Profiles of U.S. military servicepersons who found the courage to resist unjust war. This section in still under construction as we add profile data. Please contact us with updates, new resisters, etc.
Army Specialist with the 3rd Signal Brigade, Victor Agosto refused to deploy to Afghanistan on moral and legal grounds. He received 30 days in the county jail and an administrative discharge from the Army. During his build up to the trial he wrote the following on a counseling slip: “There is no way I will deploy to Afghanistan. The occupation is immoral and unjust. It does not make the American people any safer. It has the opposite effect.”
US Army Spc., medic. Convicted of desertion and missing movement March 6, 2007 for resisting redeployment to Iraq. Served seven months in the brig before being released in August 2007. He has been actively speaking out against the war.
Army Specialist Darrell Anderson, 24, served seven months in Baghdad in 2004, witnessing frequent abuse and killing of Iraqi civilians. He refused redeployment and fled to Canada, saying “ I believed it was my human right not to kill innocent people.” He was released from the military in October, 2006 with an “other than honorable” discharge. “By resisting,” he said, “I feel I made up for the sins I committed in this war.”
United States Army Private Tony Anderson, age 19, was court martialed Monday and sentenced to 14 months of confinement and given a dishonorable discharge from the military for “desertion with intent to avoid hazardous duty” and “disobeying a lawful order.” The young soldier refused to deploy to Iraq in July of this year on the…
Recruited before high school graduation Jonathan filed paperwork as a conscientious objector at Camp Geiger NC in December 2004 after completing boot camp. In July 2005 Jonathan was still housed in the Separation Barracks at Camp Geiger without any indication that his commanding officer was considering release.
Spc. Dale Bartell, Mennonite and father of 4, resisted redeployment by going AWOL after 3 years of service. Dale was sentenced to four months in prison and a bad conduct discharge. His wife’s charged of “enticing and harboring a deserter” was later dropped.
US Army Spc. 2-7 Infantry stationed at Ft. Stewart, Georgia went AWOL January 17, 2005 from Winn Army Hospital. Applied for a conscientious objector discharge after returning from Iraq. “I won’t compromise my beliefs for the Army, come what may.”
Sgt. Kevin Benderman was court-martialed for desertion for declaring himself a conscientious objector after 9 years of service including a tour in Iraq. Imprisoned for 13 months after being convicted of “missing movement” in 2005, Benderman is still appealing, and fighting for an honorable discharge.
Sergeant Travis Bishop was sentenced to a 12 month term at the Ft. Lewis stockade for refusing to deploy to Afghanistan. Sgt. Bishop served 14 months in Baghdad with the 3rd Signal Brigade. He was seeking a C.O. discharge at the time he refused to deploy, calling the ongoing occupations ‘illegal’and insisting that it would have been unethical of him to deploy in support of an occupation that he is morally and legally opposed to.
Army specialist Michael Blake served from April 2003 to March 2004. On returning from Iraq he applied for conscientious objector status. His request was approved, and Blake was honorably discharged from the military in February of ’04. He has been campaigning against the war ever since.
Marine Lance Corporal Ivan Brobeck, 21, served in Iraq in 2004, where he witnessed abuse of Iraqi detainees and killing of civilians at military checkpoints. He chose Canada over a second tour in Iraq, saying he “didn’t want to put myself in a situation where I would possibly kill an innocent civilian.” In November 2007, he returned and turned himself in. He was court-martialed and jailed at Quantico, Virginia. He was released in February, 2007 with a bad conduct discharge.
Army Captain who graduated from West Point in 2004 cited his religious beliefs in a lawsuit against the Army while serving in Iraq. He was granted conscientious objector status and given an honorable discharge October 2007. “I’m relieved the Army recognized that my religious beliefs made it impossible for me to serve as a soldier.”
Went AWOL after seven months in the Army, in part to protest his Army recruiter hitting on his mother, and promised investigations never happening. The recruiter was promoted. “Ask yourself how far would you go for something you believe in… I made a mistake [by joining the Army], but what makes a person a man is that when they makes a mistake, it’s what they do about it…. I believe these soldiers are fighting over there, and their dying but don’t know what they are dying for.”
Army PFC, Eugene, Oregon native. Wounded by a roadside bomb in Iraq. In May 2007, on the eve of his schedule redeployment to Iraq while still recovering in Germany from his injuries, James took his family to Ottawa, Canada.
US Army Spc. Fort Drum, New York public affairs specialist and photojournalist from West Palm Beach, Florida. Applied for conscientious objector status in January 2003 and spoke out at the February 15, 2003 anti-war rally in New York City.
Army Communications Specialist Chris Capps went AWOL in March 2007 after returning from a full tour of duty in Baghdad, Iraq in 2006. Chris left the 440th Signal Battalion in Darmstadt, Germany in order to refuse immediate deployment to Afghanistan. “If the politicians refuse to listen to the people, then the people need to take action. If we had resistance throughout the military then we could finally end this war here and now.”
Army Specialist Eugene Cherry, 24, developed signs of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) while in Iraq. In June, 2005, he sought help from his superiors. When he couldn’t get it, he went AWOL to deal with his depression and anxiety. The military sought to demote, dishonorably discharge and imprison Eugene for trying to salvage his mental health. But in July, 2007 he was honorably discharged without court-martial. Cherry had been supported by Iraq Veterans Against the War, psychiatrists and lawyers.
Army Sergeant and journalist, honorably discharged after 5 years of active duty status in 2007, Matthis was recalled to active duty in early 2008. At the time of his recall he was ordered to redeploy to Iraq on June 15th, 2008. On 5/15/08 Matthis made an announcement in the Cannon House Office Building Rotunda refusing orders to deploy to Iraq.
Army Specialist Leo Church was sentenced to 8 months for going AWOL to support his family. Shortly after completing A.I.T. Spec. Church was informed of his families’ dire financial situation, and went AWOL to attempt to solve this issue, after being rebuffed by his command. During the subsequent trial and time spent fighting for his freedom, it was decided that his youngest child would need to be put up for adoption.
Army Airborne Infantryman who went AWOL in April 2007 because of his opposition to U.S. military intervention in the Middle East. James enlisted in the Army in 2001 following the attack on the World Trade Center. He spent a year in the Kirkuk area of northern Iraq from March 2003 to March 2004. After much soul-searching, James left his base in Vicenza, Italy (Caserma Ederle) on April 10, 2007. “I refuse to be part of this campaign in the Middle East. Everything in me is against it”
USMC Reservist. Plantation, Florida native pledged to resist Iraq deployment in USA Today interview, March 24, 2003: ”This war is the wrong war. I can’t put myself into the position of going into another country and forcing them to defend themselves against me.”
Army National Guard 2005 Iraq War veteran. “It takes balls not to go when you don’t agree. The courage to resist is oftentimes more honorable than the courage to enter a foxhole. These same [military] friends of mine told me that they concede that the situation did nothing but get worse in our year in Iraq and that they didn’t see how we could really ‘win’… I am done with the military. I don’t know how exactly I will leave the service just yet, but I know that I will. ”
Army Sergeant Ricky Clousing, 25, went AWOL from Fort Bragg, North Carolina in June 2005 after returning from six months in Iraq. While there, he witnessed many “war crimes” which he reported to superiors without effect. He turned himself in August 2006 and in October was sentenced to 3 months confinement before being released with a bad conduct discharge. He has spoken out against the war, calling it a “war of aggression” with “no legal basis.”
Army Intelligence Specialist Diedra Cobb, 25, applied for conscientious objector status in 2003. She informed her superiors that for ethical and moral reasons, she would not fire her weapon in Iraq. Her CO status was denied in November 2003, but she was placed in the Inactive Ready Reserve and did not have to go to Iraq. She has spoken at Conscientious Objector and antiwar gatherings around the country.
Justin Colby, 24, joined the Army to “avenge the attacks of 9/11.” He served a year as a medic in Iraq and received the Army Commendation Medal for exceedingly meritorious service while under fire. In July 2006 he went to Canada rather than redeployment to Iraq. “When I realized the people we were killing had nothing to do with 9/11,” he said, “I realized, this is wrong.'” He is living in Toronto and seeking political refugee status.
Arkansas native, stationed at Fort Stewart, Georgia. Left for Toronto, Canada in January, 2005 to resist deployment to Iraq and seek asylum; currently living in British Columbia. “In my heart I felt it’s wrong,” Cliff has said of his decision to resist deployment. “I’ve been hearing a lot of people talking about all the innocent people who are being killed and the prisons over there where they’ve been torturing people. I just didn’t want to be a part of it.”
David joined the US Army at the age of 18, in 2004. After serving a tour in Iraq, suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, David went AWOL twice, rather than return to service. After he turned himself in to Army officials, he fully expected to go to military prison, but was given a discharge instead.
Army soldier went AWOL from Fort Carson, Colorado in 2007. Currently seeking refuge in Canada.
Army PFC who refused to return to Iraq as scheduled on September 25th, 2008 won a hardship discharge instead. On June 13th, after many tragedies in his family Jose told his sergeant that he was not “refusing” to deploy, but that he “could not” do so due to the circumstances in his family.
Army Spc Daniel left Fort Campbell, near Louisville, Kentucky, September 2007 and travelled to Ontario, Canada in order to resist deployment to Afghanistan.
Chas Davis, 23, joined the military in October, 2002. He applied for Conscientious Objector status in 2004, while serving as a military policeman in Korea. He was honorably discharged in January 2005. He says “The things I learned and saw while I was in made me lose respect for the US government and the people who run it.” He now encourages and advises other soldiers to seek CO status.
After serving in Iraq, Army Reserve Military Policeman Aidan Delgado, 26, applied for Conscientious Objector status in April, 2003, because war was incompatible with his Buddhist beliefs. He served at Abu Gharaib prison and revealed some of the abuses there to superiors and the media. He was honorably discharged in April 2004 and has been speaking out against the war.
Joshua Despain, 23, refused to return to Iraq with the 82nd Airborne in 2004, saying “I saw the Iraqi people as no threat and couldn’t see why people were getting killed for this.” He joined Iraq Veterans Against the War and has participated in protests and educational programs. The Army quietly discharged Despain in 2005.
US Army, Miami, Florida native. Joined in 2003 served in Iraq as a combat engineer with the First Cavalry division 2004-2005. Facing re-deployment to Iraq he went AWOL in September 2007 from Germany. He is currently seeking refugee status in Canada. “Some people call us (deserters) cowards, but I don’t think you’re a coward if you stand up for yourself, if you refuse to kill innocent people.”
The National Guard recruited Jessica Faustner of Pennsylvania in 2004, at age 17. In 2005, she quit the Guard, saying in May that she was recruited under false pretenses, including being told she would be sent to nursing school. Instead, they were training her for active duty in Iraq. After threatening her with arrest, the Guard relented and released her from her contract in July, 2005.
Dan Felushko, 26, enlisted in the Marines after 9/11. In January, 2003, his unit was ordered to Kuwait to prepare for the invasion of Iraq. Instead, he went to Canada, where he has dual citizenship. “I didn’t see a connection between the attack on America and Saddam Hussein,” he said. “If I died or killed somebody in Iraq, that would have been wrong.”
In February 2003, Marine Landing Specialist L/Cpl Stephen Funk, 25, became the first American soldier to publicly refuse deployment to Iraq. He applied for a Conscientious Objector discharge, saying, “”There is no way to justify war because you’re paying with human lives.” In September 2003, he was court-martialed and sentenced to six months imprisonment and reduction in rank to private. He is currently an active member of Iraq Veterans Against the War in the SF Bay Area.
Army Sgt. who served two combat tours in Iraq was arrested after being AWOL more than a year ago to seek treatment for post traumatic stress disorder. Brad was arrested following a press conference at the Different Drummer Cafe in Watertown, NY near Fort Drum.
Army National Guard Sgt., Indiana native. Signed 8 year contract with National Guard in 2002. Deployed to Iraq and spent 5 months before being granted 2 weeks leave for stress relief. Rather than return, went underground and after 7 months, went to Toronto. Currently seeking refugee status in Canada. “I signed up to defend people and do humanitarian work filling sandbags if there was a hurricane. I should have been in New Orleans, not Iraq.”
US Army member, Andrew Gorby was discharged from the Army in May 2007 as a conscientious objector now works for the Center on Conscience and War, a counseling organization that works to defend the rights of conscientious objectors.
US Army PFC. Religious conscientious objector conducted radio interviews from Iraq in May 2006. Subjected to significant punishment for refusing to work on Sundays, and refusing to take up a weapon while in Iraq.
Army soldier went AWOL from Fort Drum, New York in 2007. Currently seeking refuge in Canada.
Iraq Veteran and stop-lossed Army Specialist Marc Hall, jailed for voicing opposition to the continuing policy of stop-loss which has prevented him from returning to civilian life. A veteran of Iraq and father, Spec. Hall is resisting stop loss in order to parent his child.
30-year-old Army Reserve anesthesiologist from Somerville, Massachusetts received an honorable conscientious objector discharge October 2006 after a federal court judge overruled the Army. “I believe that it is my responsibility as a Christian to always strive to make this community a reality, in which people are bound by love, unity, and peace. I believe that I betray these moral and religious principles by participating in war in any way,” stated Capt. Mary Hanna M.D.
Lance Corporal Abdul Henderson, 32, joined the Marine Corps Reserves in 1999 and served two months in Iraq in 2003, where he won a Marine Corps Achievement Medal. While still a Marine, he said he would refuse any further deployment to Iraq. “I’m standing up for what I believe in,” he says. He became an antiwar activist, speaking out on campuses and communities and in the Michael Moore film “Fahrenheit 9/11.”
Army Private Hess was discharged in 2007 after resisting Iraq deployment. After his conscientious objector discharge was denied, Derek threatened to kill himself if deployed—and he was serious. He ended up with a medical discharge. “My plans now include being active to bringing my brothers and sisters home—those that were not as lucky as I was. I want to be part of the anti-war movement, and I hope others will have the courage to resist and say NO to Iraq.”
20-year-old Army M1 Armor Crewman with1st Cavalry Division. Enlisted 2003, received an honorable discharge as a conscientious objector November 2005 after serving in Iraq October 2003 to August 2004. “I was punished with a field grade article 15 for anti-war statements I had made on a website… I informed my chain of command that I was a conscientious objector and refused to carry my weapons for the remainder of my time in Iraq.”
31-year-old Army Combat Engineer with the 1st Armored Division. Received an honorable discharge December 2005 after serving in Iraq September 2003 to August 2004. “My goal in life is now to work on a very local level to improve my community, raise awareness of the possibilities for peace in my larger community, and to improve the quality of life for those that suffer.”
Former US Army private, 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, North Carolina. After serving in Afghanistan, joined eight others seeking refugee status in Canada in 2004. Currently awaiting Canadian Supreme Court ruling. “Life is dynamic, and if you’re confronted with doing something wrong, it’s not right to abdicate your duty and obligation to be a moral being.”
Army National Guard Spc E-4, demoted after making “the conscious decision to go AWOL”. As an MP (military police), served two years in the Army Reserve and two years in the Colorado National Gurad. “I began my application for conscientious objection (1-0) Honorable Discharge for moral and ethical reasons. Although I have only two years remaining on my contract I cannot train and support a nation that condones illegal war.” Currently active with Iraq Veterans Against the War in Denver.
US Army Private. Enlisted at 17 but traveled to Canada to resist Iraq deployment in 2004 after discharge requests were refused. Currently awaiting Canadian Supreme Court ruling regarding refugee status. “I feel that if a soldier is given an order that he knows to not only be illegal, but immoral as well, then it his responsibility to refuse that order.”
Army Specialist Alexis Hutchinson was arrested when she failed to show up for her plane to Afghanistan. Having no one to care for her infant son, she was attempting to remedy the situation, when the Army arrested her and placed her son, Kamani into county foster care.
23-year-old Army Systems Operator with the 22nd Signal Brigade received an honorable conscientious objector discharge after serving from June 2004 to April 2006. “Do your own thinking. Don’t let the military think for you. If your conscience weighs heavy with what you have done or might be asked to do, then maybe it is time to stand up and declare what you really think.”
United States Army Specialist, Blake Ivey is currently stationed in Fort Gordon, Ga., is publicly refusing to deploy to Afghanistan. The 21-year-old soldier filed for conscientious objector status in July but was ordered to deploy while his application was being processed. He is determined not to go..
PFC in the U.S. Army, age 25. Ryan joined the Army in May of 2005, looking towards a college education. After deploying to South Korea as a part of the 35th Signal Brigade, Ryan returned to the U.S. where in 2007, Ryan determined for himself that he could not in good conscience participate in war…
In September 2007, 19-year-old Army Spc Bethany “Skyler” James left Fort Campbell near Louisville, Kentucky, to seek refuge in Canada after hearing horror stories from fellow soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. “I just wanted to let everybody know, that if you are in the military and you’ve been thinking, why am I putting up with this? You don’t have to put up with it.” An “out” lesbian, Skyler was ridiculed daily by the other soldiers and even received hate letters.
Specialist Katherine Jashinski, 24, enlisted in the Army National Guard at age 19. Katherine applied for conscientious objector status in 2004. The Army denied her claim and ordered her to weapons training. In November 2005, she refused, saying “I will never take another person’s life.” In May 2006, she pled guilty to refusal to obey an order and was sentenced to 4 months jail and a bad conduct discharge. She was released and discharged in July 2006.
Army intelligence analyst, Eric Jasinski went AWOL after returning from a tour in Iraq and being stop-lossed; though prior to being stop lossed, he was referred to civilian doctors for help with his PTSD – a medical condition that the Army medical structure was ill-prepared to deal with.
Army PFC from Visalia, California, enlisted in 2003. Left for Canada in June 2005 to resist deployment to Iraq after seeing fellow soldiers returning from Iraq with PTSD and learning of atrocities committed by troops. “I started talking to soldiers that had already gone over there and come back, infantry men and tank drivers and stuff like that, and the stories that they were giving me were just – they were horrifying.”
US Army Pvt. Went AWOL Sept. 28, 2006 , the day prior to graduating basic training at Fort Jackson, South Carolina, to resist Iraq deployment. “I’m not anti-war one hundred percent because some wars are worth fighting for, but this war is not worth fighting for.”
Oklahoma native enlisted in the Army and was sent to Iraq shortly after the 2003 invasion. While home on leave, traveled to Canada instead of returning to Iraq. Authored “The Deserter’s Tale: The Story of an Ordinary Soldier Who Walked Away from the War in Iraq” published by Atlantic Monthly Press, January 2007.
Army National Guard Specialist Ghanim Khalil, 30, of Staten Island, N.Y., announced in February, 2003 that he would refuse deployment to Iraq as part of any unilateral military invasion. “I believe that this war is for material gain…It is illegal under international law.” He was allowed to separate from the Guard in 2005 and remains active in the antiwar movement.
Joined the US Marine Corps in 2004. Military police PFC traveled to Canada to resist Iraq deployment October 2005. Currently awaiting Canadian Supreme Court ruling on refugee status. “I kept trying to reassure myself that I could be a warrior. But I couldn’t let go of the fact that the intent was taking the life of a living, breathing, human being.”
A Marine Combat Engineer, Joel joined the 7th Day Adventist Church in 2002. Although willing to go to Iraq, he refused to carry a gun, saying it was against his religious beliefs. He was court-martialed in December 2004, sentenced to seven months in the brig, and reduced in rank to Private. In February 2006, the U.S. Naval Clemency and Parole Board upgraded his discharge to a “general” classification.
U.S. Airforce, Texas native. Served in Afghanistan 2003. Currently seeking refuge in Canada.
23-year-old Army Combat Engineer Spc. with the 1st Armored Division. Discharged December 2005 after serving in Iraq from August 2003 to July 2004. Military awards included a Purple Heart. “In war, we as men are asked to do things to other men that should never be asked, things that people just should not do to other people. It was there in Karbala I witnessed the means to the end.”
26-year-old Army specialist assigned to the 58th Combat Engineer Company based at Ft. Irwin, California joined the Army in 2004 after a zealous recruiter approached him at a civilian job fair in South San Francisco. Because the Army, wrongly, has not recognize him as a sincere conscientious objector, the ACLU is appealing that decision in the U.S. District Court, Central District of California.
Served in Iraq 2006. Traveled to Toronto, Canada March 2007 by bus. “I was sad to leave, but I don’t regret it at all because the war is pointless and we’re losing too many troops.” Even if his effort to gain legal status in Canada fails, he doesn’t plan on returning. “I’ll go somewhere else. As far away as I can get.”
Army Specialist Blake Lemoine, 25, served one year in Iraq. In Germany in 2004, he applied for Conscientious Objector status because “being in the U.S. Army at this day and time contradicts my religious beliefs.” In March, 2005, a military court convicted him of “refusing to perform duties.” He was sentenced to seven months confinement, reduction in rank to private and a bad conduct discharge. He was released in September 2005.
Marine Benjamin “Benji” Lewis served two tours in Iraq and was honorably discharged in 2007. Recently, he received notification that he was a candidate to be recalled to active duty. Last week at a Winter Soldier event in Portland, Oregon, Lewis publicly announced his intention to refuse reactivation from the Inactive Ready Reserve (IRR).
While stationed at Fort Knox, Army resister Robin Long, 23 received orders to Iraq in March 2005. He went to Canada in June 2005, “because I believe the [Iraq] war is illegal.” He has been fighting for refugee status since, while the government has tried to deport him. The Canadian Peace Alliance, the War Resisters Support Campaign, and the New Democratic Party have supported Robin.
US Army. Went AWOL a number of times from Fort Lewis, Washington. Currently living in Canada while resisting Iraq deployment. “I can still look myself in the mirror. I didn’t have to shoot (an Iraqi) who’s doing exactly what I joined the military to do, to defend their country.”
21-year-old Army soldier from Oklahoma attached to the 101st Airborne Division. “I’m a war resister or deserter depending on your perspective. I engage the government and the military via my writings and actions to end the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. I also engage to get people more active in government affairs and restore democracy to the United States. My anti-war involvement is but one facet of larger spectrum of conflict and social issues.”
US Navy. Sought refuge in Canada in 2006.
Army Intelligence Specialist Corey Martin joined the military in 2001. In December, 2005, he applied for conscientious objector status rather than go to Afghanistan. “I realized my intelligence work could lead to someone’s dying who would otherwise live,” he said. The Army tried twice more to deploy him, but granted CO status and an honorable discharge in May 2006.
Former Staff Sergeant from North Carolina, 12-year Marine veteran, served in Iraq in 2003. He witnessed——and in some cases participated in—the killing of innocent civilians. The Iraqis “were just doing their normal routines”, he says, “and they were getting frickin’ blasted for it.” He began to speak out to his superiors and was eventually diagnosed with depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. He won an honorable discharge in December 2003.
Private Brad McCall, 20, joined the military at 19 “hoping to make enough money to get a college education.” He moved to Canada in September 2007 rather than “commit war crimes in Iraq.” “I consider Iraq to be this generation’s Vietnam,” he says. “There are barbaric acts committed on a daily basis over there.” He has applied for refugee status in Canada and is living with supporters in Vancouver.
Sergeant Phil McDowell joined the Army in 2001. He served in Iraq from March 2004 to March 2005. A month and a half after being discharged in June 2006 he was ordered to return for deployment to Iraq under the stop-loss program. He left for Canada in October of 2006. He and his partner now live in Toronto. “During my tour I realized that the war was unjust and illegal and the reasons for the invasion were lies.”
In October 2006, Army Specialist Melanie McPherson went AWOL rather than deploy to Iraq as a Military Policeman, a job for which she had not been trained. In February 2007 she was convicted of desertion, sentenced to 3 months in prison, reduced in rank and given a bad conduct discharge. “I love my country. I was hoping to use my God-given talent, not just be a bullet catcher.”
Florida National Guard Sergeant, 32, served 6 months in Iraq in 2003. He became the first US combat veteran to publicly refuse to redeploy to Iraq. In Iraq, Mejia witnessed detainees being tortured and abused by US troops under the direction of American civilian contract employees. He later served 9 months in prison for desertion and was released in February 2005. In August 2007 he was elected Chair of Iraq Veterans Against the War.
24-year-old Marine Reservist from Orlando, Florida currently seeking a conscientious objector discharge, and facing Iraq deployment. “After seeing what war really brings — innocent women and children that are killed along the way — I don’t think it’s ever worth it I cannot justify in my own mind any killing of a human being, I do not see it fit to decide whether or not a person should die.”
In April 2007 Army Specialist Linjamin Mull left Fort Huston and traveled to Toronto in order to resist deploying to Iraq. “It would be a big difference if my country was attacked,” he said. “Then you have a purpose. (Iraq) is a form of American imperialism.” Mull, 31 joined the Army in 2005 out of financial need. He has applied for refugee status in Canada.
US Army Veteran and current president of the IVAW branch in Houston, Tx, Brandon Neely refused IRR recall. Upon receiving his recall orders Brandon reports, “I looked at my dad and told him right there I’m not going back…. I never thought in a million years that the government and the President would send troops into harms way for nothing.
Army medic applied for and was granted a conscientious objector discharge following 2003 Afghanistan deployment.
US Army Spc. Filed for conscientious objector discharge. On March 27, 2003 went AWOL from the Killeen, Texas Army post as his military police unit deployed to Iraq. He took sanctuary at a Catholic church in Round Rock, Texas before turning himself in at Fort Hood, Texas two weeks later.
In November 2004 Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class Pablo Paredes, then 23, refused to board a troop ship headed for the Persian Gulf. “I refuse to go,” he told officers. “”I feel in my mind and heart that this war is illegal and immoral.” In May 2005 he was court-martialed and sentenced to 3 months hard labor. He was denied conscientious objector status. Since being discharged he has become a well-known anti-war activist and is currently a staff member on the GI Rights Hotline.
25-year-old Army Sergeant attached to the 64th Medical Detachment as a Human Resource Specialist. Received an honorable discharge after serving from March 2000 to April 2005. “I will no longer put aside my conscious. I take solace in the fact that I refuse to take part in War. Many people have stood up to a lot more.”
Iowa National Guardsman “stop-lossed” for Iraq deployment November 2005. “My only options were to go to Iraq and take part in an immoral war, or to go on the run and risk jail. But in the end I resolved that to desert was the best thing I could do.” Tim currently studies at the University in Ontario, Canada.
US Army. Served 3 months in Iraq before seeking refuge in Canada with her husband and two small children January 2007. She was stateside on leave when she went AWOL in order to resist returning to Iraq. “I escaped death at least 4 or 5 times, lost an Iraqi friend, and know of soldiers being hurt or killed … I thought long and hard why I was fighting, and I couldn’t come up with an answer worth my life…. I am just glad I get to be a mom again.”
Afghanistan and Iraq Wars vet turned war resister/video producer arrested July 2007 in Oneonta, New York for allegedly “deserting the Army.” Korey played a high-profile role in the “9-11 truth movement” since leaving the Army in June 2005. He co-produced the movie Loose Change, the central premise of which is that “the United States Government was, at the very least, criminally negligent in allowing the attacks of September 11th, 2001 to occur.”
A mentally ill US soldier, Daniel Sandante, fled to Canada and was deported by Canadian authorities after attempting suicide; the Iraq war veteran and sufferer of severe PTSD was then sentenced to 8 months in the stockade at the end of a brief court-martial at Ft. Carson, Colorado on Monday, November 17, 2008. Upon being released from Army custody Daniel has been working with peace and justice groups in Oklahoma.
Navy cryptologist resisted Iraq deployment by taking a bus to Toronto, Canada. “I don’t think I did anything wrong by turning down an illegal order.”
US Army Infantry, Iraq Veteran enlisted in 2002, at the age of 17. Attended basic training at Fort Benning, in Georgia – belonged to the 1st BN, 509th Airborne Infantry, a non-deployable unit, and prior to the beginnings of the occupation in Iraq. William deployed to Iraq in 2004 – with his entire battalion.
U.S. Army Specialist André Shepherd, who went AWOL after serving in Iraq, has applied for asylum in Germany. Shepherd refused military service because he is morally opposed to the Iraq War. “It is a sickening feeling to realize that I took part in what was basically a daily slaughter of a proud people,” said Shepherd at a press.
24 year old PFC and combat engineer Kyle Snyder deserted in 2005 while on mid-tour leave from Iraq, after witnessing war crimes by American soldiers.
US Army. Following basic training, 19-year-old Ross Spears went AWOL seeking refuge in Ottawa, Canada in May 2007 in order to resist deployment to Iraq.
Army soldier from Dayton, Ohio traveled to London, Canada September 2007 seeking sanctuary after leaving from his basic training unit in Oklahoma. James said he signed up for a non-combat role driving trucks in Iraq, but was reassigned to infantry and began training to kick in doors and making arrests.
Army Specialist Dusting Stevens was told to go home and the army didn’t want him anymore. Years later, at a routine traffic stop, he was informed he was AWOL and that he was under arrest. While waiting in a legal limbo, with Echo Platoon, of the 82nd Replacement Company Spec. Stevens began to actively seek change in the legal running of Echo Platoon.
US Army Reserve Staff Sergeant. Held a April 27, 2003 news conference in Salt Lake City to pledge to resist Iraq deployment. His scheduled discharge, delayed due to the pending invasion, came through the day before his planned announcement. “The only country we can liberate is our own, by re-claiming our own individual freedom.”
23-year-old Army SPC completed a tour in Iraq during which she was continually sexually harassed and assaulted by three men in her command. Suffering from PTSD, she went AWOL in January 2006 to resist redeploying with the same unit. She was apprehended and imprisoned briefly in January 2007. She remains on active duty until 2009 and has been active in anti-war and anti-rape protests. Her mother Sara Rich says, “The Army has turned her into a fierce warrior for peace and justice.”
19-year-old Marine private from Tuba City, Arizona discharged as a conscientious objector January 2007. Ronnie, a Navajo, realized that his newfound calling as a medicine man made it impossible to deploy to Iraq without spiritually harming himself and his community. “I’m really relieved my voice has been heard. There was a lot of grief and heartache before I was heard.”
After two tours in Afghanistan and an honorable discharge, 27 year old Army Specialist Chris Teske was called back to train machine gunners in Iraq. He refused, citing “the racism against the Muslim culture in the army there.” He and his wife, Stephanie went to Canada September 2006 and have applied for protected refugee status.
Air Force officer, JAG lawyer and Arabic Linguist, served in Northern Iraq September 2003. “During my deployment and after I got back I read all I could about teh war and how the reason given for it all tunred to be false, and concluded that I could never go back to Iraq voluntarily…. I resigned my commission in protest of the war.” Harvey was honorably discharged in March 2005.
Airman granted conscientious objector status and given an honorable discharge from the Air Force on June 10th, 2008 – after an eight month process, in which he was aided by Courage to Resist. Michael enlisted in the Air Force as a junior in high school, in 2005. As early as Basic Training and his MOS tech school training…
US Army Pvt. Rochester, New York native spoke out against the upcoming US invasion of Iraq at a Veterans Day event in New York City on November 10, 2002. He had been AWOL for nearly a year.
Private Marc Train, age 20, left Fort Stewart, Georgia in March, 2007, rather than go to Iraq because “The reasons we’re [in Iraq] are obviously lies.” After 114 days AWOL, he returned to base and was on restriction and extra duty prior to being given a General Discharge. He has demonstrated with Iraq Veterans Against the War, has spoken against military recruiting in high schools, and blogs on the IVAW site.
Staff Sgt. Jose Vasquez served fourteen years in the Army and Army Reserve. In January 2005, he applied for conscientious objector status requesting immediate discharge from the military, which was approved. He was honorably discharged in May 2007. Jose is an active member of Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW) serving as Co-chair of the Board and President of the New York City chapter. He is pursuing a Ph.D. in Cultural Anthropology from the City University of New York.
Hart Viges joined the Army because of 9-11. Along with the 82nd Airborne Division 1/325 HHC Battalion Mortars he took part of the invasion of Iraq in March 2003. Upon returning in January 2004 He filed for Conscientious Objector based on the Teachings of Jesus. December 2004 Hart was Honorably Discharged.
US Army First Lieutenant, was the first officer to publicly refuse to deploy to Iraq June 2006 while stationed at Fort Lewis, Washington. As a thousand rallied in his support during a February 2007 court martial a mistrial was declared. Another court martial in currently scheduled for October 2007, but resolution of double jeopardy issues are still forth coming from appeals courts.
29-year-old Army Spc. Rodney Watson from Kansas City, Mo. served 12-months in Iraq. He has refused to return and is currently seeking refuge near Vancouver, Canada. “I’d rather do my time in jail than be a party to the racism I saw in Iraq. As an African-American, I grew up with racism. But in Iraq, I saw the same kind of abuse and mistreatment, only this was U.S. enlisted soldiers and American contractors, like security forces, abusing Iraqis.”
Seven-year Army veteran and Texas Army National Guardsman stop-lossed for Iraq deployment in November 2005. Went AWOL to resist deployment and has been publicly speaking out against the war since. “The war is unethical and illegal U.S. aggression,” he says. “It’s all about oil and profits.”
24-year-old Army Information Systems Operator joined up June 2004. Served in Iraq December 2005 to April 2006. Received an honorable discharge as a conscientious objector. “The military is asking me to ignore my conscience and continue the mission. I cannot violate my conscience, lest I sin against God.”
“Knowing the war to be unjust and I would not have been able to function fully to the same capacity as I have done the past 19 years of my career as a soldier. It was therefore not an easy decision, nor one taken lightly to refuse to go to Iraq.” Imprisoned for 14 months after refusing to deploy to Iraq in June 2004.
In May, 2008 U.S. Army combat vehicle driver and conscientious objector, Robert Weiss was sentenced to 7 months brig time for refusing to deploy to Iraq. When asked why he deserted and refused deployment, Weiss replied “I had no intention of boarding the flight, your honor,” he said to Judge Peter Master.
Served in the Arabian Sea 2005-2006. 17-year-veteran of the US military. Arrived in Canada in February 2007 and is currently seeking refuge in opposition to the Iraq War. “I came North February of last year…I love this place more every day. The decision pained me a lot then, it doesn’t anymore….I want to stay here.”
After returning from a year-long Iraq deployment, filed for a conscientious objector discharge March 2004. Mark went AWOL to resist redeployment January 2005. A year and half later, he held a press conference near Crawford, Texas before returning to the Army. He was released after seven months in the brig August 2007.
Applied in June 2004 for a conscientious objector discharge in June 2004 but was denied. After nearly three years of appeals, Robert was ordered discharged as a conscientious objector in April 2007 by a federal court judge.