Ryan Johnson: AWOL in Canada audio interview

Courage to Resist. 24:37 min. November 1, 2007

Like many young people who join the Army, Ryan Johnson was seeking a way out of low-paying, dead-end jobs, as well as a chance to serve his country and receive money for college. Once in the military, Ryan began hearing heard many stories from GIs returning from Iraq and began to examine more critically what the U.S. is doing there.

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.

Ryan Johnson

by Courage to Resist