Thursday, July 28, 2005

There's a right way and a wrong way

Regards many things there's usually a right way to do things and a wrong way to do the same.

Kevin Benderman is free to believe that his presence in Iraq is wrong. But there's a right way and a wrong way to deal with it.

Today, Benderman faces a court-martial for desertion when he refused to deploy with his unit for a second tour in Iraq last year:

He did not tell commanders he planned to seek objector status until 15 months later, after he had trained with his unit for a year in preparation to return to Iraq and had packed his bags to ship overseas.

He skipped his 3rd Infantry Division unit's deployment flight Jan. 8, just 10 days after giving Fort Stewart commanders notice that he was seeking a discharge as a conscientious objector.

Prosecutors argue Benderman had an obligation to deploy while his conscientious objector application was pending, and his actions betrayed the soldiers in his unit. The Army Conscientious Objector Review Board rejected Benderman's application April 22

If the origin of his opposition came from his first tour in 2003, why would he wait for more than a year to apply for conscientious objector status until days before he was scheduled to re-deploy? If in fact he knew he didn't want to be there for those reasons (which are perfectly legitimate), why not immediately move for conscientious objector status?

Whether it is accurate or not, the way he handled it gives the appearance that he simply wanted an out because he didn't want to re-deploy. Perhaps the charges of desertion, as his lawyer has asserted, are in fact trumped-up.

Bottom line though, Kevin didn't do this the right way and now he has to face the consequence of that.

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