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.
From Harvey’s Iraq Veterans Against the War member profile:
I enlisted in the Air Force as an apprentice Arabic Linguist after high school in 1993. I was sent to the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, CA to learn Arabic for 15 months, then to Texas to learn Cryptology for six months, then to Aircrew survival school. During my enlistment I deployed to Saudi Arabia five times as an RC-135 crew member, and was awarded two Aerial Achievement Medals and the Air Force Commendation Medal. I got my undergraduate degree during my enlistment, then enrolled at Ohio State Law School after being honorably discharged in 1997. I made Staff Sergeant in the Air Force Reserves, then transferred to the Navy JAG Corps upon graduating in 2000. When the Iraq war was coming up I was the Command Staff Judge Advocate at a base in Hawaii. The Navy had everyone who had ever studied Arabic before take the DOD’s Arabic proficiency test, and since they hadn’t changed the version of the test in my entire 10 year career I must have taken the thing about seven times before. As a result I remembered my answers from previous times taking the test and aced the exam. Even though I really didn’t know Arabic very well my inevitable deployment orders came in September of ’03 and I ended up being assigned to be the reconstruction projects officer for Task Force Kirkuk in Northern Iraq. I would go ‘outside the wire’ every day with just one other person in a brand new American white SUV (an obvious target) with no map, no radio, and body armor I’d purchased myself. We were supposed to have two vehicles with two dedicated shooters per vehicle, but all I had was a pistol (and firing it once in pre-deployment training was the only time I’d fired a weapon in over five years). This broke all the rules for Force Protection but it couldn’t be helped. Anyhow, during my deployment and after I got back I read all I could about the war and how the reasons given for it all turned to be false, and concluded that I could never go back to Iraq voluntarily. I joined Iraq Veterans Against the War in September of 2004, and was probably the first Active Duty Officer to do so. At that time there was an excess of lawyers in the Navy so I had been transferred to signals intelligence and would almost certainly have had to go back to a (much safer) second deployment to Iraq, only this time I would have been involved in helping to kill people there. I couldn’t justify this to myself so I resigned my commission in protest of the war. I was honorably discharged in March of 2005. At the time I had an undiagnosed, relatively mild, case of PTSD, but it triggered a really serious case of Bipolar disorder a few months after I got out. I spent about six months in a state of severe Mania- struggling with delusions, paranoia and psychosis. Luckily though, I got a good doctor at the VA and now I’m in remission.