out180 wrote: I have never really been against his decision, it's his method of carrying it out that bothers me. Don't want to go? Fine, refuse, take your licks and get out. Leveraging the media, anti-war rallys, etc. to me was not only unnecessary but conduct unbecoming and well worthy of a big chicken dinner.
I agree - I believe that someone who defaults on a contract should pay the proscribed fine. But I also think that threatening him with a 7-year prison sentence isn't "taking your licks", it's being threatened with totally screwing up the rest of your life. This, I feel, is a massively over-the-top punishment for someone who is NOT actively threatening his fellow soldiers or his country.
I agree, the 7 year sentence is a bit much.
Honestly, the dishonorable discharge will haunt him for the rest of his life. Not only will that black mark follow you but the loss of benefits and veteran status would be painful as well. Being a veteran myself I say take it from him. I served and finished my tour even though at times I hated it but I'm proud to be a veteran because of that.
I do have to disagree slightly with the statement that he is not hurting his fellow soldiers in any way. While he may not be causing them physical harm I do believe he is hurting them publically the general moral, that's already low, takes a hit. Again my mind tells me that if he had handled this internally it would end better.
Whether it be for attention, hurting the Army publically, or getting a lesser sentence since the public is now watching, it is a stunt. Stunts like that hurt people and organizations so I believe he is hurting his fellow soldiers. It's not 7 years of prison worth of hurt but hurt nonetheless.
Take half his pay for a while and make him hand out towels at MWR for a year or two. Once he's completely sick of it give him the BCD, strip his benefits, and give him the boot. As long as everyone knows why he's there and not in Iraq any time he spends in will be quite miserable.