Deserting Iraq duty was wrong

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

Re: “War deserter”
Feb. 15, 2007

To the Editor:
Tim Richard is trying to justify his acts, saying he’s “standing up for what he believes in,” but if he was really standing up for his belief he would have told his commanding officers he wouldn’t fight and taken the consequences " court martial and a probable conviction for disobeying orders in a time of war as well as other possible charges.

If he did that, at least I could’ve had some respect for him, but that isn’t what he did. He decided he couldn’t do the job he agreed to do when he signed up for the reserves, then he ran away. He claims he isn’t a coward, but what else would you call it when you run from your responsibilities and the results of your decisions?

Besides that, Richard says his contract was extended without his approval. Perhaps he should’ve read the contract he was signing when he joined the military. The reserves activation clause is clearly outlined and it says that in a time of war or civil emergency his service can be extended without notification.

It’s nobody else’s fault if he failed to read something as important as military enlistment papers and hardly something that makes him a figure of sympathy. When he joined up he agreed to serve his country as a member of a combat arms unit. Did the fact that he might actually have to fight not enter his mind when he enlisted?

Richard says he wanted to defend his home, but soldiers don’t get to chose how they serve; if they did, what soldier would ever enter a dangerous situation?

He mentions the Vietnam War and the deserters from that, but his is hardly the same situation. Those people were drafted, forced to fight whether they wanted to or not. He VOLUNTEERED for military service. At the time he joined, the U.S. was reducing its military numbers; no one forced him to join. He tried out and had to compete for selection. He’s hardly in the same category as people who ran from forced military service.
"Mark Plows
Mechanical and Materials Engineering IV

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