Why I Refused a 2nd Deployment To Iraq

Discussion in 'America Attacks!' started by Angel_Headed_Hipster, Jan 18, 2005.

  1. Angel_Headed_Hipster

    Angel_Headed_Hipster Senior Member

    This should give people a real idea of what's going on in Iraq.

    Why I Refused a 2nd Deployment to Iraq
    By: Sgt. Kevin Benderman



    First a brief forward from POAC co-editor Jack Dalton. I received an email a few moments ago from Kevin’s wife Monica. In it she has told me a total of 22 people in Sgt Benderman’s unit have refused to deploy to Iraq. 17 have gone AWOL and 2 have attempted suicide. The status of the remaining 3 is unknown at this time. We at the POAC fully support the decision to refuse deployment to Iraq which has been made by Sgt Benderman, and the others in his unit.



    I am Sgt Kevin Benderman and:

    These are the chronological events that led me to conclude that I had no other choice than to refuse the deployment order to Iraq.

    I was deployed to Iraq in March 2003 and returned in September 2003; while I was there I was with the 1st Squadron, 10th Cavalry Regiment, 4th Infantry Division. We staged our vehicles in Kuwait and then proceeded to move out into Iraq. We were carried on the back of heavy equipment transporters to about fifty miles south of Baghdad and then we downloaded the vehicles. We were in the vehicles while they were on the trucks, which I thought was a little odd considering that in the garrison environment those types of actions are considered unsafe and are therefore not allowed.

    During the road march north through the country I saw the effects of what war does to people, those effect are such; homes were bombed, people were living in mud huts, people were obtaining their drinking water from mud puddles along the side of the road and were catching rain in buckets when it did rain, they begged us for food and water and we had enough, we would share it with the people that were there, the kids looked especially hungry and thirsty. The commander told us to stop giving the people food because they would get food from other sources after the trucks started bringing in relief supplies.

    Somewhere along the route there was this one woman standing along side the road with a young girl of about 8 or 9 years old and the little girl’s arm was burned all the way up her shoulder and I don’t mean just a little blistered, I mean she had 3rd degree burns the entire length of her arm and she crying in pain because of the burns. I asked the troop executive officer if we could stop and help the family and I was told that the medical supplies that we had were limited and that we may need them, I informed him that I would donate my share to that girl but we did not stop to help her.



    When we were there, the command elements ordered the unit to perform all types of actions that are considered unsafe to soldiers, such as, having military vehicle maintenance personnel retrieve missiles that were present in our area of operations using a M88 recovery vehicle and transport them to sites to be destroyed by the explosive ordnance personnel. They also ordered mortar personnel to enter into a compound that held various types of munitions that the Iraqi army had left behind and to load these munitions onto trucks. When these personnel were not working fast enough for the 1SG he ordered them to throw the mortar rounds onto the trucks whereupon one of rounds exploded and inflicted shrapnel wounds on two soldiers.

    We were using an old custom building that was located in the middle of the town that we were in for the troop HQ and naturally that attracted the attention of the local populace. Small children would come up to the wall that surrounded the place before we had a chance to apply concertina wire along the top of the wall and they would toss small pebbles at us inside the walls. We would tell the children to get down from the wall and leave the area, one day the troop commander saw us telling the children top get down from the wall and he told everyone there that if the children came back at any time after that to shoot them if they were to climb back onto the wall.

    I was in charge of a group of soldiers that were in their late teens through their early twenties and I had to constantly tell them to keep their heads down because they thought that the war was like the video games that they played back at the barracks. War is not like that at all and until you have the misfortune to engage in it for yourself you cannot begin to understand how insane it all is. There are no restart buttons on reality and that is why I cannot figure out why now we are pursuing such a policy in this day and age. War should be relegated to the shelves of history, as was human sacrifice. If you stop to think about it you become aware that war is just human sacrifice. There is no honor in killing as many as you can as quickly as you can.

    We, in America refer to ourselves as civilized and people from other countries still living the simple life are backwards and un-civilized, but what is civil about the capability to create atomic weapons? What is civil about being able to kill over 100,000 people with just one bomb? We may be more technologically advanced but are we more civilized? I think the answer is no. War has to be considered the absolute enemy of mankind. Where we would be without it? I would presume that we as a nation would be out of debt if we were to apply as much energy to pursuing sound economics as we do pursuing war, we would never get sick if we spent as much on preventive medicine as we do on war, the elderly would get affordable prescription medication if we were to use the resources that are spent on war to work for that purpose, there would not be un educated children if we were to buy new classrooms and books for schools instead of new weapons systems, social security would be a lot more secure with some of the money that war costs.

    Why do we want to train the young people in the world that the only way we can settle our differences is to kill one another? Why shouldn’t we train them to become surgeons or homebuilders? Why shouldn’t we train to become anything but killers? I think that the world would be better off if we were to do that instead. I have talked to veterans from every war from WWII on and their opinion is that the wars they fought were to be the last war ever fought. How many more are we going to fight before we realize that the act of war is for small minded people that are intent in only satisfying their own needs and not the needs of the people in general? I do not want to be killed because I am living in a place that has a ruler that wants to go to war with any one.

    The only way to bring peace to the world is to let the people of the world decide for themselves what they want to spend their efforts on. I feel that in this day and age governments start wars, and not people, and since the governments want the wars then why don’t we let the government fight the war? All of the politicians that want to fight a war are free to trade places with me at any time. I will gladly go and learn war no more.

    There are activities that I have been involved in that have led me to these new and developed beliefs, and they are numerous but I can tell you some of them. When you walk in the woods and you see a deer stand and look at you, or you are on the river in the morning and the mist rises off the water while you hear the morning calls of the river birds, and the otters just lie there as you glide past in your boat and don’t even move, you know that there is a better way. When you can find solitude in the woods that are so filled with peace and the wildlife that is all around you, you feel the better way all around. A person must acknowledge the fact the we are a part of the universe and the universe does not want to be out of sorts with itself, so why do we spend so much effort on trying to be out of sorts with others of the human race?

    I have been to the war zone and I have seen the devastation it causes. Why can’t everyone agree that war is the most repugnant of all human endeavors? Why is it considered noble to be able to look through the sights of a rifle and kill another human being from 300 meters away? Why are you a hero if you can throw a hand grenade farther than the next guy in the foxhole? Shouldn’t these young men and women that are in the army be throwing footballs or baseballs or softballs instead? It would impress me a lot more to see someone make the winning free throw at the basketball game or kick the winning extra point at the football game, or knock in the winning run at the World Series than to see them be able to shoot more humans from 300 hundred meters. I would rather they spend their time at the golf course or the tennis courts or in college, any where but in the war zone trying to survive and having to kill to do it. It just doesn’t make sense to me.

    Peace and Love,
    Dan
     
  2. FNA

    FNA Member

    If he refused to return to Iraq, wouldn't he then be seen as a traitor?
     
  3. airforcedrew

    airforcedrew Banned

    Yeah, and as AWOL/Deserter@A time of war.
    I think some of these guys make shit up too, to get out of a deployment.
     
  4. Psy Fox

    Psy Fox Member

    Iraq is a illegal war and besides as a worker it is his duty to refuse to work if that is how he feels.
     
  5. airforcedrew

    airforcedrew Banned

    not when you sign a contract. Violation of a contract is legally binding. He signed the dotted line. What he should do is go there. And report unlawful orders as they happen. Im sure the media would eat it up anyways. Its his responsibility do do what he believes is morally right. You can't make a difference by doing nothing. Action needs to be taken at the time of the discrepency, and not bitch and moan about it when you get back to the states, and are getting recalled.
     
  6. soliloquy

    soliloquy Banned

    In days gone by, the military would make the price of refusing to solder so high , you had to be a bit unbalanced to refuse , often that price would be imprisonment until willing to resume your duties, whilst imprisoned your service stopped and only recommenced on returning to your unit with the intention of soldering ..... or if the refusal was during a time of war the soldier could be shot ... We don't live in these times any more, so a soldier has much less to worried about .. The consequences are not nice but if your fear of returning to battle, where you think certain death will ensue, imprisonment seems a preferable alternative . Any body joining the army has to really think about the possibility of going to war , and if you sign up, be prepared to do your duty or face the consequences ...
     
  7. Psy Fox

    Psy Fox Member

    There come times when workers have to stand up for their rights despite the law.
    What good would that do? The atrocities and terrorism the US commited in Iraq that has been reported has not even curved them.
    Well a lage number of people do nothing as in refuse to fight it would make a difference.
    Yhea striking there would have more weight to it but hey, his way works too.
     
  8. Co0kiezGurl

    Co0kiezGurl Banned

    A lot of those guys refusing to go will just get them in trouble, and get others sent over in their place.

    He did sign the dotted line. Drew is right...if he saw things he thought were wrong while he was there before, there are things he could have done WHILE there, things that would carry much more weight than just refusing to go back. Too few people take advantage of these things that are at their disposal in the military. They actually fear their superiors for some reason. I'm so proud of Drew because he knows the rules, and he knows wrong and right, and he's not afraid to tell even a general how things are supposed to go. I know a woman who's husband is royally getting screwed over right now but he won't say anything because he doesn't want to get in trouble. She has documents and all kinds of things that could get his superiors in some serious trouble but she won't take them to anyone until he gives her the go ahead...and he won't. I wouldn't stand for it, and thankfully neither would Drew. The military isn't all bad, but these people have to take a stand when these things are happening...they have the ability...they can make some serious changes if they'd grow some and take on their higher ups.
     
  9. soliloquy

    soliloquy Banned

    You obviously know nothing of how the military works ! As with any job , it's a career path that most people have consciously decided to pursue, the longer you are part of it the harder it is to leave, you become a part of something that is far greater than the sum of its parts. By choosing to leave you effectively give up the security the apparatus provides you ( perverse as it may seem ?). Most soldiers are also aware that they are not privy to the big picture, so pointing out or highlighting grievances holds little water with anyone out side the military. Thousands of soldiers come forward each year with stories about abuse of power or a conspiracy to mislead the civilian population, and yet very rarely does any thing come of it ,so why take the risk for what is at best a long shot and at worse a possibility of an offence punishable by a military tribuneral.

    Now I'm don't know Drews rank, but I am sure that unless he is a ranking officer, he will never be allowed to express his opinions to a ranking officer, that kind of behaviour is just not tolerated.
     
  10. Psy Fox

    Psy Fox Member

    This is due to the US military not being a union shop. There is no military union to protect US personel from superiors and ensuring safe, harasment free working condition with fair wages.

    For example the unsafe loading of explosives this guy talked about, with a union would be "sorry union rules forbids us from unsafe handling of explosives, if you have a problem take it up with the union." This way the soilder doesn't have to worry since the union got his back and the officer can't just find someone else since they will give the same line of being aginst union rules that overrides his orders.

    But there is no union to protect the troops. If there was, the union (as in all troops) could go on strike for not being properly equiped in Iraq.
     
  11. soliloquy

    soliloquy Banned

    The day unions are introduced into the military, is the day before the military ceases to exist, which is the day before the US ceases to exist, which is the day before the world as we know it ceases to exist, which would be tomorrow if you had your way . But you don't ! which is a good thing.....
     
  12. Co0kiezGurl

    Co0kiezGurl Banned


    Well I meant they should take it up their chain of command. I know another woman who's husband didn't do that until it was pretty much too late, but he did anyway, right before he seperated, and now they are in the process of punishing his superiors. I could see it happening if all these guys took their grievances up their chain of command...y'know, if their supervisor or whatever doesn't listen, take it higher and higher and higher...someone will listen...especially if there are a lot of these guys with the same grievance. The woman I mentioned has met a few other ladies who's husbands worked with hers, and who have also filed complaints about their superiors. That's why it's working, and those jerks are being punished finally.


    Oh he's expressed his opinions before. He has no trouble telling someone when they are breaking a rule. He's only an A1C, and he's already had to reprimand some generals. He just knows his rulebook, and he's prepared to point them out when he has too. And he hasn't gotten in trouble yet...he's confident when he points these things out...he knows what he's talking about when he brings it up. Maybe it's just different in the airforce though. There are officers that have no respect for the guys under them, but they can be dealt with if they're being assholes for no reason, and I've heard of it happening in a BIG WAY, twice...where quite a few of the airmen filed complaints and got their superiors punished for something that was otherwise being overlooked.

    And I still think if these guys and gals over there got their stuff together like that, and went up their chain of command, they'd make some changes...seriously. But like I said...maybe it's different in the airforce...and that's the only branch I have any idea about anyway and I've heard quite a few differences in other areas of these branches anyway so I really wouldn't be surprised [​IMG]
     
  13. soliloquy

    soliloquy Banned

    I can just imagine an " Airman 1st class " reprimanding a general ?
    I would urge Drew to leave the Airforce, because sadly, if he's deluded enough to think he's reprimanding a General, he will be remaining a A1C for a long time to come .... If he knows his rule book he will know, know body likes a " know it all " especially not the military.... Its akin to a guard at the front gate of a corporation thinking he has an influence in the decision making because he lets the boss in, in the morning .....
     
  14. Co0kiezGurl

    Co0kiezGurl Banned

    Hey, if they don't have their id's, he can't let them in...whether he knows full well who they are or not. If they're going to expect to get in anyway, he's going to tell them it ain't gonna happen and turn them away to get the proper identification. There've been other incidents, things that happened when he first got to this base, but I can't remember right now. I remember how excited he was when he told me about them though :). He's just doing his job honestly. It's amazing what some people try to get away with though because of their rank and such....amazing....like the rules don't apply to them. If he gets in trouble for anything like that though, for telling someone their breaking a rule etc. then I know he'd fight it...hell I'd fight it with him. It may be the military, but it ain't like their shit don't stink. They're just as accountable as the rest of us to the rights and wrongs of the world.



    ETA: Since my memory is like swiss cheese anyway, I pm'd him to come in here and correct me if I'm wrong about who he's had to reprimand. :p No problem though, even if I end up having mixed up some of his stories from work, I still am sure he'd have no trouble, if sent into war, going up the chain of command and getting things fixed if he witnessed something he knew was wrong. He's at work now though...should probably be on in the morning.
     
  15. green_thumb

    green_thumb kill your T.V.

    These are questions I wish to have answered too.
     
  16. green_thumb

    green_thumb kill your T.V.

    Refusing deployment is morally right.

    In this case, it is one of the only ways to make a difference.
     
  17. green_thumb

    green_thumb kill your T.V.

    For now...
     
  18. airforcedrew

    airforcedrew Banned

    Little confusion here. (Or somthing has been blown out of proportion) I've never reprimanded a general. I have told them proper procedures on things because I work customs, and PSD. And when they do things wrong, I have the legal obligation to stop them in their tracks, and correct them. Im a security forces cop, so rank has no precidence over the authority when im on duty.

    Theres been several occasions when I was in spec-ops (training) that the officers were not doing their job. I reported them to IG (Inspectors General). They got in trouble and an 0-3 had to leave the military.

    I respect my superiors, but my job is their security, as well as my security. If they do anything that comprimises that, I will be happy to report it. And if they do anything that comprimises my moral values, then I will disobey, and explain myself when they try to serve me an article.

    Im about to put on SRA by the way... yay
     
  19. soliloquy

    soliloquy Banned

    I see your point .....
     
  20. Psy Fox

    Psy Fox Member

    If the military, US or world as we know it can't exist with troops having proper repersentation (union of their peers) then the military,US and world as we know it was simply never ment to be as the rights of the toops as workers goes above the existance of the military, USA and the world as we know it.
     

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