13 Stories

He Defected to North Korea, Came to Bitterly Regret It

Charles Jenkins ultimately left North Korea for Japan in 2004

(Newser) - Former US Army soldier Charles Jenkins, who drank a few beers and slipped across the DMZ to defect to North Korea on a January night some 52 years ago, has died in Japan. He was 77. Jenkins, who feared being killed on patrol or being sent to Vietnam, had planned... More »

Female Army Recruit Called a Deserter

Pvt. Erika Lopez turned herself in Thursday night

(Newser) - The Army is investigating one of the first women to sign up as an Army combat engineer after she went AWOL last fall, Fox News reports. Pvt. Erika Lopez, who is married and has two kids, was the nation's fourth woman to register as an Army combat engineer. She... More »

Army Deserter Shacked Up in Russian Forest for 11 Years

30-year-old's own family thought he was dead, buried another man by mistake

(Newser) - For more than a decade, a Russian army deserter was believed dead and buried—until he turned up recently hiding out in the woods in a remote eastern part of the country, the Guardian reports. A police spokeswoman said Monday that cops on the Kamchatka peninsula hauled in a 30-year-old... More »

Bergdahl Was a Deserter: Fellow Soldier

He's no 'hero,' writes Nathan Bradley Bethea

(Newser) - Bowe Bergdahl's release is being widely celebrated, but some soldiers from his platoon are calling for him to face trial for desertion —and in the Daily Beast , a soldier from his battalion delves into more detail about what really happened to Bergdahl in 2009. Nathan Bradley Bethea was... More »

Coast Guardsman Charged After Odd Disappearance

Rescue swimmer Russell Matthews had been presumed dead

(Newser) - Veteran rescue swimmer Russell Matthews has been charged with deserting the Coast Guard, in the aftermath of a strange disappearance in which he was temporarily presumed dead. The 36-year-old was already in the process of being discharged from the Guard for illegally using marijuana when he disappeared in October, the... More »

Canada Deports Iraq War Objector to US

Kimberly Rivera faces years in jail for desertion

(Newser) - A soldier who fled the US to avoid serving a second tour in Iraq has lost her fight to stay in Canada. Kimberly Rivera complied with a deportation order yesterday and was arrested and transferred to military custody as soon as she crossed the American border, reports the Globe and ... More »

US Airman Steps Forward After 28 Years AWOL

Deserter David Hemler has been in Sweden since 1984

(Newser) - A US Air Force deserter is "back from the dead" after being AWOL since 1984. David Hemler says he walked off a base in Germany 28 years ago and hitchhiked to Sweden, where he only planned to stay a week but ended up building a new life under an... More »

Afghan Desertion Rates Soar as US Withdraws

Officials blame poor Afghan leadership, but increase a concern

(Newser) - Desertions from the Afghan army are soaring this year, amounting to one in seven of the country's 170,000 soldiers in the first six months of 2011, and casting doubts on the government's ability to maintain its own security, reports the Washington Post . The trend—more than twice... More »

No Regrets for US Iraq Deserter as Asylum Ruling Looms

German case tests EU 'unlawful war' directive

(Newser) - German authorities will take up the case next week of Spec. André L. Shepherd, who deserted the US Army and sought asylum rather than face a second tour of duty in Iraq. “I’m having the time of my life,” Shepherd tells the Wall Street Journal from a... More »

Canada to Deport US Deserter

Mother who fled to avoid Iraq could face years in jail on return to US

(Newser) - The first woman soldier to flee to Canada to avoid serving in Iraq has been denied asylum, the Globe & Mail reports. Immigration officials told Kimberly Rivera, a mother of three, that she has until January 27 to leave the country or face deportation. Rivera served in Iraq in... More »

Army Deserter Seeks Asylum in Germany

AWOL soldier says Iraqi war violates international law

(Newser) - Specialist André Shepherd has become the first US military deserter to apply for political asylum in Germany, Der Spiegel reports. Shepherd, who disobeyed orders to redeploy to Iraq from Germany in the spring of 2007, argues in his petition that the Iraq war violates international law. "If I carried... More »

Canadian Court Sends Deserter Back to US

Judge rejects American soldier's plea to avoid deportation

(Newser) - Canada's federal court ruled yesterday that an American army deserter can be deported to the US, rejecting his request for a stay to the order. The judge said that Robin Long did not provide clear and convincing evidence that he will suffer irreparable harm if he is returned to the... More »

Deserters Fleeing War Go North—Again

In Canada, AWOL troops join forces with Vietnam draft-dodgers

(Newser) - Iraq war deserters aren't crossing the Canadian border in VW buses, but they are trickling across—and connecting with Vietnam draft dodgers who made the same trek 4 decades ago. About 200 Iraq resisters have migrated north, the Washington Post reports. Some grew disillusioned in Baghdad; others went AWOL from... More »

13 Stories