promoted.
Nathan began to feel that being ignored and disrespected and used was an all too common experience of GIs, and at the same time, began to question why the U.S. was sending GIs to Iraq. After seven months in the military, Nathan went AWOL. In this interview, he speaks about his disillusionment with the Army.
During training, Ryan experienced a serious injury to his back but was told by the Army to wait until he got to Iraq to have it treated. That medical neglect, along with his growing opposition to the war, led Ryan to the decision to go AWOL shortly before his unit deployed. He eventually made his way to Canada where he met up with other GI resisters. Today he lives with his wife Jennifer in Nelson, British Columbia, where he works with Iraq Veterans Against the War and the War Resister Support Campaign while he awaits a decision on his application for refugee status. This was our first audio interview. The technical quality is a little rough.