American War Deserters in Canada. Private Chris Hilsinger 20, from Alabama, drove to Toronto with his wife January 2, 2007. He joined the military in August 2006, and did not serve his deployment in Iraq. As of September 2007, the Hilsingers have not been heard from and are believed to have gone underground in Canada out of fear of deportation. I didn’t want to be deployed anywhere, but if the cause was right I’d go, but this cause isn’t right. I don’t really know what this cause is. But, as long as they’re innocent people that get killed for no reason, I’m not part of it.
American War Deserters in Canada. Sgt. James Corey Glass, 24, from Indiana, says he joined the U.S. military to help people. He signed a six-year contract. His father was in the military. Glass trained in communications and military intelligence. In June 2005 he was deployed to Iraq and was stationed near Ballad (40th Command Support Group). He tried to get off the mission before deployment. He returned to the U.S. on leave and did not return, and was on the run for eight months. He started researching military desertion on the web and was in touch with Jeffrey House, the lawyer dealing with deserters' immigration cases in Canada. Friends drove Glass from Indiana to Toronto in August 2006. Glass feels that the Iraq war is unlawful, and is about money. I tried to get off the mission before we went, because I did not agree with what we were doing, I never thought we were doing what was right, I was just following orders. Basically you are going on the story that people tell you, from the ground, I was noticing too many flaws in the system. I went up to my first-line supervisor and told him I don’t want this anymore, I don’t feel right about it. The only reason I did it is because I signed a contract, I told them I wanted to quit, they said it was just stressed so they sent me home on leave. I told them I wasn’t coming back. They warned me that desertion is punishable by death. They sent me home, and I never went back. I hid out in the states for eight months. I was thinking I was going to get caught and spend a long time in jail. I’d rather spend time in jail then have that shit on my conscience.
John Spivey, 20, a U.S. military deserter, with his wife Mandy, in a Canadian sponsored home, February 2007, in Toronto, Canada. From Mobile Alabama, Spivey was assigned to 528th Airborne, under Special Operations Command, he was trained as a combat medic. He enlisted with the military when he was 17. Spivey received his deployment notice January 2007, he then fled to Canada with his wife in February 2007. Spivey enlisted for the college money, which he says he never saw, and the $10,000 enlistment bonus. His father was an Airborne Ranger, and his uncle is a Brigadier General. Spent three months in Iraq. “The proudest I have ever seen my father was after coming in from basic training. I thought we were doing the right thing in Iraq, liberating people…It’s my life on the line, as soon as I enlisted in the United States Army, United States foreign policy started affecting me first hand. There’s no honor in dying for the Bush administration, no honor in dying in a war of aggression, a war of oppression, a war for money. If you’re fighting for the rights of the people, absolutely, there is no question that it is honorable to die to try and provide a better life for another person. But if your needlessly abusing and killing civilians, there’s no honor in that. There is no sense of pride to be taken from an unfounded war.”
Kim (last name withheld as requested), 24, a U.S. military deserter in a Canadian sponsored home February 2007, in Toronto, Canada. Kim served in Baghdad for 4 months out of her one and a half year deployment. She fled to Canada with her husband and two children during her two-week leave in January 8, 2007. She was supposed to return to Iraq January 24, 2007. “Basically the reason I left Iraq was because I didn’t want to see the hate. I didn’t want to learn about the things that go on there. Because just seeing the devastation of the few friends I’ve made as civilians, was too much for me, it was too much. That’s why I’m here. I am ready to start a new life for me and my family. Basically, start over again. This is the right choice and what’s going on isn’t right.”
American War Deserters in Canada. Private Alonzo Lewis, 25, from Florida was scheduled for Iraq deployment in October 2006. He fled from the military by driving from his base (Ft. Lewis) in Washington State to Vancouver two weeks before his Iraq deployment. After months in Vancouver he became increasingly frustrated with his Canadian refugee status and felt pangs of guilt at leaving his unit behind. He returned to Ft. Lewis where he was arrested then reinstated into his military duties. Lewis then tried to flee again to Canada in 2007 and was turned back by Canadian border officials. “The reason I left was because we didn’t have a reason to be there, I lost motivation, and I just didn’t want to go. It wasn’t worth the risk.”