No soldier is in Iraq by his own doing
By Monica Benderman, 31 December 2004

Unfortunately, I believe that no soldier is in Iraq by his own doing.

Most definitely, the Iraqis are not. But to understand why I say that about the US military, I believe you have to become more aware of exactly what is involved in saying NO to Iraq.

My husband spoke to his commander yesterday, his unit is scheduled to fly back to Iraq next week.

The commander refused to approve his request for Conscientious Objector Status. My husband then took it to the Brigade CSM who did his best to talk my husband out of it. Going so far as to tell my husband that "the people we are going over there to kill rape 8 year old girls."

My husband's response... fathers rape their daughters in America, uncles rape their nieces, and pastors rape altar boys, and yet no American soldier is ordered to go to where that person lives and shoot them with an M-16."

The CO status is pending, but they are making it very difficult for my husband. The other options, for any military personnel who have a conscience....jail for however long this government decides, moving to Canada, or some other foreign country that may or not grant asylum, or WHAT???

Are you aware of how many soldiers, marines and National Guard would willingly join in a lawsuit against the legality of this war, if they could afford the high priced team of Human and Civil Rights attorneys who have expressed an interest in this case, and if they could be assured that once having taken on this case, they would still have a home, a family, and a country that supported them?

My husband has spoken to just such a team of attorneys. They have researched this case, and believe that, while difficult, it is possible. The problem... cost, and naturally, the unknown.

Soldiers need the support of their country. Soldiers fight hard for this country, and do not have the benefit of knowing just how many people are truly there for them.

If we could find a way to show them that the support is real, that the support isn't just lip service in chat rooms and on forum pages, but that it is real, and open, and confident in the RIGHT of what these soldiers are doing... I guarantee you... there are a hundred thousand soldiers who would fight for the right thing.

America hasn't done enough to show these soldiers that they will stand behind them when they throw down their weapons.

Right now... our government is "brainwashing" our military.. and our military is falling into their trap because there are still not enough strong American civilians who are willing to stand boldly beside the soldiers and say NO to that government.

The soldiers have lives, and families that they feel responsible for. We can talk all day about what they SHOULD DO... but many, first and foremost believe that they have no other choice but to follow orders, so that the people they love stay protected, not from enemy terrorists, but from our government.

We are all willing to fight... but I don't think American civilians realize how much of the fight for the military depends on them.

Sometime the talk has to stop, and the action begin.

Thank you.

Monica Benderman  

I just got back from the hospital visiting 2 soldiers
By Monica Benderman, 8 January 2005

I just got back from the hospital, Winn Army Hospital, visiting 2 soldiers, both of whom were scheduled to deploy with Kevin's unit yesterday.

One didn't make it.. he had knee problems and went to the doctor on Wednesday. The dr. gave him a full bottle of Percoset.

When his wife woke up yesterday morning, she found him on the floor. He had taken 32 Percoset. The doctor said that she was 10 min. from not being able to save him.

Today, he was still groggy, but determined.

They had told him that it didn't matter that he was in the Psych. ward, he was just "malingering" and he would be deployed on Monday, as soon as he was released. I talked with him and told him that his Sgt. Benderman had sent a message, "I got your back."

The soldier has decided to refuse to deploy, and he will stay here and fight alongside Kevin.

The second soldier also did not get on the plane. He missed the deploy time, and they thought that he had gone AWOL.

They found him along a highway about 30 min from here. He had driven to a point, stopped his car, taken a full bottle of pills, then gotten out and walked along the highway with a gun in his hand.

Fortunately, he passed out before he could use the gun. I gave him the same message from Kevin.

He too is ready to refuse deployment and stand with Kevin.

Both of these soldiers said that they would rather die here than die in Iraq. The details will come out, but I can assure you, it is due to an ungodly amount of pressure, very, very negative pressure from the same command structure that Kevin is now speaking out about.

These two soldiers are going to be okay. They are getting stronger, one is still a little more groggy than the other, but they are ready to fight.

Both are very grateful to everyone of you. I told them about all of the support they have waiting for them, and they really can't believe it.

For your information, there are many more to follow.

It is just the beginning.

There will be little communication with the soldiers "in country" until the end of this month, for "security reasons." But some of the soldiers did manage to find a way to be able to have access.. at very great risk to themselves.. so please know that there is a great problem with this unit right now.

We will keep you up to date, as we hear more. Just know, what you are doing does matter to these soldiers, and we are getting word to them. They are sooo happy to know that you all are there.

Thank you.