Friday, February 20, 2004

Jeremy Hinzman-AWOL

Jeremy Hinzman joined the US military because "the socialist structure of the military appealed to him." He is nowing living in Canada, AWOL from his military obligation:

A soldier in the 82nd Airborne Division who says he had "a romantic vision" of military life has left his post and is living in Canada, where he has sought refuge as a conscientious objector.

Jeremy Hinzman, a member of the 2nd Battalion of the 504th Brigade Parachute Infantry Regiment, could be prosecuted as a deserter if he is caught inside the United States.

He'll be listed on a national database and could be arrested, but the army won't go looking for him, said Sgt. Pam Smith, a spokesperson for the 82nd Airborne, based at Fort Bragg.

"We don't have time to go and track down people who go AWOL," she said. "We're fighting a war."

Hinzman, who grew up in Rapid City, S.D., joined the army in January 2001. He and his wife and baby fled last month to Toronto.

Hinzman told the Fayetteville Observer by phone that the socialist structure of the military appealed to him — he liked the subsidized housing and groceries and, at the end of his service, the money for college.

"It seemed like a good financial decision," he said, adding, ``I had a romantic vision of what the army was."


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