Tuesday, March 16, 2004

There's a story that I've been following for a day or two about a soldier who came back to the U.S. from Iraq in October on a short leave, and then did not return to his unit. The story of Staff Sgt. Camilo Mejia seems to be rooted in just a couple of facts: Mejia left, did not return, and has now turned himself in to military authorities seeking conscientious objector status. As a Vietnam Era Veteran myself, my initial reaction was not favorable to Mejia's cause. And that's where I would have left the story, had I not dug a bit further.

It turns out that there is indeed more to the story. The war in Iraq has been framed (rightly or wrongly) many times in terms of the Vietnam War, and certainly some policy and political parallels exist. As I dug into Sgt. Mejia's case, operational parallels began to emerge, and my moral pendulum started to swing in Mejia's direction.

Here's a link to the original Chicago Tribune article that broke the story on Mejia.

Here's a followup link to the story behind the story (which is perhaps even more interesting than the original story itself).