Soldier Refuses Tour, Citing “Stomach-Churning Horrors”

I hope other soldiers can take him as an example.

 

Iraq soldier

 

A U.S. Army soldier who served as a military journalist in Afghanistan, Japan, Europe and the Philippines announced Thursday his intent to refuse orders to deploy to Iraq.

“As an Army journalist whose job it was to collect and filter service members’ stories, I heard many stomach-churning testimonies of the horrors of the crimes taking place in Iraq,” said Sergeant Matthis Chiroux, 24, in an announcement under the rotunda of the House of Representative’s Cannon Office Building.

“For fear of retaliation from the military, I failed to report these crimes, but never again will I allow fear to silence me. Never again will I fail to stand,” he said.

Chirioux said he’s aware he will likely face prosecution for refusing the deployment, but said, “I choose to remain in the United States to defend myself from charges brought by the Army if they are willing to pursue them. I refuse to participate in the occupation of Iraq.”

Chirioux is a victim of stop-loss, a controversial wartime power that the George W. Bush administration has used to keep soldiers from leaving the military when their term of service expires. Critics call the policy a “back-door draft”. More than 50,000 troops have been stop-lossed since the invasion of Iraq in 2003.

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