|Army deserter tells of his time behind bars
Robin Long, released from Miramar Marine Corps Air Station, said the hardest part of his 12 months in the brig was being away from his young son. He had fled to Canada in opposition to the Iraq war.
By Tony Perry
Tony Perry / Los Angeles Times
Instead of waking up to his son, he woke up to "... high fences and razor wire."
Reporting from San Diego -- Army deserter and
antiwar activist Robin Long said Friday that the most difficult part
of his 12 months behind bars was being away from his young son.
Long, 25, released Thursday from the brig at Miramar Marine Corps Air Station, said he missed celebrating Christmas and other special occasions with his 3-year-old son, Ocean.Meeting reporters outside the Veterans Museum and Memorial Center in San Diego, Long said he wished every morning that he could see his son running toward him and hear his voice.
"Instead I woke up to reveille and I saw high fences and razor wire," said Long, from Boise, Idaho. "This punishment was for having a moral opposition to the Iraq war."
Long enlisted in 2003 and was trained as a tank crewman but fled to Canada in 2005 when his unit was on the verge of deploying to Iraq. He said his views about the war had changed since his enlistment.
Long said that, like much of the American public,
he began to doubt the wisdom of the war when the U.S. was unable to
find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Long said he was
influenced by a quotation attributed to Voltaire: "Those who can
make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities."