Friday, March 26, 2004


Anti-war soldier charged with desertion
SAVANNAH, Ga. - A U.S. soldier who says he would rather go to prison than back to an "oil-driven war" has been charged with desertion for leaving his unit in Iraq five months ago.

Staff Sgt. Camilo Mejia of the Florida National Guard returned last week to Fort Stewart to face possible prosecution. Mejia, 28, left Iraq in October on two weeks leave and did not return to his unit, the 1st Battalion, 124th Infantry Regiment.

"The legal system has told him he is charged with desertion," Fort Stewart spokesman Richard Olson said Friday, nine days after Mejia reported back to the southeast Georgia Army post March 17.

Mejia, who has condemned the war in Iraq as "an oil-driven war," has an application pending for conscientious objector status. That would not stop the Army from prosecuting him for his five-month absence.

Mejia, of Miami Beach, has said he would rather go to prison than back to Iraq. He learned of the charge Wednesday, said his attorney, Louis Font.
I thought the precedent was set. All you have to do is "go to Harvard Business School and work it out with the military."