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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

War Resister to Speak at GMC

POULTNEY, VT (March 18, 2008) – The first U.S. soldier court-martialed for desertion during the Iraq War plans to speak at Green Mountain College on Thursday, March 27, at 7 p.m. in Ackley Auditorium.

Camilo Mejia comes to campus as the featured speaker for a Voices of Community plenary. His talk will address his nine-month jail sentence, his views on torture in Iraq, and his reasons for refusing to fight. It is free and open to the public.

In April 2003, Mejia was deployed to Iraq as a member of the Florida National Guard. During his deployment, he witnessed the killing of civilians and the abuse of detainees, leading him to question the morality and legality of the war. When he returned to the United States in October 2003 for a two-week leave, he decided never to return to Iraq. He went into hiding to avoid redeployment and was classified as AWOL–or Absent Without Leave–by the military. After five months underground, he surrendered to the military at Fort Stewart, Georgia, and submitted a formal application for discharge as a conscientious objector. His application was denied. In May 2004, a military jury convicted him of desertion and sentenced him to jail.

Mejia has written a book titled “Road from Ar Ramadi: The Private Rebellion of Staff Sergeant Mejia.”

For more information, contact the Green Mountain College Office of Communications at 802-287-8311.

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