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Old 06-17-2012, 09:02 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Efforts to get to class consumed his weekends. At the same time he was heavily influenced by his German friends.
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he learned that he was being transferred to another base in Germany. His life fell apart.
He acted like the immature child he was. He was likely (thats a guess I admit) in a non-combat position. It is likely he found a girl while he was "taking a break" but they avoid the age of his daughter so thats hard to verify. He was offered that degree he was promised but *gasp* he would have to work for it. He signed a contract that likely outlined his enlistment pretty well. He should serve out the remainder of that contract either in the military or in a military detention center, no problem.



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Germany was a rich country, even if they weren’t constantly involved in wars
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Old 06-17-2012, 09:32 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by FiXeL View Post
Maybe my views are different because i am not a US citizen, nor have i served in the military, but he was promised a degree and good pay. If my employer promised this, and did not keep his end of the bargain, i'd leave.. Simple as that.

I know things don't work as simple like that in the military, but i can understand his reason to desert. You just can't quit a job like that like you would a civilian job.

Is he a criminal? By military law he probably is, but considering the time passed, and having built up a new life in sweden, i'd say make him a persona non grata in the states and leave it at that.
In my experience with recruiters, they don't lie to you ("not keep up their end of the deal"); they just expect you to read the fine print. If you don't read every word of your enlistment papers before you sign, it's on you.

For instance, about the pay: let's say they told him he'd make, I don't know, $50k per year. Then he gets his first paycheck and finds out that he only makes about $25k. That's because the rest is uniform allowances, food allowances, housing allowances (all of which are completely untaxed), 3 weeks of vacation, medical benefits, insurance, retirement...all of those are factored into the "You'll make this amount" line that you hear up front. It's a total, comprehensive compensation package, just like you get in the civilian world. "Your salary is X, but we also give you Y, so your total annual pay is Z." It's all spelled out in your contract; you just have to act like an adult and read it before you sign. Does the recruiter specifically hold your hand and walk you through it and explain every line? No...that's not his job.

As for the college degree, what did he THINK was going to happen? Were they just going to hand it to him? Of course not...of course he was going to have to actually go to class (this is the 80's, afterall...there's no online classes yet). The military promises to pay for the classes; they don't promise you that you'll always be within easy driving distance of that class.

I don't care what happens to him now. It's been almost 30 years, and he's not worth the expense of extraditing/trying him. I'd say just revoke his citizenship and be done with it (though it doesn't sound like he'd really care).

It just chaps my *** to see someone who, upon realizing they made a mistake, being such a lightweight as to be totally unable to live with that mistake and fulfill his obligations for a couple of years. Suck it up, do your job (hell, you're in an electronic signals squadron...that's conscientious objector territory already, so your "I'm a pacifist" bull**** doesn't matter. That's why they didn't discharge you, dummy) and walk at the end of your commitment.


This guy's nothing but a slackass whiner whose word and responsibilities apparently don't matter to him.
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Old 06-17-2012, 10:10 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Well, he is telling his point of view, but there's way more to it that i seemed to overlook.

Maybe it's because i was never in the military, (well almost did) if i were, i probably would have looked at it a different way. Either way, the guy made a mistake and indeed not sucked it up like a man. But there's no reason to beat a dead horse.
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Old 06-17-2012, 10:19 AM   #14 (permalink)
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I find it very easy to condemn others of their crimes - while exonerating myself from mine.

He made a mistake when he was 19. Because of that mistake he hasn't talked to his family in 30 years. If that was your punishment for desertion - wouldn't that be enough?

Further, draft dodgers in Vietnam were given amnesty - and this was during a war. I am not sure why they would need to revoke his citizen status for this when murderers citizenship is never in question.

I think this thread is filled with a lot of tough talk from people who forget their own sins.

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Old 06-17-2012, 10:26 AM   #15 (permalink)
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I find it very easy to condemn others of their crimes - while exonerating myself from mine.

He made a mistake when he was 19. Because of that mistake he hasn't talked to his family in 30 years. If that was your punishment for desertion - wouldn't that be enough?

Further, draft dodgers in Vietnam were given amnesty - and this was during a war. I am not sure why they would need to revoke his citizen status for this when murderers citizenship is never in question.

I think this thread is filled with a lot of tough talk from people who forget their own sins.

TF
but should punishment just stop at "enough?" shouldn't it also be fair? by that, i mean shouldn't all people who commit the same crime be sentenced to the same punishment? if he was pardoned for this, based only on years passed and amount of family members lost contact to, what does that say about the harsher punishments that other deserters may have faced?

and as a side note, i don't think there was ever an official declaration of war for vietnam. to my knowledge it was just an authorized deployment of troops. may that play into draft dodgers being treated more leniently since it's technically not "during a war?"

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Old 06-17-2012, 10:27 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Murf425 View Post
I don't care what happens to him now. It's been almost 30 years, and he's not worth the expense of extraditing/trying him. I'd say just revoke his citizenship and be done with it (though it doesn't sound like he'd really care).

It just chaps my *** to see someone who, upon realizing they made a mistake, being such a lightweight as to be totally unable to live with that mistake and fulfill his obligations for a couple of years.
Pretty much all of this...
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Old 06-17-2012, 10:54 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Well, they used to shoot deserters before....
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Old 06-17-2012, 11:02 AM   #18 (permalink)
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to my knowledge it was just an authorized deployment of troops. may that play into draft dodgers being treated more leniently since it's technically not "during a war?"
Doesn't this argue that David should be treated more leniently?

I just see all punishment as evil. Punishment should only be used to rehabilitate or train citizens to be better citizens. This, at this point, seems to just be revenge for something that angers us, but did no real damage to our country.

He was, however, trained to do a job. Perhaps the best punishment should be for him to repair his damages (the money spent on his training to be repaid).

I just think after this long of a time, for a crime that hurt no one directly, and given the fact that the average murderer does about 7 years in jail - screaming for his head seems barbaric.

I do agree with Murph though. You made a mistake - suck it up like the rest of us did. However, when young - you tend to do young things.

I don't know - it just seems like he has suffered enough. I know if my decision at 19 alienated me from my past, my family, and my country - it would be worse that 6 months in the brig with no pay.

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Old 06-17-2012, 11:02 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Well, they used to shoot deserters before....
I have some issues with that... At 19 yrs old you make a big mistake, so you need to be executed for it? I've made some very poor choices when i was that age, and turned out ok more or less... Being employed by the military doesn't make him less of a human, regardless of his mistakes.
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Old 06-17-2012, 11:11 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Doesn't this argue that David should be treated more leniently?
unless one argues amnesty shouldn't have been granted to those vietnam draft dodgers to begin with.

revenge may not be so evil. there's a reason societies based on tit-for-tat have lasted until now. it somehow promotes cooperation.
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