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Military Desertions

May 17, 2004 | Barbara Demick, Times Staff Writer
In present-day photographs, the jug ears and prominent nose are the same. But the once-young GI named Charles Robert Jenkins is now an old man, with creases running across his brow and a small picture of the late North Korean founder Kim Il Sung pinned to the lapel of his shiny suit. On the morning of Jan. 5, 1965, Jenkins was a 24-year-old buck sergeant stationed in South Korea. It was 2:30 a.m., and he was leading a patrol into the demilitarized zone separating the Koreas.
April 13, 2004 | Tony Perry, Times Staff Writer
As would-be peacemakers tried Monday to avert a military showdown between U.S. Marines and insurgents cornered in this city, one group of soldiers left no doubt that it was prepared for a fight. "Fallouja, Fallouja, right now," chanted members of a battalion in the new Iraqi army who, along with Marines and U.S. Army Special Forces advisors, are living in a tumbledown house not far from where four Americans were killed and their bodies mutilated late last month.
March 17, 2004 | From Associated Press
A soldier who refused to return to duty in Iraq reported to his unit in Florida on Tuesday and said he would go to prison rather than take part in "an oil-driven war." Staff Sgt. Camilo Mejia, who is seeking to be declared a conscientious objector, met with officials at his Florida National Guard unit after repeating his determination not to return to the Middle East and fight. "I'm prepared to go to prison because I'll have a clear conscience," Mejia said.
February 9, 2004 | Barbara Demick, Times Staff Writer
The Japanese government has asked the United States to allow Charles Robert Jenkins, a GI who allegedly deserted and crossed into North Korea in 1965, to move to Japan without fear of prosecution, Japanese sources said. The request was made last week to Deputy Secretary of State Richard L. Armitage, who was here primarily to discuss concerns about North Korea's nuclear program, and had been broached at lower levels.
December 28, 2000 | From Associated Press
An Air Force man who allegedly went AWOL and got trapped in deep snow for 16 days, surviving in his car on M&Ms and orange juice, was released from a hospital Wednesday and turned over to military officials. Thomas Wade Truett, 29, of Jacksonville, Fla., may face prosecution on desertion charges. The snowmobilers who found Truett on Saturday said he wore no coat or sweater, only a T-shirt. He had lost 20 pounds and had scrawled a farewell note to his parents. He was treated for hypothermia.
August 23, 2000 | From Associated Press
A U.S. Army Reserve officer with access to intelligence information boarded a flight back home Tuesday, two weeks after he alarmed the American military by going AWOL. Lt. Col. Jeremiah Mattysse turned up Monday at a youth hostel in the desert town of Mitzpeh Ramon. Mattysse has denied allegations by an Israeli woman who claimed to be his girlfriend that he disclosed sensitive documents.
July 15, 2000 | From Times Wire Reports
A shooting spree by three soldiers who fled their base in southeastern Armenia left eight people dead, the Defense Ministry said in Yerevan, the capital. Military police arrested one of the soldiers, and a hunt for the others was underway. The rampage began Thursday when the three deserters grabbed Kalashnikov rifles from their base and stopped a car on a nearby road by shooting the driver and a passenger, the ministry's press service said.
April 9, 2000 | From Associated Press
A Vietnam veteran who has lived in Canada since deserting his Army post in Alaska in 1972 has been granted a special discharge and will not face a court-martial. Richard Allen Shields was driving a lumber truck when he was arrested March 22 at the U.S.-Canadian border after a background check alerted U.S. Customs to an old warrant that charged Shields with desertion. Shields, 47, was returning Saturday from Ft. Sill, Okla.
August 14, 1999
A man accused of fatally shooting his brother-in-law in an alleged dispute over video games is scheduled to be charged in court Monday. Paul Myers, 30, was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of gunning down brother-in-law Jason Weaver, 26, in the garage at Myers' Moorpark home. Myers was due in court Friday to enter a plea to a charge of murder, but prosecutors say a paperwork delay prevented them from bringing charges. The hearing was postponed until Monday.
December 23, 1998 | From Times Wire Reports
Lt. Col. Hildegardo Bacilio Gomez, who led a small group of soldiers on a rare protest march against the military justice system last week, was charged with desertion after he failed to show up for duty for the third straight day. The protest by the group, the Patriotic Command of the Conscience of the People, broke the quiet obedience the Mexican army has maintained in recent decades. The chief military prosecutor said the desertion charge had nothing to do with the march.
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