She got off lightly

From NBC News:

Army deserter who fled to Canada sentenced to 10 months in prison

Iraq war resister Kimberly Rivera speaks at a press conference in Toronto in August. Rivera, who is pregnant with her fifth child, returned to to the U.S. in September and on Tuesday was sentenced to 10 months in prison for desertion. (Vincent Elkaim / AP via The Canadian Press)

By Keith Coffman, ReutersDENVER — An Army private believed to be the first female U.S. soldier to seek refuge in Canada rather than return to duty in Iraq was sentenced to 10 months in prison after pleading guilty to desertion, military officials in Colorado said on Tuesday.

Kimberly Rivera, who said she grew opposed to the war during a three-month tour of duty in Iraq, pleaded guilty at a court-martial proceeding in Fort Carson, Colo., on Monday and was sentenced immediately.

In addition to the prison time, the 30-year-old private was reduced in rank, ordered to forfeit pay and benefits and given a bad-conduct discharge, base spokeswoman Meghan Williams said.

Rivera fled to Toronto in 2007 while on leave after serving in Iraq with Fort Carson’s 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, in Baghdad, according to her lawyer, James Branum.

More at the link. But what the story doesn’t tell you, I was able to access via Wikipedia:

A long-time resident of Mesquite, Texas, Rivera worked at Walmart prior to her military service, meeting her future husband Mario there. After she and Mario married, they agreed that one of them should join the army for financial reasons, but both were initially too overweight for the army’s requirements. Because Rivera shed the weight faster, she enlisted instead of her husband, signing with the U.S. Army in January 2006 for an $8000 bonus.1

Having deserted in 2007, it was possible, I thought, that she had enlisted prior to the war in Iraq; that’s why I checked further. She actually enlisted in January of 2006, long after the war began, long after negative stories about the war had come out, long after the stories about Abu Ghraib emerged, and long after it became apparent that the quick initial victory which deposed Saddam Hussein and the Ba’ath Party government had turned into a drawn-out conflict trying to keep the country from falling into the hands of thugs.

Your Editor, the father of two soldiers, believes that PVT Rivera got off too lightly.
_______________________

  1. Original Wikipedia source: Tamara Jones (December 1, 2008). “Why I went AWOL”. Marie Claire. Retrieved September 1, 2012.(subscription required)

12 Comments

  1. Reportedly the deserter, who already has four children, is pregnant so she’ll be giving birth to her fifth child while she is in prison. She deserves all the censure she’ll be receiving, not just for her crime as a deserter, but also for the emotional and financial problems her crime and punishment will bring to her children. Her sentence seems light, but 10 months in the brig at the Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in California, where she is due to be sent, along with forfeiture of all pay and benefits will not feel light to this sorry excuse for a soldier.

  2. York’s son was sent to Iraq, and my daughters could be sent to Afghanistan at any time the Army decides they are needed. My sympathy for PVT Rivera is somewhat limited.

  3. NO sympathy for this deserter. Her redeployment was part of the deal when she signed on and as a soldier, she knew that. Her life in the Marine brig will likely be a living hell, not so much by the imprisonment, but by the fact that as a deserter she will be held in utter contempt by all. I believes she deserves that and more. Just as contemptible is what she has done to mess up the lives of her children, including her unborn child.

  4. She never should have been allowed to join the Army in the first place, which doesn’t excuse her desertion, but it does show that enlisting a married fat girl with two kids primarily interested in immediate financial gain is a pretty damn stupid way to go about defending the nation.

    Additionally, 10 months in jail isn’t much of a sentence, she should have to repay the taxpayers for half the initial bonus, and for half the cost of tracking her down, the idiots who enlisted her should be on the hook for the balance.

  5. The light at the end of his rope wrote:

    She never should have been allowed to join the Army in the first place, which doesn’t excuse her desertion, but it does show that enlisting a married fat girl with two kids primarily interested in immediate financial gain is a pretty damn stupid way to go about defending the nation.

    2006 was a tough year for recruiters: the war in Iraq had lost support, and the economy was strong. She apparently met the qualifications for enlistment.

    Additionally, 10 months in jail isn’t much of a sentence, she should have to repay the taxpayers for half the initial bonus, and for half the cost of tracking her down, the idiots who enlisted her should be on the hook for the balance.

    Under normal circumstances, half of an enlistment bonus is paid upon the completion of Basic Combat Training and Advanced Individual Training; depending on her MOS, that could have been anywhere from 15 to 35 weeks after she started BCT. The rest normally comes in installments at the completion of a specified number of years of duty.

    If her bonus was the $8,000 specified in the article, then she should have been paid $4,000 upon the completion of AIT. Desertion in 2007 almost certainly means that she never received the second installment.

  6. And this was a plea bargain arrangement, though I don’t think that the government had to accept a plea bargain deal: had she gone to court martial, with the members all being soldiers who had not deserted, she could well have gotten several years.

    Personally, I would rather that the Canadians had kept her. Ten months from now, she’ll be free, and sucking on our welfare teat.

  7. In light of Barack Obama’s refusal to dispatch rescue forces during the terror filled night of the 9/11/12 Benghazi attack, compounded by the initial White House directed pattern of lies concocted to cover-up the treacherous and cold-blooded abandonment of brave Americans fighting for their lives, and now recently revealed to include the use of threats and other criminal intimidation tactics, first to hide, and now to silence whistleblowers as part the Administration’s organized criminal conspiracy to obstruct Congressional oversight and to prevent Obama’s high crimes from being revealed, it’s clear that deserters can now defend themselves by pointing out that since the Commander-in-Chief has failed to keep faith with Americans under enemy attack our soldiers are now under no obligation to serve an enemy of the people, even one sitting on his sorry ass in the Oval Office.

  8. Will Christians in the military be afforded the same leniency the confessed deserter was shown?

    The Pentagon, under the command of the Commander-in-Chief, has served a chilling warning that those Christians in the US military who dare to share their faith are vulnerable to court martial. If prosecuting those who speak of Christianity is good enough for Saudi Arabia, Iran and North Korea, apparently Obama’s Pentagon thinks it should be good enough for American troops.

    Has anyone seen similar warnings issued to those of any other faith–or to atheists, for that matter?

  9. Has anyone seen similar warnings issued to those of any other faith–or to atheists, for that matter?

    It’s just a silly little product of electing a muslim. I’m waiting for the minarets on that building at 1600 PA Ave., NW, Hashington, Disease.

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