Desertion...our "Army of One"!!!!

Discussion in 'Middle East - General' started by AtlantaWalter, Apr 5, 2004.

  1. AtlantaWalter
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    AtlantaWalter Member

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    This guy is a Staff Sgt in the Infantry. A pretty poor example of leadership for his squad and to apply for conscientious objector status after being in the Infantry hardly makes sense. I think this was his first taste of having to actually do his job as an infantryman and he found a big yellow stripe down his back.
    And, why did he wait 5 months to turn himself in?

    Friday, March 26, 2004
    AP

    SAVANNAH, Ga. — A National Guardsman who criticized the "oil-driven war" in Iraq was charged with desertion for refusing to rejoin his unit after a two-week furlough.

    Staff Sgt. Camilo Mejia of the Florida National Guard was charged after traveling to Fort Stewart from his home in Miami Beach, Fla., Fort Stewart spokesman Richard Olson said Friday.

    "He's taking it in stride," said Mejia's attorney, Louis Font. "He is strong and intelligent and will defend against these charges."

    Army officials said Mejia, 28, left Iraq in October on a two-week leave from the 1st Battalion, 124th Infantry Regiment and did not return.

    Mejia has said he believes the war is unjust because it is about control of oil supplies and has also said he is upset over the death of civilians.

    Mejia has applied for conscientious objector status, but the Army pressed on with prosecution because he was gone so long — five months.

    However, Mejia will face a special court-martial rather than a general court-martial, Fort Stewart commander Maj. Gen. William G. Webster said. That means Mejia faces up to a year in prison and a bad conduct discharge rather than up to five years and a dishonorable discharge.

    Mejia has been barred from leaving Fort Stewart without special permission since he arrived last week, said Font. He was denied a request to attend an anti-war rally last weekend at Fort Bragg, N.C.

    No date has been set for Mejia's trial.

    My thoughts on it.....It is not his job to judge whether a war is just or not; his job is to fight. If a soldier wants to pick and choose his fights, he shouldn't be in the service.
     
  2. tim_duncan2000
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    tim_duncan2000 Active Member

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    Lock his ass up.
     
  3. 5stringJeff
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    5stringJeff Senior Member

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    I have heard about this from a couple of different sources. It sounds like the guy had a change of heart about his morals, as it applied to Iraq. If that's the case, then he should have declared himself a conscientous (sp?) objector and informed his chain of command about that choice, instead of going AWOL.
     
  4. NewGuy
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    Last I checked, when you sign on the line, you don't have the luxury of independent choice. You are government property. He should have thought of that before joining. If you have a problem being told to kill on command and for any reason against any enemy, you shouldn't be there.

    History is quite clear on that.
     
  5. 5stringJeff
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    5stringJeff Senior Member

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    Being a former Army officer, I have seen my fair share of AWOL's, and even a desertion. And yes, I wanted to flog that little piece of crap around my office until he was unrecognizable for deserting.
    However, the Army (and other services, I believe) do allow for a conscientous objector to file for status as such. People who choose to join the Army as C.O.'s are allowed to serve in positions where they aren't expected to fight (i.e. garrison/in the rear). Alternately, the soldier can ask to leave the service altogether under C.O. status.
    Regardless, this soldier's actions were incorrect, and he should be punished for deserting. He should not, however, be punished for his decision to be a C.O.
     
  6. Said1
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    Said1 VIP Member

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    Why is that allowed? To me, that doesn't even make sense.
     
  7. 5stringJeff
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    5stringJeff Senior Member

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    I don't make the policy, I just follow it! :D

    Honestly, though, some people want to serve their country but feel strongly that they shouldn't kill others. I personally would recommend a civilian job for those people, but I'm not the policy maker.
     
  8. Said1
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    Thanks, for answering. After I posted the question, I came up with a few reasons (serving as doctor etc) including the one you gave. It makes sense looking at it that way.
     
  9. kcmcdonald
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    when you sign up they even have a line on the paper that asks if you are a consious objector, hell it's even on the OSS(?) forms you sign at the age of 18.

    The guy deserted his unit and that's that. If he doesn't want to kill Iraqi's he could ahve taken a rear job, he is in the gaurd and they let some people stay behind during deployment.
     
  10. MadMax
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    Ummm excuse me but I believe a SSG is an NCO and doesn't have the same rights.
     

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