By William Kates, Associated Press. November 14, 2007
SYRACUSE, N.Y. — A soldier who served two combat tours in Iraq was arrested Wednesday for leaving the Army without permission more than a year ago to seek treatment for post traumatic stress disorder.
At a news conference hours before his arrest, Sgt. Brad Gaskins said he left the base in August 2006 because the Army wasn't providing effective treatment after he was diagnosed with PTSD and severe depression."They just don't have the resources to handle it, but that's not my fault," Gaskins said.
Tod Ensign, an attorney with Citizen Soldier, a GI rights group that is representing Gaskins, said the case is part of a "coming tsunami" of mental health problems involving Iraq and Afghanistan vets.
Courage to Resist. November 9, 2007
In Seattle, Washington, Courage to Resist member Sara Rich, mother of Army Spc. Suzanne Swift, and her son marched with a banner urging support for war resisters. Our friend Gerry Condon of Project Safe Haven was seen helping with the large “Stop the Illegal and Unjust War in Iraq—Support Lt. Watada’s Courage to Resist” nearby.
In San Francisco, California, Courage to Resist organizers marched with Veterans for Peace, the Watada Support Committee, and many other military-related organizations calling for an immediate end to the U.S. occupation of Iraq.
Federal judge bars Army retrial of officer who refused Iraq War
By Jeff Paterson, Courage to Resist. November 11, 2007
Civilian federal Judge Benjamin Settle blocked the Army’s plans for a second court-martial of prominent Iraq War military resister First Lieutenant Ehren Watada. Judge Settle’s preliminary ruling last Thursday found that a retrial would violate Lt. Watada’s Fifth Amendment protections against being tried for the same crime twice—known as double jeopardy.
Ruling by Judge Benjamin Settle (PDF). November 8, 2007
Update November 3, 2007: The Army has begun a very official “unofficial” investigation of out-spoken Iraq veteran Eli Wright, an active duty soldier at Fort Drum, New York. Apparently the story below prompted right-wing bloggers to press the military to take action against Eli—for either the actions described, or simply talking about them. The military might take action to keep “search and avoid” missions from again becoming an “open secret”—as during the Vietnam War. We’ll keep you posted on developments, including possible action alerts if needed.
Ill-Equipped Soldiers Opt for 'Search and Avoid'
Iraq war veterans now stationed at a base here say that morale among US soldiers in the country is so poor, many are simply parking their Humvees and pretending to be on patrol, a practice dubbed "search and avoid" missions.
Wife of Army Spc. Agustín Aguayo;
October 26, 2007
If you feel anything like we do, you are beyond frustrated by years of war that appear endless. Presidential candidates, Democrats and Republicans alike, are offering little hope that this nightmare of unjust occupation and war will be over anytime soon. It appears that it really is up to us, “the people,” to stop this war.
By Logan Laituri. September 19, 2007
Many conscientious service members have been speaking out despite an often oppressive and unforgiving atmosphere. Some of us have even been persecuted and attacked while exercising our civic duty of speaking truth to power in times of moral crises. The Rev. Lennox Yearwood, an Air Force chaplain, faces accusations of working against national security. Liam Madden, fellow Iraq Veterans Against the War member and co-founder of Appeal for Redress, is defending his project against comments that are similarly repeated daily to men and women in the armed forces who are speaking out; effectively demanding that our GIs remain silent and obey our leaders blindly.
"Refuse to kill. Refuse the order to go to war ... We know your resistance to war will be difficult and require great courage."
By Jonah House and Dorothy Day Catholic Worker. September 28, 2007
Brothers and sisters in the military: "Refuse to fight! Refuse to kill!"
You are being ordered to war in the footsteps of veterans, who, more than 10 years ago, were sent to fight the first Gulf War. Many of those vets returned with severe and unacknowledged illnesses. Many gave birth to severely deformed children. All were abandoned by the Veterans Administration.
By David Solnit, Courage to Resist / Army of None Project. September 26, 2007
"I swore an oath to protect the constitution ... not to become a pawn in your New American Century."
Madison, Wisconsin--Joshua Gaines, who served a year long tour in Iraq in 2004 to 2005 with the Army Reserve, returned his Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal and National Defense Service Medal to former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld today by mail as dozens of supporters look on.
An interview with Mark Wilkerson by Aaron Glantz, co-produced by Sarah Olson, for KPFA Radio August 18, 2007. 19 min. audio edited by Courage to Resist (transcript below). Live broadcast available here.
Following his presentation at the Courage to Resist hosted workshop at the 2007 Veterans for Peace National Convention in St. Louis, Mark sat down with Aaron Glantz and David Cortright, author of "Soldiers in Revolt".
Mark was a Army MP in Iraq. He talks about joining the military, the reality of the Iraq occupation, his five months in the Fort Sill brig, and how people can better support today's GI resisters. At the time of this interview, Mark had just been released from the brig only days earlier.
By Gerry Condon. September 12, 2007
Thousands of young men and women are AWOL from the U.S. military. Away Without Official Leave. Also known as “deserters.” But they are not AWOL from their own consciences. And they have not deserted their moral upbringings or the law. Quite to the contrary. At considerable personal risk and inconvenience, they have made a conscientious decision to separate themselves from an illegal and immoral war. They are our antiwar heroes. They very much deserve our support. And they very much need it.
A couple hundred AWOL GI’s are currently living in Canada. They are from the U.S. Army, Marines, Navy and Air Force. Many of them served one tour in Iraq and then refused to go back again. Instead, they and their families have moved to Canada. With the support of many Canadians, they are struggling to create a home for themselves and a sanctuary for war resisters.
By Army National Guard Spc. Justin Cliburn. September 10, 2007
"No, I am not going back to participate in that war."
I had drill this weekend. Drill has been a forever-evolving presence in my life for the past six years. I went from looking forward to drill to hating it to missing it while I was in Iraq and back to looking forward to it when I returned. I used to hate drill, but found myself liking the weekends where I was reunited with those that I spent a year with in Iraq. Over the past few months, that has turned into dread, and I am questioning whether or not I can remain an effective member of the military.
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