21), I stood before the Army. I looked a board of officers
in the eyes, and I told them I thought they were sending
people off to participate in war crimes. And what did they
say? Get out of here, Sergeant, and keep your damn G.I.
Indeed, folks! The Army
awarded me a recommendation for a general discharge under
honorable conditions from the Individual Ready Reserve for
my refusal to deploy to Iraq last summer. This landmark
decision means not only am I a free man, I’m free to
continue school this fall with the “new” G.I. Bill that I
earned while on active duty.
Though this discharge is identical to
the one I refused in exchange for having this hearing, I can
now rest easy knowing I never submitted, I never backed down
and the Army has heard my story.
And not just my story, but the stories
of those brave veterans at Winter Soldier and those who’ve
participated in IVAW’s Warrior Writers’ program. Full texts
of both books were submitted to the Army this morning, and I
can only imagine the fun they’re having transcribing them
into the record.
I testified, Marjorie Conn, the
president of the National Lawyers’ Guild, testified, and my
mother Patricia testified as to why my refusal to deploy was
quite legitimate and not deserving of attack by the
Though Maj. Laws, the prosecution, did
everything he could to keep my legal arguments from the ears
of the board (he even prevented me from reading to them from
my Constitution calling the document irrelevant), our voices
were heard loud and clear by a board of gentlemen who’ve
given me a new respect and hope for our nation and service
The hearing, which lasted around
four-and-a-half hours, cemented in my mind that not only is
military resistance to our illegal occupations righteous, it
is finding new breath amongst troops who are fed up with the
This all came after a provocative
appearance this morning on the
local Fox News Channel in which I wore a
patriotic symbol of distress (an upside-down flag) on my
During the hearing, my girlfriend
Alexandra among others were present in the board room to
offer moral support. Having them there made all the
difference as I squared off with the military over human
slaughter that we’ve all been forced to bow down to.
So what does this mean for the
military? RESIST!!!! Now’s the time, ladies and gentleman.
The flood-gates are open. Your leaders are listening, and
more and more, they are agreeing. Resisters are moving away
from being the exception, and slowly becoming the norm.
If I can refuse to go to Iraq, climb
monuments, march into presidential debates, lobby congress,
face the military, not go to jail and not even loose my G.I.
Bill, we just don’t have any excuses anymore! Resistance is
rising, and IVAW will stand firm underneath it. My story is
now history, and I humbly pass the torch.
More to follow soon on my testimony at
Winter Soldier and the juicy details of my hearing. Now, I’m
going to sleep like I haven’t in a year!
Peace and Solidarity.