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NEWS: U.S. Army Deserter Jenkins Walks Free

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posted on Nov, 27 2004 @ 11:07 PM
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Originally posted by GradyPhilpott
First of all, shorten your quote, so the mods don't have a cow.

Second, what were you thinking when you joined the Army, anyway? Didn't you notice at some time during the your socialization and education that the United States Army has had more than a passing association with warfare since it's inception in 1775? Did you fail to notice that war would be hell even if no one got killed? Did you not know that you would be trained to kill and expected to do so? Did you think that being an "Army of One," you could call your own shots or be your own Commander-in-Chief?

Give us some insight into your mindset. It could be very enlightening, I think.


Ah yes, the ultimate question. Well, I'll be perfectly honest with yuo and say that I don't have a clue what I was thinking when I joined. I do remember watching the war begin, and then thinking about 9/11 and all that. I wasn't really educated on any of this kind of stuff, and didn't have my own set of beliefs until after I joined the Army. I didn't really start thinking for myself up until a few months ago. That's my only explanation for it. I was fully aware when I signed up that I was probably going to have to kill. I even requested to go to Iraq four times! (See, the Army screws me over for EVERYthing! Thousands of soldiers DON'T want to go that get sent, and the one who DID didn't get sent. I'm glad I didn't get sent now, but...) Since then I have come to an understanding of my own beliefs and such, atleast to some extent. And my eyes have been opened to what's really going on. My family still thinks the Army is doing what's right. They won't listen to me even though I think I have a better idea of what their doing in my position.




posted on Nov, 27 2004 @ 11:10 PM
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The guy did his time. He paid for his mistake many times over through the life he led. I'll use my Christian friends ways of thinking, and let's forgive an old man. He did his penance, let's show some mercy.

Why don't we use computers to judge people? Because things aren't black and white. The world isn't so simplistic. Some people get scared because of that, and try to shrink it down to their mindset.

Let's strive to become what we can be, not what we know we are capable of.



posted on Nov, 27 2004 @ 11:35 PM
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an3rkist

My sincere advice to you, as someone who has been in your shoes, is to get some help to deal with your stress. It is absolutely normal to be scared witless about the possible consequences of going to war, but you will not be alone. You are not an "Army of One," no matter what anyone may have told you. You have a unit to depend upon and who will depend on you.

I have to confess, I had a case of the jitters after I finally got my orders to go to Nam. It was ironic since I had never wanted anything so badly in all my life and I had to raise some hell to get those orders because the Marine Corps had other plans for me.

On top of that, when I did get there, I learned that I had no idea what real fear was like and sometimes wondered if I could keep from throwing up or passing out, but I endured and I overcame and I am the better man for it. That's what life is all about.

The Army didn't invent warfare just to scare the daylights out you. It's a fact of existence. It has never been any different. The challenge for you is to bear up and do what is right for yourself, for your country and for humanity. Death is a far better fate than slavery.

Don't listen to the cowards and misfits on this site, either. They're not the ones who will have to live with your fate if you choose to shirk your duty. They will not have to serve prison time. They will not have to live with a less than honorable discharge. They won't have to be called cowards to their faces for the rest of their lives.

Somewhere someone must have told you about duty and what it means to have an obligation to those who came before you and those who will come after you. You must have learned at some point that the price of liberty has been paid for time and again by individuals such as yourself, who were scared out of their minds, but pressed onward so the lamp of liberty could continue to burn.

You have the greatest opportunity of a lifetime lying before you and you're thinking of blowing it. I will tell you this. No matter what could happen to you in Iraq, it will not be nearly as bad as having to live with the fact that you are a coward and that when the torch was passed to you, you choked.

Don't let that happen. Get some help dealing with the natural inclinations toward self and face the challenge with courage, dedication and perseverance.



posted on Nov, 27 2004 @ 11:45 PM
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Originally posted by GradyPhilpott

On top of that, when I did get there, I learned that I had no idea what real fear was like and sometimes wondered if I could keep from throwing up or passing out, but I endured and I overcame and I am the better man for it. That's what life is all about.

The Army didn't invent warfare just to scare the daylights out you. It's a fact of existence. It has never been any different. The challenge for you is to bear up and do what is right for yourself, for your country and for humanity. Death is a far better fate than slavery.

Don't listen to the cowards and misfits on this site, either. They're not the ones who will have to live with your fate if you choose to shirk your duty. They will not have to serve prison time. They will not have to live with a less than honorable discharge. They won't have to be called cowards to their faces for the rest of their lives.

You have the greatest opportunity of a lifetime lying before you and you're thinking of blowing it. I will tell you this. No matter what could happen to you in Iraq, it will not be nearly as bad as having to live with the fact that you are a coward and that when the torch was passed to you, you choked.



Well, I don't really view my thoughts of doing this as cowardice. I may have wanted to do it out of fear, but not fear of dying; fear of killing. I don't see that as being a coward at all. And I don't see everyone who's done it as a coward either, though many may be.

I also do not believe that going to Iraq would be the best thing for my country. I'm not sure how you could believe that, but maybe you know something I don't. I don't think this war has EVER been about protecting our country's freedom, and I know for a fact that it's not right now.

I'm not letting anybody affect my decision, because it's MY decision. I already decided I think going to Iraq is wrong, but now I have to decide whether it's worth doing the wrong thing in order to stay out of jail. It looks to me that either decision I make could be viewed as cowardice: cowardice of being deployed, or cowardice of going to jail. Neither of which are the truth. I don't fear going to jail, I just don't want to. And I don't fear being deployed to Iraq, I just think it's wrong.

Thanks for your concern and your thoughts, but this is a decision I'm making myself. You were right that they're not the ones who have to live with imprisonment and such, but you're not the one who's going to have to live with a guilty conscience knowing I let myself be sent to Iraq knowing it's wrong. I'm not letting anybody's "warnings" of being labeled a coward affect that decision.

[edit on 27-11-2004 by an3rkist]



posted on Nov, 27 2004 @ 11:51 PM
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I'm not labelling you. I'm telling you that you put yourself is a tough situation and I'm doing my best to tell you what the consequences of your actions will be. It is your decision, but you might ought to listen to some folks who've been around a bit longer than you and who know what will happen if you make the wrong decision.

Good luck.



posted on Nov, 28 2004 @ 12:04 AM
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I don't know how war was 30 years ago in Vietnam, but I do know what war is like a year ago in Iraq. an3rkist, follow your heart. we all know it's a bs war, but you do have a legal obligation. I have seen many people crack in Iraq, and I really wish the Army didn't send them in the first place.

If you think Iraq is not for you, I respect your decision, don't go. It's not worth dying for.

I went because it was my job, and I was going to fulfill my moral and lawful duty. Obviously we have different definitions of commitment, but I do not think less of you if you discover our view differs.



posted on Nov, 28 2004 @ 12:08 AM
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Originally posted by curme
If you think Iraq is not for you, I respect your decision, don't go. It's not worth dying for.


Curme

You shouldn't advise this individual to ruin his life before he gets out the gate. You're right about the lawful obligation part, but advising unlawful action on his part is hardly prudent.



posted on Nov, 28 2004 @ 01:14 AM
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Originally posted by GradyPhilpott
You shouldn't advise this individual to ruin his life before he gets out the gate. You're right about the lawful obligation part, but advising unlawful action on his part is hardly prudent.


First of all let me say this: I am under no legal obligation to go to Iraq. Conscientious objector status is a perfectly legal alternative provided by the Army for people just like me. The only reason they would put me in jail is because they while I was being investigated, or prior to the investigation, they would assume that I was just trying to get out of my contract early based on cowardice or whatever. I am almost positive that once investigated they would find this to be untrue, and all the signs point towards me receiving an Honorbale Discharge after the fact. However, my decision comes down to whether I would want to spend a fe wmonths in jail while awaiting the decision, or whether I'd rather spend a few months in Iraq. Neither are desirable, but there must be a lesser of the two evils.

Second of all, a Dishonorable Discharge or jail time would NOT ruin my life. I'm not one of these guys who thinks that being labeled "Dishonorable" by the Army is such a horrible thing, because in my opinion the Army is no position to judge who is Honorable and who is not. I also don't need an Honorable Discharge in the civilian world to get the job I want. And I don't care about the stigma that may or may not come with it. There's a better chance that my life will be ruined in Iraq by either dying, or me doing the thing I have the least amount of desire to do and killing somebody. This would change my life for the worst I'm sure.




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