Marine Corps Lance Corporal John Rogowskyj Jr. says he is a conscientious objector and should be discharged from the service.
He has been interviewed by a military chaplain, examined by a psychiatrist, and questioned by a hearing officer who recommended conscientious objector, or CO, status and immediate separation. But this month, Rogowskyj was deployed to Iraq.
The 22-year-old from Pennsauken , Pa., now serves on a heavily armed patrol boat protecting hydroelectric plants along the Tigris and Euphrates rivers and Lake Qadisiyah .
"I believe that God has given man free will. . . . By surrendering my will to the military, I realize that I have willfully propagated violence," he said in legal documents.
The above is from Edward Colimore's "Marine pushes for conscientious-objector discharge" (Philadelphia Inquirer via Boston Globe). Rogowskyj's story broke over the Thanksgiving weekend and whether he'll be covered or get The Full Brobeck remains unknown at this point.
What is known is that the chaos and violence continue in Iraq. From Hannah Allem's "Iraqis flee surge of violence" (McClatchy Newspapers):
As three days of round-the-clock curfew ended Monday, the Iraqi capital eased back into a familiar rhythm of death, escape and survival.
Hundreds of Iraqi families made a beeline for the airport, where they handed over their savings for one-way tickets to any place safe. Others ran for the border, with suitcases strapped to cars bound for Syria and Jordan. Families that stayed stocked up on food, kept their children home from school and waited for another round of sectarian bloodshed.
A U.S. Air Force F-16 fighter jet crashed in the volatile western Anbar province, where it was providing air cover to ground troops. A military statement didn't address the cause of the crash or the fate of the pilot.
Al-Jazeera television aired a brief clip of what it said was the crash site and told viewers it had footage that showed the pilot's body but wouldn't air it. The channel quoted witnesses as saying that insurgents had shot down the warplane. The clip showed the gray wreckage of a jet with a crumpled white parachute nearby.
Except for the road to Baghdad International Airport, where traffic stretched for miles, few cars ventured into the capital's increasingly perilous streets. An unfolding civil war between Sunni Muslims, backed by insurgent groups, and Shiite Muslims, led by militias and their allies in Iraq's security forces, has rendered life virtually untenable for ordinary Iraqis.
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john rogowskyj jr.