AWOL Soldier Builds A New Life In Canada, Has No Regrets

December 12th, 2006  
Team Infidel

Topic: AWOL Soldier Builds A New Life In Canada, Has No Regrets

USA Today
December 12, 2006
Pg. 18

By Carolyn Thompson, Associated Press
TORONTO He was on his way to his hometown of Buffalo, he had told his military superiors, to see whether the Bills' unproven quarterback, J.P. Losman, was "the real deal."
But on that long bus ride from Clarksville, Tenn., last year, the soldier vomited twice, maybe three times and it wasn't football that had him so unnerved.
As he rolled north, Army Sgt. Patrick Hart was veering off a road he'd been on for nearly 10 years.
Every mile he traveled led away from the Army.
Away from his wife Jill, who worked in the commander's office at his Fort Campbell, Ky., base, and away from their young son.
"I knew I was at a turning point," said Hart, 33.
From Buffalo, Hart would cross into Canada. His parents, who were in on his secret, drove him across the Peace Bridge and delivered him to a network of Canadian supporters who welcome disillusioned U.S. troops with open arms, a place to stay and legal advice.
Hart became one of at least 25 U.S. servicemembers who have applied for refugee status.
Back at Fort Campbell, an unsuspecting Jill Hart picked up the phone at the house she had decorated in red, white and blue. Her husband of five years said he was not coming home.
Within days, Patrick Hart was listed as AWOL.
Jill Hart, who had thrown herself into the military life, was told the Army would stop health benefits for her epileptic son, then 3.
"I thought we had this great relationship," she recalled of her life within the military. "It made it very clear I'd been living in this world seeing what I wanted to see."
She flew to Toronto, where the family was reunited in September 2005, a month after her husband crossed the border. Jill Hart decided to give it a year. "Three days later I was fine," she recalled.
More than a year since he wore the uniform, Patrick Hart has no regrets: "I have no desire to go back."
The Harts have been active with peace groups, the Toronto Epilepsy Association and visible critics of the war in Iraq that he calls a "war of aggression."
"If you want to support the troops, bring them home," said Patrick Hart, who was in the Army 9 years and served nearly a year in Kuwait in 2003. He left a month before he was to be sent to Iraq.
Army representatives did not return calls seeking comment.
Supporters estimate there are more than 200 U.S. deserters in Canada who have not sought protection. The Canadian government, which has troops in Afghanistan but not Iraq, has so far denied refugee status to today's U.S. troops.
"The limbo in which American war resisters are living in Canada is rather overwhelming, in that the Canadian government has not taken a position of welcome," said Bruce Beyer, who was given immigrant status by Canada after he fled induction into the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War. He lived there five years before President Carter issued an amnesty for those who left.
In October, two of the self-described war resisters returned to the USA and turned themselves in. Kyle Snyder, 23, of Colorado Springs, was ordered to return to his unit. He has since disappeared. Darrell Anderson, 24, of Lexington, Ky., received an other-than-honorable discharge.
December 12th, 2006  
This makes me sick.
December 12th, 2006  
It makes you wonder why they joined the Forces was it because it was a nice little number during time while no one was shooting at you, and as soon as they did they find it necessary to leave the forces to save their own hide
December 12th, 2006  
Scumbag, he will be sent to a special hell. The place where they send child molesters and folks that speak during movies.
December 12th, 2006  

December 13th, 2006  
Not just his country but his family as well. I just dont get these people.
December 13th, 2006  
A disgusting coward. He didnt even make it to Iraq. I hope he doesnt call himself a man.
December 14th, 2006  
Rob Henderson
Originally Posted by bulldogg
Not just his country but his family as well. I just dont get these people.
Amen...An epileptic 3 year old son and he just up and STOPS his health benefits...Thats bull****. This guy ought to be sent back by the Canadians.
December 14th, 2006  
Peacetime soldier.

How does he look in the mirror each morning.

I respect his right to disagree with government policy, but running is not the answer.
December 14th, 2006  
Coward bastard.

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