Letters from Fort Lewis Brig: A Matter of Conscience : Kevin Benderman has quickly become the public face of opposition to the Iraq War. He's been profiled in the L.A. Times, mentioned in several New York Times articles, appeared on numerous radio talk shows, and is flown around the country to speak before major peace rallies. He's a family man, the stepfather to several college-age kids. He's a true patriot who served his country. He just doesn't want to pick up a gun again. Forty-year-old Sergeant Kevin Benderman was court-martialed by the U.S. Army for desertion. Haunted by his time of combat duty in Iraq, remembering his encounters with maimed children, witnessing dead civilians being ravaged by dogs, and helplessly watching young soldiers turned into soulless killing machines, the nine-year veteran declared himself a conscientious objector and declined to return to Iraq for a second tour. When his unit was again deployed, he stayed home in Georgia. Imprisoned for thirteen months after being convicted of "missing movement" in 2005, Benderman is still appealing, and he is requesting an honorable discharge.
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