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05-10-07, 07:46 AM #1
Coward Or Hero? Soldiers Flee To Canada To Avoid War
Coward Or Hero? Soldiers Flee To Canada To Avoid War
Wed May 9, 6:09 PM ET
There is an untold story of the war in Iraq -- a story about soldiers who have gone to Canada to avoid going back to Iraq.
Many people think about the Vietnam War draft dodgers when they hear about people heading to Canada to avoid military service, but the soldiers in the Persian Gulf War and the Iraq War are part of an all-volunteer force.
"I signed up before the invasion of Iraq," Corey Glass said in his Toronto apartment. "I joined the National Guard thinking it was a humanitarian organization."
Glass is an Army National Guardsman from Indiana. He said he joined to help people and never expected to end up in Iraq, in Military Intelligence. Glass said his job gave his conscience pause; he filed casualty reports for Army brass.
"I went to Iraq because I was ordered to, like I did what they told me to do, but I started feeling way too wrong about it," Glass told 12 News' Investigative Reporter Colleen Henry. "I could talk to certain people, but I couldn't dig too deep to find out some things, like changes from like civilians being like, killed, to like, so now they're insurgents. How does that change?"
Glass now sits chain-smoking in a Toronto, Canada apartment with other American servicemen who've walked away from war, their way of life and their world.
"I tried to tell them I couldn't do it anymore. I didn't think it was right," Glass said. "They weren't taking any of it. They were just thinking I was getting stressed out. They said, 'You're getting stressed out,' and send me home. (I was) on leave for like two weeks. I told them I wasn't coming back. I never showed back up."
Dean Walcott is a Marine from Connecticut. He volunteered to serve in Iraq.
"As far as I know there's an FBI warrant out for my arrest," Walcott admitted. "I reenlisted before I knew anything was wrong. (I) was with the military police and all we ever did was run convoys around a very little part of Iraq."
Walcott said his view of the war changed shortly after an assignment at the Landstuhl military hospital in Germany.
"Basically, our job there was to make sure the injured and dying Marines were made as comfortable as possible," Walcott said.
After Walcott arrived, there was a rush of casualties from a bombing at a mess hall in Mosul, Iraq.
"People were coming in missing legs, missing arms. They had to be put on feeding tubes, they weren't able to breathe without help of a machine," Walcott said. "At the time, I was dealing with a lot of emotional problems. I was pretty messed up from dealing with work at the hospital. It was a rewarding job, but it was very, very difficult. So I'd asked to be put somewhere that was non-deployable, so I could get mental help, which the command graciously decided not to let me do."
"There was a lot of times that families would come to visit them in the hospital and see their dead or dying son or daughter, and (they) would yell at us and would hit us. It was misdirected anger, but to my way of thinking, it was understandable," Walcott said.
Both Glass and Walcott said they asked superiors to keep them out of Iraq, but their requests were dismissed. They both walked away and headed for the border rather than the brig. They crossed paths in Toronto and are now roommates and comrades in a legal battle to stay in Canada because they can't go back home.
Walking with them through the land mines of immigration law and asylum petitions is Whitefish Bay native, now Toronto attorney, Jeffry House.
"I came to Canada in the 1970s -- drafted -- but didn't want to serve in Vietnam," House said.
House represents about three dozen American deserters. He estimates there are a couple hundred in Canada.
"Obviously there's a kind of courage in going to Iraq, even when you think it's wrong, and killing people, even when you think it's wrong," House said. "I think there's also a courage in standing up and saying, 'No, I can' t do that, and I'm willing to make some serious decisions.'"
House argues that the war in Iraq is illegal, so the deserters would face political persecution in the U.S. for refusing to fight an illegal war. House hasn't wot a case in the immigration courts, but recently took his argument to Canada's federal court. A decision is still pending.
Glass and Walcott are counting on House to convince Canada to let them stay, but they're also watching the American government.
"I joke about it a little bit," Walcott said, "and call Canada my fifth deployment. It's just like any other deployment I've had. I'm here, the customs are a little different, and I'm not allowed to leave."
"I'm hoping against hope that cooler heads will prevail," Walcott sighed, "and that we'll finally be able to come home to our families.
"Staying there is, you're fleeing what you believe in, right?," Glass said. "You're fleeing your belief in murder and all these other things, you're just doing it because you're scared of what they're going to do to you. But coming here, you're losing everything. You're fighting them because you're losing your family. You're losing it all."
Glass and Walcott know Canada could deprt them if they don't get asylum. They could face months to years in the brig if they return to the United States.
IN LOVING MEMORY OF MY LATE HUSBAND, SSgt Roger A. Alfano, USMC
ONE PROUD MARINE
Once a Marine...Always a Marine
05-10-07, 08:02 AM #2
Put the crybabies in the brig and throw away the key! There were deserters along with draft dodgers that went to Canada during Nam. Worst thing our government ever did was granting them amnesty if they wanted to come back.
05-10-07, 09:48 AM #3
I vote 'COWARD' for 1000, Alex.
They are scum. No one forced them to enlist. There is no draft. Claiming anything other than pure cowardice is folly.
The only people they are 'heroes' to, are those dorks on the left who also see 'heroes' as tree huggers, hippies, and protestors.
They should be actively pursued, hunted down, and brought back to trial for immediate public execution as traitors to their oath, country, and honor.
05-10-07, 10:39 AM #4
I think, like, Canada should like, keep them eh! Then if Canada like, needs people in their military they can like, take these weenies eh?
05-10-07, 10:40 AM #5
"Bob and Ted's Most Excellent Desertion Adventure"
05-10-07, 10:52 AM #6
Malcontent traitors is what they are. But they know as soon as we have a democrat president and majority in the house and senate they will be given amnesty and full pardon and probably a million dollars each by our government! Oh and by the way the last time the democrats even upgraded all less than honorable discharges by one grade to take care of the malcontents that served dishonorably. I saw it all before.
No better friend/No worse enemy
05-10-07, 10:55 AM #7
Yet ANOTHER good reason to keep losercrats as far away from the WH as possible.
05-10-07, 12:12 PM #8
Canada's military has too much valor and class to allow the likes of these cowardly pukes to enlist!
They should be made 'men without a country' where no nation allows them asylum.
05-10-07, 12:17 PM #9
In reference to my earlier post, if I remember correctly it was the peanut head president that signed the amnesty for the draft dodgers. Since these sh**heads aren't draftees, they should be sentenced to life imprisonment if they come back.
05-10-07, 12:20 PM #10
Yep, it was peanutbrain that allowed them back.
And, I like the 'exile' deal. How about someplace without a gummint....like, Mogadishu, for example? It's not in a country, per se....
05-10-07, 12:27 PM #11
Put 'em all in an old space shuttle that's due to be scrapped...and launch them into the sun.
05-10-07, 05:16 PM #12
they signed on the dotted line,they knew what they could get into.
what bunch of puzzies.
05-10-07, 06:54 PM #13
They are cowards and deserve to freeze to death in -747,864,387,632,874,268 Celius degree weather.
05-10-07, 07:23 PM #14
If you join my beloved Corps. you do it because you want to go out and kill some bad guys. (legally...heh heh heh). If all you want is money for school, join the National Guard. (or the Canadian Mounties). The thing is, ignorance isn't an excuse. If you swear an oath of allegiance to our country and Corps., you WILL be held accountable for all of your actions. Any and all deserters/traitors should be shot on sight, since we ARE at war. Those are my 2 cents.
Semper Fi, brothers & sisters!
05-10-07, 08:47 PM #15
COWARDS ! They should never get to come back into the U.S.
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