Like tens of thousands of other troops, Army Communications Specialist Chris Capps recently went AWOL. After returning from a full tour of duty in Baghdad, Iraq in 2006, Chris left the 440th Signal Battalion in Darmstadt, Germany this March in order to refuse immediate deployment to Afghanistan. The New Jersey native surrendered to military authorities at Fort Sill, Oklahoma on May 8 and was discharged from the Army on May 11. Chris now lives with his wife in Germany. This is his story.
Courage to Resist. June 20, 2007
My name is Chris Capps. I joined the Army Reserves in 2004 looking to earn money for college and basically to become independent. I was living with my parents in New Jersey.
By Jeff Paterson, Courage to Resist
Sacramento, California (Updated June 7, 2007)—"We’ve had a lot of people out here. I feel like this has been really successful at reaching out to the community and getting them involved, and more aware of what’s going in Iraq—and why it’s so important for us to end this war," explained the Iraq veteran after a week of walking around the California capitol building. Community members joined him this morning for the final lap marking each of the U.S. troops, and a representative number of Iraqis, killed by the U.S. invasion and occupation.
"We’ve not only had veterans join us walking, but some active duty military as well. A couple of the active duty guys [who joined us] were saying that they think this war now is ridiculous. They don’t understand why they keep being sent to Iraq over and over again. They want to end this war as much as we do."
May 31, 2007 Update
Adam Kokesh and Liam Madden are active members of Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW). Both are former Marine sergeants who served in Iraq and were later honorably discharged. Due to their outspoken opposition to the war, the Marine Corps is now formally threatening to revoke their discharges and retroactively change them to “other than honorable.” This is a new, unprecedented step the military feels is necessary in order to suppress a growing anti-war voice from within the military itself. We cannot allow this suppression of free speech to occur!
Kansas City, Missouri rally to support Adam Kokesh during his hearing! Veterans: Please wear a piece of your military uniform as a show of solidarity. Monday, June 4th at Noon in front of the Marine Corps Mobilization Command Building, 15303 Andrews Road, Kansas City, MO 64147 (map). For more info: kokesh.blogspot.com
On March 12, Tim and Yvette Coil peacefully objected to military recruiting in the Stow Monroe Falls public library in Stow, Ohio. The library director later called the police and Tim Coil was arrested.
"My husband, Tim Coil, and I, Yvette Coil, went to the Stow Monroe Falls library in Stow, Ohio. Soon after two uniformed military recruiters arrived and proceeded to recruit a young man. Frustrated with this happening in the public library, I told a library employee that I was going to set cards on the window of the room in which the recruiters were recruiting stating my opinion of the military and this war. She said that as long as there was no confrontation she didn't mind. On 3x5 cards I wrote, "There is no honor in fighting for a lying President," and "Dont do it! Recruiters lie!" and set them outside the window..."
Agustin joined by other Iraq War vets and resisters on whirlwind speaking tour
“Before I left for Iraq I searched deep within me, I concluded that if I go over there I can’t take a life. I ultimately say I’ll go, but I’m definitely a conscientious objector. I’m not willing to cross that line, no matter what I can’t take a life.” Two years later, after his application for discharge was a conscientious objector was denied by the Pentagon, Army Spc. Agustin Aguayo went AWOL in order to resist redeploying to Iraq.
Last Thursday, Courage to Resist supporters joined his wife Helga at the Sacramento airport to welcome Agustin home from a U.S. military prison in Germany where he was held for eight months as a prison of conscience for his unjust conviction for desertion.
Since then, Agustin has shared his story of resistance at community gatherings in Sacramento, Carmel, and San Francisco. Highlights of Agustin’s first week as an anti-war activist also included presentations to day labors, farm workers, and their families in Stockton, and high school and college students in Watsonville.
U.S. Army bans MySpace!
Courage to Resist. May 17, 2007
In the name of limited bandwidth and national security, the Army has banned MySpace, YouTube, and nine other social networking websites. Not only does this come only days after Courage to Resist launched our own MySpace outreach effort, it comes the day after the Army itself opened a YouTube channel dedicated to sharing the “good news that goes unreported” in Iraq! No word yet that www.couragetoresist.org has been banned.
"As a counselor on the GI Rights Hotline, I know that, for every GI in the news refusing to fight, there are thousands more GIs quietly saying, "No!" to this war."
By Susan Galleymore, Courage to Resist. Published in Left Curve Journal Spring 2007.
One of the best kept secrets of our time is the ferocious GI resistance to the war in Vietnam. It covered the gamut from individual, passive, and unorganized to overtly active, collective, and organized. It sprouted in military barracks and on aircraft carriers. It flourished in army stockades, navy brigs, and in the dingy towns that surround military bases. It penetrated elite West Point, spread through Vietnam's battlefields and, according to a Vietnam-era military officer, by 1971 it had infested the entire armed services. Until the recent screening of the documentary, Sir, No Sir!, the American public knew little about the resistance to that war.
Today, there is budding GI resistance to this war, the Global War on Terror (GWOT). So far, resistance has not blossomed into the near-epidemic of that time but the ground is fertile and thanks to Sir, No Sir! GIs are learning their history and emulating their forebears.
"Just because we volunteered, doesn't mean we volunteered to throw our lives away for nothing. You can only push human beings so far," says Marc Train, a 19-year old soldier from America's heartland. "Soldiers are going to Iraq multiple times. The reasons we're there are obviously lies. We're reaching a breaking point, and I believe you're going see a lot more resistance inside the military."
By Sarah Olson, Truthout. April 19, 2007
Train's a private in the US Army, stationed at Fort Stewart in Georgia. But the last time anyone saw him on base was March 16, just before he headed to DC to protest the war he is expected to fight.
“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” Benjamin Franklin
Isn’t that exactly what is happening in Iraq and the war of choice?
We now hear from many who say the troop surge is working but they present no facts to back their claim. On the other hand there are many facts being presented everyday to show that the level of violence is not going down in Iraq.
Civilian federal judge sides with Marine objector
By Aaron Glantz, posted on AntiWar.net. April 6, 2007
University of California Santa Cruz student Robert Zabala joined the Marine Corps thinking it would be a "place where he could find security" after the death of his grandmother in 2003.
As of March 13, 2007 over 1,700 active duty military, reserve, and guard service members have signed an "appeal for redress" urging congress to end the U.S. military occupation of Iraq.
"As a patriotic American proud to serve the nation in uniform, I respectfully urge my political leaders in Congress to support the prompt withdrawal of all American military forces and bases from Iraq. Staying in Iraq will not work and is not worth the price. It is time for U.S. troops to come home."
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