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G_j Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 10:44 AM
Original message
AWOL State of Mind, Calls From Desperate Soldiers
http://www.nypost.com/news/nationalnews/7316.htm >

AWOL STATE OF MIND: CALLS FROM SOLDIERS DESPERATE TO LEAVE IRAQ FLOOD HOTLINE

By LEONARD GREENE

October 5, 2003 -- EXCLUSIVE

Morale among some war-weary GIs in Iraq is so low that a growing number of soldiers - including some now home on R&R - are researching the consequences of going AWOL, according to a leading support group.

The GI Rights Hotline, a national soldiers' support service, has logged a 75 percent increase in calls in the last 12 weeks, with more than 100 of those calls from soldiers, or people on their behalf, asking about the penalties associated with going AWOL - "absent without leave" - according to volunteers and staffers who man the service.

Many of the calls have come from soldiers who are among those now on the first wave of 15-day authorized leaves that began almost two weeks ago. Some hotline callers have indicated they may not return, staffers said.

"What would happen if I just don't go back" to Iraq, one soldier asked a worker at a GI support-line center.

"I'm going to shoot myself in the foot," said another, referring to his solution for getting home.

..more..
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gratuitous Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 10:46 AM
Response to Original message
1. The penalty for going AWOL?
Heck, you get to become President!

Oh wait, that offer may be void if you're not the overpampered lamebrain offspring of the corrupt scion of a war profiteering family.
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silverweb Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 10:52 AM
Response to Original message
2. Support our troops...
BRING THEM HOME!!!

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G_j Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 08:14 PM
Response to Reply #2
28. Oct 9th and 10th
(that's this week!) are national call in days concerning the occupaion of Iraq. MoveOn, United for Peace and Justice, Win Without War and others are putting out the word. Call your Congress person and let them know how you feel!
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Peace_2_Everyone Donating Member (665 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 11:02 AM
Response to Original message
3. That is sad

and when the troops start coming back and telling their unfavorable stories, the Corporate Owned News Services will begin trashing these brave young people as lazy unpatriotic ect just like they did the Iraqi 1 war vets.

I look forward to hearing which democrat these vets support for Prez
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peace4all Donating Member (428 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 06:13 PM
Response to Reply #3
13. There is not much doubt
they won't be voting for Bush.

btw. I like your name :-)
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demnan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 11:05 AM
Response to Original message
4. Canada
probably looks awfully good to these young people right now.
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Padraig18 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 11:10 AM
Response to Original message
5. My heart absolutely breaks
I literally cry when I think of those poor men and women sent to Iraq by the BFEE! "BRING THEM HOME---NOW!"
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eleny Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 06:36 PM
Response to Reply #5
22. I do, too! it breaks my heart....
when I hear about the deaths almost daily. A daily mist up that you have to shake off or go nuts.
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nottabubba Donating Member (266 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 11:24 AM
Response to Original message
6. AWOL from Vietnam
Back in late in 69,70, and 71, I was AWOL from Vietnam.

The Columbus, OH workhouse was the collection point for AWOLs from central Ohio. In 69, there was a single Greyhound bus that would take the AWOLs to either Ft Meade, MD or Ft Knox, KY. It took about a week or 10 days to get a bus load, no rush, who really cared if us eight balls sat in the workhouse anyway? As I remember there were probably 60-80 beds at the time.

By late 70 and 71, the number of have beds had about doubled, and they were sending out 2 Greyhounds a week just to keep up. All of us went to Ft Knox and we maxed out the Ft Knox jail. The Army set up Special Processing Battalions that were just regular barracks without fences. Usually after a couple of weeks you got a weekend pass, it was remarkable the number of men who didn't return on Monday.

The Army scares soldiers with the AWOL penalties, but civil disobediance works there too. As far as screwing up your permanent record, I was given an undesirable discharge under less than honorable conditions, and no one has ever asked to see my discharge. I admit I never looked for another govt job and I never ran for office, so keep those career choices on the back burner if you go AWOL.



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Mari333 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 11:29 AM
Response to Original message
7. The GI rights hotline number and webpage
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IkeWarnedUs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 11:40 AM
Response to Reply #7
9. Contact info
For people who don't want to open the link.

The GI Rights Hotline
(800) 394-9544
(215) 563-4620 Fax (510) 465-2459
630 Twentieth Street #302
Oakland, CA 94612

girights@objector.org


I have given out the number to quite a few people who have family and/or friends in the military, especially the reserves, over the last two months (which is when I first heard about the hotline). About half thanked me - and the ratio is going up as time goes on. One called me last week to ask for the number again because she threw it out when I first gave it to her.
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peace4all Donating Member (428 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 06:00 PM
Response to Reply #9
12. thanks for sharing

Bring Them Home Now,
www.bringthemhomenow.org
Military Families Speak Out,
www.mfso.org
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IkeWarnedUs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 11:33 AM
Response to Original message
8. How would we even know if lots of soldiers went AWOL
The powers that pull the strings of the American media control what we do and don't hear. We know that.

Thousands of American soldiers are injured and sick - we don't hear about it.

The reported number of soldiers killed (when they bother to talk about them at all anymore) is minimized by only reporting those "killed in battle", to keep the numbers low. As if being killed while serving in Iraq isn't legitimate unless it is at the hand of a 'Saddam loyalist'.

Don't even get me started on all the lies they let slide that got us into this war.

So what would make anyone think that the military would tell us if dozens or even hundreds more soldiers went AWOL - just said NO (with a nod to Nancy)? The soldiers and their families won't make a big deal of it for fear of trouble.

It may be happening more than we know already. I remember this story from the Arab press in July that was poo-poo'ed as Arab propoganda:

Disguised US Soldiers Reportedly Escape From Iraq
By Aws al-Sharqi, Islam OnLine Iraq Correspondent 7/27/03

http://www.islamonline.net/English/News/2003-07/27/arti...

<snip>

"Two Black U.S. soldiers arrived in Basra through a Christian go-between from Baghdad, who used to work as a translator with the Americans. They were in jeans and I smuggled them to Kuwait in return for $450 each," Hasnawi told IOL.

"The go-between told me that the two soldiers did not want to be gunned down in Iraq without a cause," he added.

Kazem al-Badri, a taxi driver, claimed that cab and truck drivers nowadays are testing the pulse of search themselves or through go-betweens for U.S. soldiers who want to escape from the war-scarred country in return for bucks.

"It is not a rumor or an Iraqi propaganda but it is a fact, because I myself know a lot of drivers who helped U.S. soldiers escape from Iraq," Badri insisted, adding that smuggling rates hit first a mind-boggling $5,000 for each soldier but were now put down to $500.

<snip>
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nottabubba Donating Member (266 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 11:57 AM
Response to Reply #8
10. Very good point
I only knew about the high number of AWOLs from being one. Without exception, everyone that I talked to about the numbers was astonished. There were no reports anywhere about AWOLs.

In light of the current situation, we are barely aware of the number of casualties let alone the discontent of the troops. The Russians were able to hide casualties for years, and it was only the extreme number that led to a tipping point, the number COULDN'T be concealed.
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G_j Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 03:46 PM
Response to Reply #10
11. and of course
the Pentagon doesn't know.....(yea right)

<snip>
Pentagon officials said they had no up-to-date numbers on soldiers who have gone AWOL since the Iraq campaign, but an affidavit that surfaced at a recent court martial for a soldier charged with desertion put the number at more than 50.
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ShaneGR Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 06:46 PM
Response to Reply #8
26. Last night on CNN
They had a report on a hospital in Germany that had treated over 6000 soldiers so far. So I think the strings of the media are getting cut off.
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 06:16 PM
Response to Original message
14. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
alcuno Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 06:20 PM
Response to Reply #14
15. I'm sure that they are more than willing to fight for their country.
The fact that we are STILL debating why we went to war shows that it is an abject failure.
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 06:25 PM
Response to Reply #15
16. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
VermontDem2004 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 06:30 PM
Response to Reply #16
18. Bye
Edited on Tue Oct-07-03 06:30 PM by VermontDem2004
YOU make me sick for calling these soldiers "dumb young kids".
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roguevalley Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 06:32 PM
Response to Reply #16
20. Korea was a declared war with official status. THis is a hand job.
You can be shot for deserting or going awol. There is a penalty in
doing it. I hope they are careful. I would hate to see good people
go to jail because bush lied.

As for whining, Korea was a much better organized dance than this.
Nine months is still three shorter than they have to serve here.

I wouldn't serve in an illegal war either. Not for the United States of Halliburton would I give up my only life.
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alcuno Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 06:46 PM
Response to Reply #16
25. Who cares about that? The administration.
Or they wouldn't keep trying to make new arguments about why we are there. They lied to those "dumb" kids as well as the American people about the reason to go to war. Those "dumb" kids were housed in camps since last fall named New York, Pennsylvania, and Washington. All the while they were in Kuwait they were fed a line about defending the United States.

Now the lie has been exposed and people have to deal with it. If those "dumb" kids realize that they have been lied to and manipulated, they have a right, and perhaps a moral obligation, to act. The "I was just following orders" argument has a lot of holes in it.
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ShaneGR Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 06:28 PM
Response to Reply #14
17. Here lies a lurker, he lurked badly
He disses soldiers courage from across the ocean. Bring on the death!
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symbolman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 06:31 PM
Response to Reply #14
19. Sake of their country?
How about WE SELL YOU INTO SLAVERY for the good of Bush's wallet?

Get real, these people are under enormous stress and have been SOLD OUT by their COUNTRY in the form of an fucking MONKEY AWOL asshole who has no business even standing in the Same Room as former actual presidents..

If you really believe that head on down to your local enlistment station, or *I* will buy you a ticket and a gun and send you directly to IRAQ.
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roguevalley Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 06:33 PM
Response to Reply #19
21. symbolman
I think I love you.
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Solomon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 07:26 PM
Response to Reply #21
27. Yep yep. Symbolman said it about as good
as it can be said. :smoke:
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0007 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 06:39 PM
Response to Reply #14
24. It takes more guts to follow
your own conscious than to follow an idiot called junior.

BTW I too was in Korea and the AWOL rate was fairly high. At least the younger generation is much smarter than in the old days, 'eh?
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DrFunkenstein Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 06:36 PM
Response to Original message
23. AWOL Boy
<>

<>
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G_j Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-08-03 12:06 AM
Response to Reply #23
29. I missed that one, lol

AWOL?

I'll never hear that term again without thinking of our fearful "leader".
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