Kim Rivera, the first female deserter in US history, is going on trial now after being deported from Canada last year.
Female Fort Carson soldier who fled to Canada faces trial Monday
Rivera, for those with short memories, was a Wal-Mart employee from Mesquite, Texas who married another Wal-Mart employee and started having kids. Eventually the two of them decided that they needed more money and better benefits so both tried to enlist in the US Army. Both were turned away initially for being too fat and out of shape, but Kim managed to lose enough weight to get accepted on her second attempt. So in 2006, when our troops were being sent to both Iraq and Afghanistan, Kim Rivera signed on the dotted line, enlisting as a soldier in the infantry. Then she pocketed an eight thousand dollar enlistment bonus and went off to Iraq, where, by all accounts, she served a safe and uneventful tour as a gate guard, never seeing any sort of action.
Returning to the US on a two-week leave in 2007, she suddenly developed "conscientious objection" when told that she'd have to return to Iraq, so she went AWOL and her and her presumably still fat husband skedaddled for Canada and applied for refugee status. The Canadian government eventually denied their request and booted them out of the country, and the US Army snatched her back up at the border. She's now facing five years in military prison and a dishonorable discharge.
Me, I'm fine with both punishments. Aside from demonstrating a total lack of honor and integrity, by deserting, she weakened her unit and increased the danger to other Americans still serving there. And far from just trying to live quietly afterwards, once she thought that she was safe from any consequences, she became a voice for the desertion movement and encouraged other Americans to run out on their units and their commitments. Five years really isn't long enough for this pudgy Jane Fonda wanna-be, as far as I'm concerned. I think that she needs to bust rocks or dig holes every day that she's in custody, and she should be sent over to Afghanistan and made to serve her sentence there instead of in some air-conditioned detention center here in the states. Plus, as a taxpayer, I want our eight thousand dollars back.