U.S. soldier who fled to Canada surrenders

November 1st, 2006  
Team Infidel

Topic: U.S. soldier who fled to Canada surrenders


LOUISVILLE, Ky. - A U.S. army soldier who fled to Canada rather than return to Iraq has turned himself in to military authorities at Fort Knox, his lawyer said Tuesday.
But Kyle Snyder called his lawyer Tuesday afternoon to say the army wants to send him back to his original unit at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo., said the lawyer, James Fennerty of Chicago.
Snyder, a former combat engineer, left the United States in April 2005 while on leave to avoid a second deployment to Iraq.
Fennerty said he had reached a deal with army officials that would allow Snyder to be processed back into the army at Fort Knox and then be discharged. But he said Tuesday afternoon that the army wants to send Snyder back to his Missouri unit where commanders there can determine his future.
After arriving at Fort Knox Tuesday afternoon, Snyder refused to sign a form that would have hastened his return to his unit, said Fennerty, who negotiated the discharge of another war deserter from Kentucky earlier this month.
``We wouldn't have brought him back here if we knew this was going to happen,'' Fennerty said.
Snyder, 23, of Colorado Springs, Colo., had trained as an engineer with the 94th Corps of Engineers, but he said he was put on patrol when he got to Iraq in late 2004, something he said he wasn't trained to do.
Snyder said Tuesday morning that he was nervous about his return and understood that some people may not agree with his decision to desert the army.
``I don't know how the American people are going to take the things I am saying,'' Snyder said.
Fennerty said that the deal he reached with army officials would have spared Snyder a court martial. Fennerty said Tuesday afternoon he was trying to contact army officials at Fort Knox to get Snyder's status.
Gini Sinclair, a Fort Knox spokeswoman, said she could not comment on Snyder's case.
Deserters whose units are deployed overseas are generally brought back to Fort Knox or Fort Sill, Okla., and assigned to a special processing company, she said. The army then opens an investigation into the desertion.
She said deserters whose units are not fully deployed are returned to their original unit.
``The unit commanders make the decision on what should happen to that individual soldier,'' Sinclair said.
Fort Leonard Wood spokesman Mike Alley said Snyder was scheduled to be processed at the army post in south-central Missouri, but he knew nothing beyond that.
``He is not here so I wouldn't know anything.''
A Vietnam War veteran said Snyder should face a harsh punishment.
``He should have gone back and done his duty for his country, and then come back,'' said Jim MacDonald, an air force vet who lives in Louisville.
``Back in when I was in the military, if you deserted, you got court martialled.''
But Gerry Condon, an antiwar activist who refused to fight in Vietnam, said Snyder and other military deserters should face no punishment.
``He's made a decision to come back and carry his struggle to the United States, and come back for his freedom,'' said Condon, director of Project Safe Haven, an aid group for U.S. war resisters.
Snyder said he began to turn against the war when he saw an innocent Iraqi man seriously wounded by American gunfire. He said the shooting was not properly investigated.
``I realized the Iraqi people were not accepting of the U.S. military,'' he said. But he is not a pacifist, he said, and does not believe U.S. soldiers should immediately leave Iraq. He said he would like to see a phased pullout.
Snyder, who returned to the United States on Saturday, is the second Iraq war veteran to return to Kentucky after fleeing to Canada.
Darrell Anderson, 24, of Lexington, surrendered at Fort Knox on Oct. 3. Anderson was held for three days while his case was processed, then released with an other-than-honourable discharge. Fennerty was Anderson's lawyer as well. Snyder fled to Canada in April 2005 while on leave from the army and applied for refugee status. He said he worked as a welder and at a children's health clinic while there, but was also outspoken about the war, calling it ``illegal and immoral.''
November 15th, 2006  
Does anyone have an opinion on this? Or am I the only one that has a MAJOR problem with the fact that if you dont like it you can just run away? This really disturbs me about the direction the military is headin, or the quality of people that are joinin. I am not that old and I remember that you were in major crap for bein a DESERTER or coward however you want to call it. Now, this is my own opinion, I am not tryin to start anythin or cause a disruption but this behavior is wrong. I know the ole salts will mostly agree with me on this. I do not understand where they think runnin out on your duty/commrades is the right thing to do. Why do they think they should not get any punishment for this. "I want out so if I run away they will keick me out" NO!! Punishment would be keep you in and make you pick up brass around Iraq. Desertion is a big crime, and you shouldnt get rewarded for doin it.
November 15th, 2006  
If you look up desertion in the UCMJ you will find all sorts of possible punishments. I believe that the person should be discharged as soon as possible and denied any and all social welfare benefits. He does not want to live up to his contractual agreement to serve his country so his country should have no reason to serve him.

One other thing I think could be done is the person sued by the Federal Government for breech of contract. All the monies paid to train, feed and clothe this person should be collected from him. This could be done via income tax returns, pay garnishments etc. Afterall, the government did not tell him they would no longer take care of him. He left on his own.

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