The Watertown Daily Times reported Sept. 22 that Army Private Kimberly Rivera was arrested following her deportation order from Canada. She voluntarily presented herself at the Thousand Islands Bridge border crossing, was arrested, and is temporarily jailed at Fort Drum. She faces court-martial and up to five years in a military prison.
During her Iraq tour in 2006, Pvt. Rivera, then a 25-year-old mother of two, had apparently seen enough of both soldiers and civilians losing their limbs, minds or lives for greed, lies and corruption. When ordered to return to Iraq, she and her family sought sanctuary in Canada. After five years, the Canadian government denied her refugee status.
When I was young like Pvt. Rivera, I joined the Army believing my governments reasons for waging war in Vietnam. After my experiences during my tour there, and after much reading and studying our involvement in Vietnam, I had seen enough of the greed, lies and corruption of that war. I am not now proud of my, or my countrys, participation in Vietnam. Please dont thank me for my service.
Had I been ordered to do a second tour to Vietnam, knowing what I know now, I think I would have done what Kimberly Rivera did. I hope I would have had the courage to resist and denounce the war then as she has with the Iraq war now.
The writer is a member of Veterans For Peace.